Reaction: McCarthy says results are more important than performances after Town make hard work of 3-2 win over Blackpool
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Ipswich Town secured a vital 3-2 home win over rock-bottom Blackpool at Portman Road.
The Tangerines – who haven’t won away from home all season and could yet end up with the worst points total in Championship history – took the lead in the fourth minute through Andrea Orlandi’s goal.
Freddie Sears’ quickfire double deservedly put Town in front, but a lapse in concentration allowed Lee Clark’s visitors to equalise through Henry Cameron in the 63rd minute, meaning there was a real sense of relief when Christophe Berra headed home an 83rd minute winner.
Victory, coupled with the fact that Derby drew 1-1 with Brentford and Wolves lost 2-1 at Birmingham, means the Blues are back in the Championship play-off places (courtesy of one goal) with just four games to go.
“Do you know what, at this moment in time, does it really matter how you get the three points?” said McCarthy. “We’d all love to be sweeping everybody aside. We’ve not done that all season though. And they made it hard for us at times.
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“I watched the Brentford game (a lunchtime kick-off) and said with 20 minutes to go ‘it will end 1-1 this’. They (Brentford) had enough chances to win three games and that normally means it will end up 1-1. And guess what, it did (Darren Bent getting a late leveller).
“That was a bit like us. We had enough chances to win two games, it ends up going to two-all, but we had Christophe on the spot to win it.”
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He continued: “I knew Blackpool would be a tough nut to crack. They’ve got some good players. They suddenly started doing things a little bit different, they left two up at corners because they had nothing to lose. All they could do was knock us off our perch.”
With just nine points separating the top eight sides with four games to play, it increasingly looks to be a four-way fight for automatic promotion (Bournemouth, Norwich, Watford and Middlesbrough) and a four-way fight for the last two play-off spots (Derby, Ipswich, Wolves and Brentford).
Town host Cardiff on Tuesday night and then travel to Wolves next Saturday. They finish the season with the visit of Nottingham Forest and a trip to Blackburn.
“It is our hands again,” said McCarthy. “We’re on 71 points, that’s the best total we’ve had since I’ve been here, yet we’re nowhere near securing a top-six place still because who knows what it’s going to end up needing?
“Wolves have lost today, Brentford and Derby drew. It sets it all up for a big game at Wolverhampton in a week’s time.”
He continued: “You’ve known me long enough to know that my mantra is to stay level-headed. I keep saying that the league is bonkers. It’s probably become my much over-used word, but I think it fairly sums the league up. It really does.
“All our fans think that Derby, Brentford and Wolves are all going to win every game. And they will see all the reasons why we won’t win ours.
“Well Wolves fans will be thinking exactly the same. I know that because I’ve been there. Derby fans will be the same too. Actually, that sums up the league that Derby are where they are because everyone thought they were going to run away with it one point.”