Reaction: They’re taking our promotion credentials seriously now – McCarthy delighted with dramatic win at Charlton
Charlton v Ipswich: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy believes his side’s Championship promotion credentials are being taken very seriously now following this lunchtime’s dramatic 1-0 televised win at Charlton Athletic.
Debutant Noel Hunt – who only arrived on loan from Leeds United on Thursday – stepped off the bench in the 84th minute and scored with a fine low finish in the fourth and final minute of stoppage-time to spark wild celebrations among 2,500 travelling fans.
It was the first home game Charlton have lost this season, three points temporarily lifting the Blues into second spot in the table ahead of the 3pm kick-offs.
“I think at the start of the season we weren’t one of the favourites,” said McCarthy, whose entire starting squad cost just £10,000 in transfer fees. “But after the games that we’ve played and the manner in which we’ve played them, I think they’re taking us seriously now.”
On Hunt’s late winner, the Blues boss said: “It’s fantastic, isn’t it? Wonderfully rewarding. I’ve always admired Noel Hunt, the way he goes about his job, about his business.
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“I thought that if we can get him going again we’ve got a good player. He’s a great character, he’s like his brother (Stephen). He’s a great character to have around.”
He continued: “I can’t honestly come in and say we’ve played Charlton off the park. I thought Charlton were the better team in the first half and had the better chances.
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“We’ve had to make good blocks and good saves, although we had good chances in the first half. I wouldn’t write off what we did. I think in the second half we came more in to the game.
“I’m absolutely certain that the sun had a real bearing on the game; it was difficult to deal with it defensively, balls were bouncing and consequently you get more of the ball in that half. We struggled to head it in the first half.
“It says a lot about the team because we had to weather that and then we got better and then we got better and in the last 15 minutes it was us that was going to win it. I thought we shaded the second half.”
Charlton boss Bob Peeters said: “It’s a cruel way to lose, but we only have ourselves to blame. You create enough chances, you have enough possibilities to win at least one, maybe two games, but we didn’t finish that last ball off.
“At the end, we get away with one when we give a ball away and Andre Bikey puts a block in at the last second of the game. Then, in the 94th minute, when your centre-back thinks he can dribble in the middle of the park and try to score a goal... If you get cocky, they punish you.
“We got a lesson today. I think in every aspect of football we were the better team, we passed the ball better, had better movement, they only kicked long balls, but it’s about putting the ball in the net and that’s what they did and that’s why we’re up there and we’re not.”
– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match comment and Noel Hunt interview.