Reaction: McCarthy says he is ‘sick of talking about the play-offs’ following win at Huddersfield

Mick McCarthy shares a smile with the fourth official before the game on Saturday at Huddersfield

Mick McCarthy shares a smile with the fourth official before the game on Saturday at Huddersfield

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy said he is ‘sick of talking about the play-offs’ following this afternoon’s 1-0 victory at Huddersfield Town.

There was a growing sense of doom and gloom surrounding the Blues following an underwhelming January transfer window, a spate of key injuries and five defeats from six games across all competitions.

The Blues dug deep to grind out victory at The John Smiths Stadium this afternoon, courtesy of Ben Pringle’s 19th minute goal, and move back up to ninth in the Championship table and reduce to the gap to the play-off places to four points with 13 games to go.

“It’s a huge result for us,” said McCarthy. “We needed a win. We needed to stop being beaten after three on the bounce. As usual my players came up trumps when their backs were to the wall.”

Asked if he felt his side rode their luck in the early stages, Huddersfield having dominated early on, he said: “Absolutely, but I go back to the QPR where we rode our luck, nearly won it and then ended up losing it. It’s very often a game of good luck, bad luck. There are all sorts of ways of winning a game. It’s sometimes about being clinical. For all their chances in the first half they didn’t take them, we were clinical with ours and that was the difference between winning and losing.”

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Having admitted his team’s season was on the slide following Tuesday night’s 1-0 home loss to Hull, McCarthy was asked if he felt his team could get their play-off hopes back on track. He said: “I was down and upset and angry at losing three on the bounce. That had never happened before during my tenure at Ipswich. I was a little bit frustrated at losing some good players.

“I’m not bothered about the play-offs. Do you know what, you can only try and get enough points. To be fair I think it (losing three games) took the pressure off. I’m sick of talking about the play-offs. If we end up in the play-offs, brilliant. If we don’t, there won’t be a damn thing I can do about it and we’ll have tried our best. We got three points today and we’ll keep trying to win games.”

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Asked to clarify those comments, he said: “We want to be there (in the play-offs), we all know that, but when you’re just in that sixth spot and you don’t stay there then everybody is just so disappointed and downbeat and you feel it in the club, in the town. It will be determined on May the seventh.

“Maybe losing three did take the pressure off us bit. I said to the lads this week ‘we’ve got no chance of getting in the play-offs the way it’s going, the only way it will happen is if we stop thinking about the play-offs and get three bloody points from somewhere’. We’ve done that today.”

Does he feel a sense of relief today?

“Without doubt. I’m not going to come in here today and put the stoic face on and say I was never worried. Of course I was. If we’d have lost four in the bounce...

“Our lads just proved to me what a great set of lads they are.

“Yes, we rode our luck, but surely everybody needs a bit of luck. Someone said to me the other day ‘good luck Mick, but you don’t need it’. I said ‘I’ll take it if it’s going’. You get enough bad luck at times, let me tell you.”

On his tactical switch in the first half, striker Brett Pitman moving to the wing, McCarthy explained: “I went to 4-3-3 because it wasn’t working and they were over-running us. I’m not that thick or proud about how I set my team up. If it’s not working then you have to change. That effectively stemmed the tide.”

And on Daryl Murphy, who set up Pringle’s goal with some fine hold-up play, he said: “I spoke to him on Thursday morning and said he needs to get back to roughing centre-backs up and running channels and making the ball stick. I thought he was great today. Him and Freddie Sears were outstanding.”

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