Reaction: Mick McCarthy admits Ipswich Town lacked competitive edge in 1-0 home loss to Sheffield Wednesday

Emyr Huws and Ross Wallace battle during the first half of Ipswich Town's 1-0 ome defeat to Sheffiel

Emyr Huws and Ross Wallace battle during the first half of Ipswich Town's 1-0 ome defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admitted that his side lacked a competitive edge in this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat to promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road.

The Blues boss named the same side which produced an impressive 3-1 home win over Newcastle at Portman Road on Easter Monday, but they got nowhere near matching that performance in a forgettable match which was decided by Kieran Lee’s 77th minute close-range finish.

This was the Owls’ sixth straight victory and sealed their participation in the play-offs for second successive season. Town remain on course for their lowest finish since 1959.

“We were beaten by a better team and one that looked to have the edge on us because they are still playing for something,” said McCarthy. “We are still playing for pride and results, yes, but they wanted to seal that play-off place. That’s their sixth win on the bounce, they’ve come here with a real bit of momentum and form and they looked like that. They are a very good team.

“They had the bit of quality that really counted and we didn’t have many chances. We matched them for a lot of things, but they had the better percentage of the ball and used it better than us.


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“We had the edge against Newcastle because we needed a result (to secure safety). That does make a huge difference. I changed the team last week (nine changes for a 1-0 loss at rock-bottom Rotherham) and maybe that’s had an affect, which it shouldn’t really do.

“I just think we all just took a huge sigh of relief ad they are still wired for the play-offs and have got that edge.”

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A 19,000 crowd emptied quickly at the end as few stayed behind for a very low-key ‘lap of appreciation’ that traditionally follows the final home game of the season. A section of fans in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand chanted ‘we want you to go’ at McCarthy, but the majority politely applauded.

“The lap at the end was always going to be that way if we lost,” said McCarthy. “It was absolutely gilt-edged, nailed on that it would be like that. We’ve not been good enough at home and we’ve not entertained the fans here so I can understand that.”

Asked if he just wanted to draw a line under this disappointing season, the Blues boss replied: “We’ve got a game to play and Nottingham Forest are right in the mire, so there’s going to be an edge to that game (away next Sunday). We need to go there and perform, for us first and foremost and our fans who go and watch, but also for the other teams that are down there with them.”

With Leicester loanee Tom Lawrence coming off to a standing ovation, McCarthy said: “It was certainly his last game for us here. He’s been terrific for us and deserved that ovation. I took him off because he’d just had a knock to his ankle and the last thing I would want is for him to get an injury when he has got bigger and better things in front of him.”

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