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Reaction: Spence’s ‘moment of madness has cost us’, says McCarthy

PUBLISHED: 23:01 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 23:31 02 January 2018

Jordan Spence is sent off at Fulham last night. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Jordan Spence is sent off at Fulham last night. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy said Jordan Spence’s ‘moment of madness’ cost his side in tonight’s 4-1 defeat at Fulham.

The Blues took the lead through Joe Garner’s brave header just before the break, but Spence was dismissed soon after the restart for a reckless late challenge on Aboubakar Kamara – an act of retribution after the Fulham striker had barged over Freddie Sears.

Town then conceded four goals in a dramatic seven minute collapse, Kamara and Ryan Sessegnon both bagging braces as the slick Cottagers made their extra man count.

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“They can do that against 10 men, but it didn’t look like happening when we had 11 men on the field, that’s for sure,” rued McCarthy, whose side drop to 12th in the Championship table.

Bartosz Bialkowski is left in the net at Fulham's extra man allows the home side to romp to a 4-1 win Picture PagepixBartosz Bialkowski is left in the net at Fulham's extra man allows the home side to romp to a 4-1 win Picture Pagepix

“They started well, but I thought when we settled into the game we frustrated them, got our goal from a free-kick and, well, I’ll never know what would have happened had we not gone down to 10 men.

“It’s a sending off and he’s said sorry. A moment of madness has cost us. That result is not going to happen with 10 outfield players on the pitch, that’s for sure.

“My beef with the decision is the bit beforehand because I thought he (Kamara) fouled Freddie (Sears). I thought he barged Freddie, yet apparently it’s a ‘shoulder charge’ and ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’; not while I have a hole in my backside it’s not. It was from behind and if a free-kick had been given for that then the rest wouldn’t have happened, which was born out of frustration.

“He’s gone to go and try and put a real sturdy tackle on him, but he’s got there late and followed through. It’s just stupid. I’ve no arguments.”

Joe Garner holds his head at Craven Cottage last night Picture PagepixJoe Garner holds his head at Craven Cottage last night Picture Pagepix

Asked if he was disappointed with the nature of the collapse which followed, McCarthy replied: “I’ve no qualms with the lads out there. They were sticking at it. Fulham done us up a few times with 11 men in the first half. The first goal we got done with a one-two on the halfway line and we didn’t stay with a runner, but I’ve now got players playing out of position. They were doing a sterling job, but we just got done.”

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With Spence now facing a three-game ban and Grant Ward having gone off with a groin injury, McCarthy has limited options ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie with Sheffield United at Portman Road.

“We’ll be down to a 14-man squad on Saturday, hey?” he said. “I’m glad it’s not a league game.

Joe Garner celebrates giving Town the lead at Fulham - but it was not to last. Picture: PAGEPIX LTDJoe Garner celebrates giving Town the lead at Fulham - but it was not to last. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

“Wardy’s got a sore groin and I’ve got a three match suspension for one of my full-backs, which isn’t going to help.

“Callum (Connolly) is okay, he was just getting to the stage where he might get injured and I just wanted to get (Luke) Hyam on for a few minutes. If there is a positive from the game it’s that Luke Hyam is back playing for the first team, which is lovely.

“The best case scenario with Adam Webster is that anti-inflammatories will have him back for Leeds ad the worst case scenario is that it could be longer. We need a few bodies back.”

With Kieffer Moore not in the squad following his recall from a loan spell at Rotherham, McCarthy said: “There is always going to be talk – I can’t tell you anything.”

Asked if playing Moore would mean Town could only sell him to Rotherham this month because of the rule which states you can only play for two clubs in a season, McCarthy replied: “That’s correct. He can’t play in the Cup anyway, so that gives us a bit of thinking room, I guess.”

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