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‘I was prepared to take a draw towards the end’: McCarthy reflects on stalemate with QPR

PUBLISHED: 18:16 26 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:33 26 December 2017

Town manager Mick McCarthy, assistant Terry Connor and a fan with a turkey on his head are pictured during the Ipswich Town v QPR game.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Town manager Mick McCarthy, assistant Terry Connor and a fan with a turkey on his head are pictured during the Ipswich Town v QPR game. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he was ‘prepared to take a draw’ towards the end of today’s scrappy goalless draw with 10-man QPR at Portman Road.

A much-changed Blues side had struggled to create much going forwards and looked vulnerable to the counter-attack at times, but were given the impetus when visiting midfielder Josh Scowen was dismissed in the 86th minute for a second yellow card.

Asked if 0-0 was the right scoreline, McCarthy replied: “Yeah, I think so. I said, coming near the end, I’ll take a draw – even when he got sent off. I could just see us trying to force it and getting done on the break. That nearly happened when he (Matt Smith) got a shot on target.

“I’ve no complaints about the scoreline. I’ve got complaints about how we played, I’m not really happy with that, but I’m happy with the result in the end. It’s a point, we’ll take it, I don’t think we deserved anything more.”

Both sides had penalty appeals waved away in the final moments as first Jack Robinson, then Dominic Iorfa appeared to handle the ball in their respective boxes.

“Ours was a penalty, but so was theirs as well I think,” said McCarthy. “If we get ours and score it then it changes the complexion of the game completely, but I’ve seen Dominic’s (Iorfa) again and he could have given one for that. There’s no point complaining is there?”

The Blues boss – who now has eight central midfielders injured after Teddy Bishop limped off with a hamstring injury – had made five changes to the side that had lost 1-0 at league-leaders Wolves, explaining: “Bearing in mind that was everyone that I’ve got fit today, those 11 players and seven subs, I just couldn’t go with the same 11.

“There is always a worry that if you go with the same 11, don’t play particularly well, get beat then you have to make changes on Saturday. Well I’ve got options now (for visit of Derby).

“And, moving forwards, looking at the Fulham game (away on January 2), Didzy (David McGoldrick) has had a game, Freddie (Sears) has had a game, unfortunately Bish (Teddy Bishop), who was getting his games, has had to come off. There are all those things I had to consider.

“Five games in 15 days with 16 fit outfield players is going to be tough.

“I need to get players back from injury, that’s more important. I don’t know what we’ll be able to do in the transfer window, but we’ll be looking at loans I guess.

“On a plus side the lads have been brilliant. They’ve been great. It was a tough old gig today, but they keep going and it’s a point in our pocket. You can’t take it off us.”

The biggest cheer of the afternoon came when Bersant Celina was introduced off the bench in the 84th minute, the skilful Manchester City having an instant impact with the run and cross which led to Garner’s penalty appeal.

Asked if he wished he’d brought the Kosovan international on earlier, McCarthy replied: “I was prepared to take a draw, I have to be honest. They are putting all the big fellas on and the only way somebody was going to score in that game was a scrappy breakaway. He (Celina) created the one chance, which was good, but I’ve got another three games for him to play coming up.

“He can’t play in all the games. He’s a good player but he’s not Superman.”

On Bishop, who was making only his second senior start of 2017, the Blues boss said: “He’s very down at the minute. It’s his hamstring and I don’t know how long it’s going to be in terms of his injury.

“You could see on a couple of occasions when he opened his legs that he can make things happen. It’s just such a shame. I didn’t think we’d get the whole game out of him, but I certainly didn’t think I’d be having to take him off in the first half either.”

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