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McCarthy denies telling Town fans to ‘f*** off’ during East Anglian derby draw

PUBLISHED: 15:37 18 February 2018 | UPDATED: 22:24 18 February 2018

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: PA

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: PA

PA Wire

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy denies he aimed the words ‘f**k off’ towards his own fans following Luke Chambers’ late goal in this afternoon’s 1-1 draw at Norwich City.

Chambers headed the Blues into an 89th minute lead, with Sky Sports cameras clearly showing McCarthy – who, not for the first time, had faced negative chants from Town supporters – racing out of his technical area, manically pumping his fist and appearing to shout his dismissive profanity in the direction of the away end.

Town looked on course to claim their first East Anglian derby victory since 2009, but Norwich scored a dramatic equaliser in the fifth and final minute of stoppage-time through Timm Klose’s header.

When a journalist opened the post-match press conference by saying ‘I don’t know where to start with that’, McCarthy replied: “Well done, that would be a start, because I thought we played well. It was a really good performance and we just let our guard down in the 95th minute – wherever they (added minutes) came from.

MORE: Stuart says: Eight observations following Ipswich Town’s dramatic 1-1 draw at Norwich City

“We might have blocked the ball in the box, we might have won the first header, we might have followed him out instead of (Keeper) Bart (Bialkowski) following him – I think that was a bit of confusion. That’s how goals come about. I’m sure they’ll look at our goal and think they should have marked Chambo closer.

He continued: “I thought it was a really good performance first half as an attacking threat. And I thought in the second half, when it got really tough, we were blocking, tackling, working hard and Bart made a couple of really good saves. I knew that would be the case. I was delighted with my team’s performance today.”

Then came the questionning about his goal celebration.

A difficult pill to swallow for Cole Skuse as Ipswich concede late at Norwich Picture Pagepix A difficult pill to swallow for Cole Skuse as Ipswich concede late at Norwich Picture Pagepix

Journalist: There was a big gesture from you towards the away end after Chambers’ goal.

McCarthy: That was just a reaction to the game. It was just me celebrating the goal.

Journalist: It does look like you are telling them to ‘f**k off’...

McCarthy: Oh, so you are putting words in my mouth are you?

Journalist: It does look that way.

McCarthy: No, it was just me celebrating the game mate. It was a reaction to the game. I wanted to win the game and we didn’t.

Luke Chambers punches his chest after scoring a late goal at Norwich Picture Pagepix Luke Chambers punches his chest after scoring a late goal at Norwich Picture Pagepix

Journalist: Your reaction to that goal may overshadow this game. Are you concerned your relationship with the fans is fractured beyond repair now?

McCarthy: Not really, no. Not at all. I keep doing my job as best as I possibly can.

Journalist: You’ve been around a while, so will know when things turn sour with the fans it’s difficult to overcome that...

McCarthy: Winning games overcomes it. So we’ll see what Wednesday (home to Cardiff) brings shall we?

- - - - - - - - - -

There were boos from the away end when McCarthy introduced Jordan Spence for Dominic Iorfa as his third and final substitution in the 79th minute, with attacking options Bersant Celina and Mustapha Carayol left on the bench.

“Jordan Spence came on because Dom Iorfa was cramping up,” explained McCarthy. “That’s my tactical substitution and making the subs I have to make. I do my job as I see fit.

MORE: Ratings: Blues produce some promising displays but some costly errors - grades from Norwich

“It’s funny isn’t it? I’m answering questions about this when if we’d have come off and won, instead of conceding that equaliser, it would have been so different wouldn’t it? That’s sad that you’re having to ask me those questions. I’m not bothered and I do my job as I see fit. And I think I do it particularly well actually.”

When it was pointed out to him that his team remain above Norwich – the two teams placed 11th and 12th in the Championship table at time of print – McCarthy replied: “Yeah we are. I think if I’d been given £100m over the last three years I think I could have been languishing in 13th as well to be quite honest.”

Asked if he was pleased with the way some of his recent signings, including Stephen Gleeson, dealt with their first experience of the East Anglian derby, McCarthy said: “I was pleased with the team’s performance – all of them. Glees has not played that much football, so that’s why he was replaced with Luke Hyam who, to be fair, has probably got more legs than he has. We needed that in the midfield. I was pleased with them all. I thought we played well.”

Quizzed if he felt the Blues had dealt with Norwich dangerman James Maddision well, he said: “I thought in the first half certainly. Second half... He’s a very good player and you have to take care of him. I thought, pretty much, we did. He had two free-kicks that he hit the target with. Overall I thought it was, up until 95 minutes, a job well done.”

MORE: Norwich City 1-1 Ipswich Town: Derby heartbreak for Town as Klose grabs a point after Chambers’ late goal

McCarthy switched to a wing-back system today. Asked if it was a formation just for today or the longer-term, he replied: “It was for today. It might be for Wednesday and it might be for Saturday yet. I thought our system and the tactical changes worked.

“It gets Webbo (Adam Webster) in the team, but it gets Santy (Celina) out and somebody else out too. There’s the dilemma. You can’t play everybody.”

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