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Reaction: Mick McCarthy knows Ipswich Town are very much in a relegation scrap

PUBLISHED: 18:30 18 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:43 18 March 2017

Mick McCarthy at Cardiff on Saturday

Mick McCarthy at Cardiff on Saturday

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Ipswich Town’s 60-year stay in the top two tiers of English football is very much in danger following this afternoon’s 3-1 loss at Cardiff City – and manager Mick McCarthy knows it.

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers walks from the pitch after Saturday's defeat at Cardiff. Photo: PAGEPIX LTDIpswich Town skipper Luke Chambers walks from the pitch after Saturday's defeat at Cardiff. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

The Blues have claimed just 14 points from a possible 42 this calendar year and slipped to 17th in the Championship standings – the gap to the drop zone now only five points with eight games to play.

It looks like there are seven teams all battling to avoid finishing 22nd and, of those seven sides, Ipswich have worryingly claimed the least amount of wins over the last 10 matches.

There is now a fortnight to dwell on things, due to an international break, followed by high-pressure home games against Birmingham City (18th) and Wigan Athletic (23rd).

“We’re in a relegation scrap, I’ve never denied that,” said McCarthy. “I’ve been asked that in press conferences all the time and I’ve always said I’m looking over my shoulder at the teams behind me, not in front of me. I’ve not shied away from that, ever.

“We can’t afford to play like that because there is always someone that slithers into the bottom three and always somebody that scraps their way out.

“It’s funny, when you’re trying to scrap your way out it’s amazing how much fight you have in you. When you are going the other way it can be quite the opposite.”

He added: “We all need to regroup over this break because the next two games are huge games, Birmingham and Wigan at home. We certainly need to compete better and play better than we have.”

Asked if it was a good or a bad time for a break, the Blues boss replied: “It doesn’t matter does it? We’ll find out when we come back against Birmingham whether it’s a good time for a break. It’s important that when we do come back that everybody is in it together and we make it a real tough place for people to come at Portman Road.

“They are huge games for us, massive games.”

When it was put to him that a significant number of supporters are frustrated, unhappy and that the dissenting voices are becoming louder, a deflated-looking McCarthy said: “Do I look happy? I’m not happy with it at all. And I’m not happy that people aren’t happy with me or the players or the club. I fully understand the dissenting voices. We’ve just got to make sure we stay in this league.”

Following a poor January, Town produced some positive displays at the start of February but have regressed in the last few weeks. How frustrating is that?

“Yes, it is frustrating,” said McCarthy. “It’s more than frustrating, it’s bloody annoying.”

What is the reason behind the downturn in form?

“It is difficult to put my finger on it because we were playing particularly well with the 3-5-2,” he replied. “It wasn’t great last week (1-1 at Barnsley) and it certainly wasn’t today.”

Will his players get time off over the next fortnight?

“Yes,” said McCarthy. “There’s no point bringing them in and hammering them. We need to be fresh and full of running when Birmingham arrive.”

Reflecting on today’s game, he said: “Well-beaten we were. I thought we were poor and they were good. We weren’t anywhere near what our standards have been.

“All three of their goals were poor. We’ve not defended for any of them. We’ve not got organised for the set-piece, which is really disappointing given we’d spoken about that. They won’t score an easier equaliser that’s for sure.

“For the second we just didn’t win the first ball, didn’t win the second ball and it ends up in the back of our net. It was really poor form us, poor defending.”

On his decision to switch to a 4-4-2 system at half-time, he explained: “Because it wasn’t working what we were doing (wing-backs). I think our back three defenders were being occupied by one striker, but it didn’t work the other way around either. I don’t think it was down to the system change though. To think we can’t play a back four is ridiculous.”

20 comments

  • Please don't mention the uncouth and repellant McCarthy in the same breath as the highly-respected A*senal Wenger. It is a cheap shot and not worthy. Wenger should have been kicked upstairs some years ago, that is true. I, Lazlo Farrago, citizen of Magyarorszhag, said as much in those days. But the Frenchman is a great name in a great sport. Like Ferenc Puskas, creator of the modern game. Mc Carthy is a mere flatuleent episode.

