Reaction: Mick McCarthy concedes Ipswich Town’s season is on the slide after home defeat to Hull

Town manager Mick McCarthy yells instructions from the touchline during the Ipswich Town v Hull City

Town manager Mick McCarthy yells instructions from the touchline during the Ipswich Town v Hull City (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 23 February 2016. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy conceded that his team’s promotion hopes are fading fast following tonight’s flat 1-0 home defeat to Championship table-toppers Hull City.

The Blues’ incredible 16-game Tuesday night winning streak at Portman Road came to a shuddering halt, Mohamed Diame’s 48th minute clincher making it five defeats from six in all competitions.

With Town now down to 10th in the table with 14 games to go, McCarthy was asked if he felt the season if his side’s season was on the slide.

He said: “I don’t feel that way, it is isn’t it? You say we’ve lost five games from six in all competitions. I think that’s slightly disingenuous, if we’re including the cup, but you can do whatever you want with stats.

“We’ve lost three on the bounce now, but we’ve got to try and remain positive and get back at it. We have lost some really important players and that wasn’t such a bad performance against the league leaders, but we need to play better and have a bit more quality.”

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With Ipswich having failed to produce a shot on target, McCarthy added: “I remember being at Wolves and Sunderland when we had games when the opposition didn’t have a single shot on target against us because we were such a good team. Hull are a good side. Perhaps we should give them a bit of credit. I think they’ve only conceded 19 goals all season and they’re not an easy team to break down. They are a bloody good team full of bloody good players and to be honest they were the better team on the night. Their goal was just a fantastic goal really. I hate saying that, but that’s just the way it is.

“The two players they had up front cost a collective 15 million – that’s not bad is it? In terms of what we have, then we are comparing apples and pears. They are a better side than us, I hold my hands up, that doesn’t mean to say we can’t beat them though. And for a period in the game I thought we might.”

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He continued: “I thought first half it was pretty even, second half we started well, put a decent cross into the box, but unfortunately their keeper caught it well and they showed their quality. The left-back is up and running and they score. It’s always disappointing, however you concede, but had we scored that I’d be waxing lyrical about it because it was a fantastic goal, everything about it, the pass, the finish.

“After that they showed their quality for 10 minutes and it could have got worse. What I would say is that I credit our lads for sticking with it and, as bonkers as this league is, we could have nicked something in the last minute. That’s the fine margins in the Championship.”

With Brett Pitman, Jonathan Douglas and Luke Varney all having penalty appeals turned down, the latter two weak claims, McCarthy said: “I’d like to see the penalty incidents again. I thought they were good shouts for penalties, but they had a couple they shouted for too and I don’t think anyone was going to get one tonight.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy confirmed that Luke Hyam went off with a tight hamstring but said that Ainsley Maitland-Niles wasn’t injured and had just been left out of the match-day squad through choice.

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