Reaction: Mick McCarthy struggles to explain Ipswich Town’s ‘bad day at the office’ following 2-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest

Town manager Mick McCarthy pictured during the Ipswich Town v Nottingham Forest (Sky Bet Championshi

Town manager Mick McCarthy pictured during the Ipswich Town v Nottingham Forest (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 19 November 2016. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted he was left struggling to explain his team’s ‘bad day at the office’ following a 2-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest in front of the Sky television cameras this tea-time.

A victory could have lifted the Blues to within three points of sixth-placed Norwich City, but instead defeat to a team that recorded their first away win and first clean sheet of the campaign leaves them 17th in the Championship table.

Two pieces of shambolic team defending in the opening and closing seconds of the first half led to alert striker Britt Assombalonga notching his fifth and sixth goals of the campaign, with the Blues then lacking nous in their attempts to break down a team that had conceded 30 goals in their previous 16 games.

When a journalist said to McCarthy, ‘is that what you call a bad day at the office?’, he wryly replied: “I’ll just leave now shall I? That just about sums it up.”

The Blues boss, who was so long in the dressing room afterwards that he missed his television interview, was then asked if conceding such a poor goal after 17 seconds left his side with an uphill battle.

“It couldn’t have been any more awful the goal we conceded that’s for sure,” he said. “You asked me on Thursday (in the pre-match press conference) about the need for a fast start and I said it doesn’t matter if we start well, like we did against Rotherham (scoring after three minutes), and the result ends up the same (2-2).

“I didn’t expect them to have such a fast start though. It is a real awful, awful goal for us to concede. That was always going to make it tough.”

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Both the goals Ipswich conceded were poor.

“Yep, awful,” rued McCarthy. “They were probably worse than the Rotherham goals. From a team that had seven clean sheets out of 11 we look like no chance of keeping one playing like that.

“There was a catalogue of mistakes for both goals. They were really poor gaols to concede. The second one was just as abysmal, to concede that just before. Come in at 1-0 and we could have done something about it. We still attempted to do something, of course, but it gave them the opportunity to have that siege mentality.

“We rallied in the second half, but it was always then going to be difficult to get through them.

“All round it was a bad day in the office.”

Asked how his team could go from sealing an impressive 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday two weeks ago to producing a performance like that, he said: “If I could explain that I would be doing very well. I find that very difficult to try and explain how well we played, how tough and resolute we were, to then giving away two goals like we did today. The two games are as far removed as you can get. It’s hugely frustrating.”

Meanwhile, Forest boss Phillipe Montanier joked he’ll be buying his players Champagne every week after they secured only a second win in 13 games across all competitions.

The Frenchman said: “It was our first clean sheet and our first victory away. Last Tuesday it was my birthday and I gave Champagne to the players and said ‘my present in return must be three points on Saturday’. I’ve just thanked them for that.

“I will have to buy them Champagne every Tuesday now!”

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