Reaction: Mick McCarthy wasn’t aware that owner Marcus Evans was in attendance to watch Ipswich Town lose 2-0 at Huddersfield
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he didn’t even know owner Marcus Evans was in attendance at the John Smith’s Stadium this afternoon as the Blues lost 2-0 to Huddersfield Town.
Izzy Brown’s fine solo goal (41) and Christopher Schindler’s rebound finish (57) saw the Terriers win a league game by more than one goal for the first time this season and move up to third in the Championship table.
Ipswich worked a lot harder than they did in Tuesday night’s televised horror show at non-league Lincoln in the FA Cup, but still look bereft of confidence on the ball.
Evans – who does attend a number of away games – left his seat around 10 minutes before the end.
“No, I haven’t spoken to him,” said McCarthy. “I didn’t even know he was here. If he’s here to watch my performance and see what the fans think of me then great, that’s fine. I don’t think so somehow.”
Reflecting on the game, the Blues boss said: “We’ve been beaten by a good team. I think up until their first goal there wasn’t much in it. They had the ball, we didn’t have many chances but neither did they. We got done by a bit of a wonder goal to be honest.
“The plan was to stop them playing, get the ball off them and then try to play when we got it. We didn’t play particularly well when we had it, but we did stop them playing.
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“We have to be better with the ball, we haven’t created many chances, but at 1-0 we were still in it. I don’t think the second half started at any great rate, but they get a free-kick and from the resulting melee get a goal.
“Unfortunately that kind of put it to bed because we were struggling to get chances.
“We went close through Jordan Spence, who I thought was good today, and who knows if that goes in? It’s fine detail.”
Asked if he felt he got a reaction from his players following Tuesday night’s 1-0 loss and abject display at Sincil Bank, McCarthy said: “Without a doubt. I was never worried about getting a response from Tuesday night. The lads have been great all season in terms of the way they go about their job, their professionalism and their work rate.
“Yeah, we could be better with the ball. But no question, I was pleased with the response of the lads.”
Is confidence an issue for his players at the moment?
“We were up against a team playing well and in the top six and they are full of confidence,” he replied. “The place is bouncing and driving up you could see the amount of people here. That does have a positive affect on the team and it’s not quite the same for us. I’m not suggesting we lack confidence though, no, not at all.”
Ipswich are 14th in the table – 11 points adrift of the play-off places and nine above the relegation zone. They head to Preston next Saturday, then it’s Derby (h), Reading (h), Aston Villa (a), Brighton (a), Leeds (h) and Norwich (a).
Asked if he was concerned his team could still get dragged into a relegation fight, McCarthy said: “It depends what happens next week, I guess. If we win we might suddenly be 12 points clear of the relegation zone and suddenly start looking upwards again. But if teams start catching you up it always becomes a worry, of course.”
Keeper Bartosz Bialkowski had to stay in Suffolk today due to illness. McCarthy said: “That doesn’t help. We’ve struggled with injuries all season and I could do without a sickness bug hitting us this week.”
On his decision to drop Josh Emmanuel and start recent signing Jordan Spence, he said: “Josh has done nothing wrong, he was just knackered on Tuesday night having played Saturday-Tuesday. He’s not gone through that yet, playing Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, and I had some fresh legs available.
“If I have got some fresh legs available that can play as well as that I don’t see why I wouldn’t use them.
“Developing players is great, but we need to pick up points and we need to be hard-nosed. That’s what we’ll have to be for the rest of the season.”
New signing Kieffer Moore, the 6ft 6ft striker recently recruited from Forest Green, made his debut as a 67th minute substitute.
“I thought Kieffer did alright actually, I was pleased with him,” said McCarthy. “Come on, what’s he going to do. He comes on when the team is 2-0 down. He had a good turn in the box and didn’t quite catch it right, he held it up a couple of times. He did okay Kieffer.”