Reaction: Mick McCarthy refuses to blame keeper Dean Gerken for Nottingham Forest’s late, late leveller

Mick McCarthy gives former Ipswich loanee Jonny Williams a hug at the end of the game at The City Gr

Mick McCarthy gives former Ipswich loanee Jonny Williams a hug at the end of the game at The City Ground on Saturday

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy refused to blame keeper Dean Gerken after his side conceded a goal deep into stoppage-time to draw 1-1 at Nottingham Forest this afternoon.

Town looked to be comfortably seeing out a 1-0 win, following Jonathan Parr’s expert 74th minute finish, but ex-Blues man Liam Trotter struck in the sixth and final minute of added on time as both team’s winless streaks were extended to six matches.

Gerken, who had produced a breathtaking first half save, raced off his line to punch clear the late cross but, after leaving a host of players on the floor, failed to get good distance on his clearance. Jorge Grant’s crisp shot was blocked on the line by Piotr Malarczyk only to fall straight at Trotter’s feet.

“Gerks got his hand on it, we managed to block it, but it still falls to Trotter – that’s just sod’s law,” said a visibly deflated McCarthy.

“When you’ve got the strangle hold on you shouldn’t let go. I don’t think we should have let them out of the corner. It’s their throw-in in their right-back slot and it should never have ended up in the left-wing slot (where the cross came from). We should have nailed that down, but we didn’t. We missed a couple of tackles.

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“He’s sat with his head in his hands, but he’s been fabulous Gerks. At the time I would imagine, like everybody else, when he comes and gets his hands on it, I think he’s done great. He collides with Christophe (Berra) though and they’re all on the floor. I’m not going to be pointing the blame at him for it.”

Asked to sum up the mood of the dressing room, Town now having claimed just seven points from nine matches, the Blues boss said: “Devastated, really, really flat. They’re all disappointed and there’s nothing I could say today that would make them feel better or worse. I haven’t got any words of comfort, I haven’t got any soothing words. I don’t think I need to be giving any stick.”

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With all 10 outfield players having celebrating the Town opener in unison, he continued: “There’s no doubting the team spirit and the camaraderie among the players. When it’s not going well people say ‘the manager has lost his players’, but I’ve never lost a dressing room. I might lose games, but I never lose the players. The team spirit is fabulous, I think you can see that.”

He added: “I thought we played well enough. I thought they probably shaded the first half and we shaded the second half.

“Having got the goal we weren’t really holding on, but, hey ho, that’s just the way things are going at the moment. We didn’t make the most of other chances we created but they’ll probably be saying the same.

“I thought the performance was good, but it doesn’t feel like that now because we’ve just lost two points.”

Meanwhile, the Blues boss confirmed that both Jonas Knudsen and Cole Skuse went off with injuries.

“Jonas has damaged his hamstring and you don’t run those off – we’ll have to see the extent of that on Monday morning,” he said.

“Skiusey rocked the ankle that he missed the game on Tuesday night with, so that’s clearly an ongoing thing. It’s probably a good thing we haven’t got a midweek game next week.

“It might be nice to rest the limbs for a week and get ready for two home games (against Cardiff and Bolton).”

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