Reaction: Mick McCarthy glad there was no sting in the tail at the end of a frustrating night
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is glad there was no sting in the tail at the end of a frustrating evening at Portman Road tonight.
After Brett Pitman’s penalty had cancelled out David Cotterill’s opener, the Blues spurned several good goalscoring opportunities in the second period.
“I’m not sat here thinking we played brilliantly, I have to be honest,” said McCarthy. “I think it was a real scrap, a real tough, competitive match against a team who are well organised.
“We had to come from behind again and I think we could have nicked it in the second half with the chances that we had.
“At that stage I’m thinking don’t let one in at the other end because that can happen when you keep getting chances.
“It wasn’t to be though, so I’ll take the point. If we had drawn at Leeds and won here we’d all be feeling better, but it’s the same amount of points.”
The game’s big talking point was the award of Town’s penalty after Ainsley Maitland-Niles was wiped out by Jonathan Spector at the end of a lung-busting 60-yard dash.
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Irate Birmingham boss Gary Rowett confronted referee Keith Stroud about the decision at half-time, but McCarthy said: “I think it’s a penalty. The reason I think it’s a penalty because he slid in to tackle him, he wasn’t just sliding straight down the line to block it.
“If that was done outside the box, his momentum is a foul. If that’s done on the halfway line it’s a foul. Why is not a foul in the penalty area? I think it is.
“He didn’t get the ball and, as harsh as it might seem to them, I think it is a penalty.”
On his decision to start strikers Freddie Sears and Pitman instead of Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick, he said: “That was due to the fact that Didz and Murph played almost 100 minutes on Tuesday night. And I’ve got two really good strikers who are fresh. Freddie’s been the best of them to be fair.”
Rowett, on the contentious penalty award, said: “I know people will say ‘if it’s in the middle of the pitch it’s given’, but that’s not the point, is it? It has to be a definitive foul because it’s such a pivotal moment.
“I don’t think one Ipswich player appealed. Why he makes such a contentious decision like that when he’s so far away from the action I don’t know. I waited for Keith in the tunnel and said ‘I’m not sure how you can give that’ and he said ‘if it’s anywhere else of the pitch it’s a foul’ and I said ‘why does no other ref think that then?’
“You don’t go 1-0 up at Ipswich very often, so that’s what makes it even more galling.”