Reaction: Mick McCarthy has no regrets over wholesale changes for Rotherham defeat
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has no regrets over making wholesale changes to his team for this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat at rock-bottom Rotherham United.
After the same team secured Championship safety with impressive Easter weekend wins against Burton and Newcastle, McCarthy made nine alterations to his starting line-up for this dead rubber.
The Blues produced a disjointed first half, as Dean Gerken saved a Danny Ward penalty, but then grew into the game and Tom Adeyemi’s 79th minute winner came against the run of play.
“I’m annoyed we’ve lost, that’s my assessment,” said McCarthy.
“We got away with the first half because Gerks (Dean Gerken) made a good (penalty) save and I said to them at half-time, we’ve had burning legs and burning lungs because they haven’t all been playing, but I thought we got over that and second half we were better and I think we should have been in front, but we’ve contrived to find another way to give a goal away. It’s a good finish, but it shouldn’t have got to that.
“They got a real kick out of getting the goal, it meant they could sit back and they’ve got a bit of pace up front to be fair to them. We didn’t take our chances and they kept doing us on the break.
“I said at half-time, ‘OK, we’ve lacked a bit if cohesion’, with the shape and the way we were passing it, but I thought we got beyond that and were starting to gel at the start of the second half, we were better, but we didn’t take our chances when we got them and managed to give a goal away.”
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He continued: “We had three central midfielders at the start and Toums (Toumani Diagouraga), Bish (Teddy Bishop) and Doz (Andre Dozzell) didn’t dominate that. Their lads in midfield coped with that and so we went to 4-4-2.
“I’m not convinced we dictated that midfield enough with the quality we had in it. Doz has got some lovely subtle touches, but he’s developing and there lies the problem. He’s not the finished article yet. But when he is he’ll be a very good player.”
Asked if it was a difficult team to pick today, he replied: “It was in some ways, because we’d done so well over Easter, but in other ways it wasn’t. I wanted to give some of them a chance, the ones who have travelled around the country and not had much game-time – sometimes sat on the bench, sometimes sat in the stands. It was their opportunity, albeit slightly unfair because there was nine changes – I get that. It’s like playing in a League Cup tie.
“I wasn’t being disrespectful to Rotherham, not in any shape or form. I was being respectful to my team and my squad by giving them a game. And pretty much for most of it, it was even.
“I should congratulate Warney (Rotherham boss Paul Warne). I’m pleased for him. It’s done him a whole world of good I would imagine in terms of keeping the job with some positives for next season.”
Winger Danny Rowe, who was signed from National League side Macclesfield for £100k in January, impressed for Town on his full debut.
“Dominic Samuel showed a bit today, but Danny Rowe was the real bright spark and positive,” enthused McCarthy.
“He came in with a slight knock, started impressing everybody, then he got injured again and over the last two or three weeks he has been great in training. I was that close to playing him at Burton but that wasn’t a debut day and Newcastle wasn’t either. Today was and he’ll be pleased with his debut, I think. I certainly was. He’ll be a player for us.”
With Gerken producing a fine penalty save on the stretch, McCarthy added: “He’s a good keeper. He was ready to play. Bart (Bialkowski) has been brilliant this season, but Gerks can take some credit for that with the way he trains and keeps him on his toes. He knows he has to play well or Gerks comes in. He’s done nothing wrong Gerks and has been a big part of how Bart has played. He’s done well today. It didn’t look like he hasn’t played for ages.”