Reaction: Mick McCarthy says there was little Ipswich Town could do to stop Newcastle United
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes Newcastle United are destined for the Championship title after his team were comfortably beaten 3-0 at St James’ Park this afternoon.
Ayoze Perez put the Magpies in front with barely a minute on the clock and the slick hosts then dominated the rest of the first period without adding to the scoreline.
Town were more solid after the restart, but Perez produced another fine first-time finish in the 74th minute and Matt Ritchie found the bottom corner to seal the result five minutes later.
“We were beaten by the better team, beaten by the champions. If I see a better team than that this year I’ll be surprised,” said McCarthy.
“I’ve just spoke to the players, That was one of those days where we couldn’t do a lot about it. We tried everything to stop them and to get a foothold in the game.
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“To be fair the one pleasing thing was we kept it at 1-0 for 70 minutes. We gave the ball away from a throw for the second goal, but nevertheless the finish was fabulous. All three of the finishes were fabulous.
“I wonder if we’d have had those chances, or anybody else, would they have scored them? I don’t know.
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“They were better than us, they are better than us and they’ll be champions in my view.”
McCarthy said in the build-up that his team could be in for a long afternoon if they allowed the Magpies to have a fast start.
“I was the profit of doom,” he joked, referring to Perez’s early opener. “I didn’t want them to have the ball, I wanted us to press, we didn’t do that particularly well, we didn’t get enough tackles in. If somebody could have put a tackle in and upset their fans it might have been different, but we didn’t get anywhere near them.
“I don’t know how many passes they had before it ended up in our net. It was difficult to stop.”
McCarthy started with a 4-1-4-1 system, but switch to a 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 at different stages in the game. When it was put to him that he’d tried several different things to stem the tide, he replied: “Yeah – and none of it worked! “The players are all knackered, they’ve all tried their nuts off, they’ve worked really, really hard and put a shift in like they do every week for me. I can’t really say anymore. They are a very good team, they played very well and they deserved to win and we got what we deserved, which was nothing.”
Asked if it was any consolation that his team kept Newcastle quiet at the start of the second half, he sarcastically replied: “I think we got in their half a couple of times didn’t we? It’s not a consolation. I know my lads have worked hard and, having kept it at 1-0 in the first half, in the second half we got to 70 minutes and the crowd are just getting a little bit fractious with them.
“Everybody knows you can then nick one from a corner kick a free-kick, a mistake. The disappointing thing is that we didn’t keep it at 1-0 a bit longer an give ourselves that chance of nicking something.
Did the Blues miss injured holding midfielder Cole Skuse, who is sidelined with a toe problem?
“Whether that would have had such a bearing on it, I don’t know, but he’s been an ever-present and you know what I think of him and how important he is to the team,” said McCarthy.
“It’s never nice to lose a player of his importance to the team. I’m just hoping he’ll be fit for Saturday (home game against Rotherham).”
Meanwhile, McCarthy confirmed that both Jonas Knudsen and Leon Best came off with injuries at half-time when they were replaced by Josh Emmanuel and David McGoldrick respectively.
“Leon dislocated his finger, but I wanted Didzy on the pitch and I wasn’t going to have the two of them on,” said the Blues boss. “I didn’t think I was going to lose anything by having him on, only gain something by giving him 45 minutes. I thought he did alright and will be a lot better for it.
“Jonas couldn’t stand up straight. He’d ricked his back and was in real pain. He’s a tough lad, but he couldn’t carry on.”
– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for comment and analysis.