Reaction: ‘Not a night I’ll remember fondly’ – says McCarthy after Ipswich Town 1 Fulham 1
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he will sit down and analyse where it’s gone wrong for his team at Portman Road this season after describing tonight’s 1-1 draw with Fulham as ‘horrible’.
Jonas Knudsen’s stoppage-time equaliser rather papered over the cracks of another dismal home display, the Blues not producing their first shot – on or off target – until the 71st minute.
Town have scored just five first-half goals in 24 outings on Suffolk soil this season and, with just MK Dons to come, are on track to go an entire season without scoring three goals on home turf for the first time in the club’s history.
Now winless in six games, having claimed just seven points from a possible 27, McCarthy said: “We got a result in the end, but it was a real horrible game. They made it hard for us, everything was slowed down, they sat behind the ball. They’ve got good quality, which was shown by the goal.
“It just looked like a real end of season affair, which was a shame because we didn’t want to make it that way, we certainly didn’t set out that way, but we just never got going.
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“All I can say is that we kept going and we did get something out of it. Didzy (David McGoldrick) came on and showed his quality. It was lovely to get something out of it, but it wasn’t a great night. It’s not one I’ll remember fondly that’s for sure.”
Only Middlesbrough won more Championship home games than Ipswich in 2014/15, but this year the Blues’ record at Portman Road reads: W8 D8 L6.
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“It’s quite clear that the home form has cost us,” said McCarthy. “Over the last four to six weeks that has been especially the case. If I had an answer to it I would have stopped it. We’ll analyse it, look at it and see what has gone wrong and why we have found it difficult at home.
“Teams come here and we find it hard to break through them.”
Asked to assess the full debut of 16-year-old Andre Dozzell, who was subbed in the 54th minute, McCarthy said: “I’m almost apologetic to him for having to play in that game because he was never going to shine in that game, that’s for certain. He played against arguably one of the best central midfield players in this league – I thought (Scott) Parker was excellent, (Rohan) Ince as well. Parker dominated the game.
“I tried to shift Andre, I moved him left, then in front of the two sitters, but it didn’t work. He’s a 16-year-old kid who had a great debut on Saturday but it doesn’t mean he’s suddenly going to rip it up. We’ll have to be playing a lot better than we are to get the best out of him.”
On Knudsen’s first goal for the club, he added: “It was a fabulous finish. Me and TC (Terry Connor) are always banging on at him to get in the box. He’s such a powerhouse and he should get headers as well. I have to say that was probably his most ordinary game and yet he scores the equaliser, which is bizarre. He found it hard on the ball and it was a bit of a scruffy performance all round, as it was from the whole team.
“And yet, in his debut season, I think he’s had a wonderful year. It was nice for him to score.”