Reaction: McCarthy wishes he’d substituted Luke Hyam before red card

Luke Hyam receives his first yellow of the Ipswich Town v Brentford (Championship) match at Portman

Luke Hyam receives his first yellow of the Ipswich Town v Brentford (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 09 April 2016. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted he should have substituted Luke Hyam before his red card in this afternoon’s 3-1 home defeat to Brentford.

Hyam was booked for the firm slide challenge that left Alan Judge with a badly broken leg in the third minute and, after being targeted by Brentford duo Alan McCormack and Ryan Woods for the remainder of the half, eventually reacted and shoved Woods in the face in first-half stoppage-time to receive his second yellow card.

Brentford had taken the lead in the 29th minute through Sam Saunders’ finish after Cole Skuse had clearly been fouled by Konstantin Kerschbaumer in the build-up. The 10-man hosts worked hard after the break but twice some slack defending led to Lasse Vibe scoring in the 64th and 68th minutes to render Liam Feeney’s late strike a mere consolation.

“Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” rued McCarthy.

When it was put to him that Brentford boss Dean Smith had labelled Hyam’s early challenge ‘a bit naughty’ and felt it was deserving of a straight red card, the Blues boss replied: “I’m disappointed if he’s said that. I don’t think it is. I think he’s won the ball. I’ve actually complained to the referee as to why it’s a booking if he’s won the ball. I don’t think it’s naughty at all. That surprised me and disappoints me if he’s said that, but we all have opinions.

“I feel really sorry for Judgey. I know him and I had him here and almost signed him before he went to Blackburn for more money. He’s a great kid and a lovely player so I feel really sorry for him.

“The injury actually affected us more than it did them though because it affected Luke Hyam. His game is about getting about, winning tackles and having a presence. He couldn’t do it then. I’ve no doubt he was targeted, but he shouldn’t react the way he did.”

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Asked if he had considered taking Hyam out of the line of fire, McCarthy replied: “Yes. He was going to come off at half-time. I would have hoped he could get to half-time. He’d been careful by not going into tackles and I thought he’d got his head around it. In hindsight though, yeah, I should have taken him off. That’s 20/20 vision that.

“He’s sicker than anybody else because he’ll feel he’s contributed more than anybody else, in a way, to costing us the game.

“Actually, the first decision of the referee (not awarding Ipswich a foul ahead of Brentford’s opener) has played a big part in costing us the game. Everybody and their f*****g grandmothers thought that was a foul. I’ve just been to see the referee and said ‘you went to put your whistle in your mouth’. The linesman has said that his (Skuse’s) foot was planted and he slipped! It was a foul, but he hasn’t given it. As I said, anything that could go wrong, did go wrong today.”

He added: “I can take a sense of pride out of the way the players went about things second half. That was good with 10 men against a good team.

“I’m still disappointed about the manner of the goals we conceded. The third goal in particular (when Christophe Berra was robbed of possession) because we had the ball.

“I think the lads showed a lot of pride in the shirt, didn’t let their heads go down and kept going to the very end, so that’s something to take out of the game.”

Having made four changes to his starting line-up, centre-back Tommy Smith dropped in order to facilitate Luke Chambers moving into the middle, McCarthy said: “Those changes at the back were with view to having two attacking full-backs. I thought Jonas (Knudsen) was excellent in the second half and an example to everyone else.

“Having just had two clean sheets that was a difficult one (changing the back four), but playing at home, if we could, I wanted us to be a bit better with the ball.”

Quizzed about a national story regarding Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ mother leaving him an expletive ridden voicemail, McCarthy simply said: “What we do is private. Whatever goes on I wouldn’t comment about that.”

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