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    Lazlo

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • Genius, change the formation that was doing okay and make sure you take off your best performing defender to boot. Is Marcus Evans actually awake to what is happening at the club. Certainly what is proposed on season ticket prices when we are facing third tier football next season now is a real shot in the foot as I can't see any point in renewing my season ticket. Next two games are vital and there are two weeks for someone other than McCarthy to have a go at sorting it out. Maybe they would realise that Berra and Scuse are currently not the answer. Sacking the manager seems to have worked for the Budgies.

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    Totally-Bored

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • Mick McCarthy is a bit like Arsene Wenger said Neil Warnock, and he was absolutely correct, they both lost 3-1 , have lost the respect of the players and the supporters and should have been replaced at the end of last season before they could do any more damage.

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    MOTT MIKE

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • I don't know what the stats are but I'm pretty sure they are not very good regarding ITFC and International breaks. The players tend to switch off and are still "On the beach" after such a break. I expect them to either get a 0-0 draw or lose against Birmingham. It's pretty obvious that any class player that we get in from another club on loan is expected to carry the side. Williams, Fraser and now Lawrence and because this is the case they get injured and that's a fact. This season has and will be a disaster. Poor loan deals, appalling tactics, bad substitutions, no investment, little or no entertainment, lightweight players purchased the list goes on. When I see the players we have let go playing for Premier league clubs and what we have got it doesn't surprise me that we are where we are. Evans needs to be shaken up, he's sleep walking into a disaster. Even the Titanic had some lifeboats, ITFC let all theirs float away. If Evans sells up he will walk away no worse off than when he came sadly to ITFC. What he will leave behind is a club worshipped by thousands who have now got fed up to the teeth with being blamed for all the ills at PR whilst seeing their beloved club allowed to sink to depths never seen before. Hang your head in shame Mr. Evans

    Report this comment

    whymarkmariner

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • BottomSix Mick has made his decision about staying or leaving and he's going to announce it next year.....

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    walberswicks

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • MM, the reason Town are in a relegation scrap is because of you and your deluded negative tactics. Comfortable at half-time, however you change the formation and this is the reason Town lost. I hate to say we are reliant on other teams below to stay in this division as I cannot see Town winning more than 2 of there remaining 8 games. Town will be relegated and the coward will walk away. These are very dark days and Evans needs to pull his finger out and get rid of the club's worst Manager in the history of this club, if we are to have any chance of staying up.

    Report this comment

    bluey

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • The disillusionment of us fans has to be at an all time low and it is soul destroying when so many of us are seriously contemplating not renewing our season tickets, myself included. I once loved 'come rain or shine' going to watch my football team. Saturday, Tuesday nights under the floodlights. Hated international breaks. Now I welcome international breaks, contemplate going on Tuesday nights and feel obliged to go on Saturdays because I'm a season ticket holder. But one of my biggest concerns under Evans and Mccarthy's stewardship is that I've actually fallen out of love with football ! I can remember days when we might not have always been vying for promotion or the top six. But we vary rarely lost at home, of course we drew game's and lost the occasional one, but we always looked as though we could turn a draw into a win and a loss into a draw ! Why ? Because we played a certain way, an entertaining way. That has disappeared under Mccarthy's reign. Yes, we have flirted with the play off's, why ? Because we had a striker who scored 27 goals. Ambition of club when he left bring in Leon Best !! I believe so many of us season ticket holders now are waiting on one thing, is Mccarthy going to be there next season ? If he isn't then the club might just about hold on to a few more loyal supporters through season ticket sales. If he stays then the fall out could be far worse than the half empty non atmospheric stadium we now have. We could all pick and choose the games we wish to see, as getting tickets for the games wouldn't be a problem !! Evans, Mccarthy and there band of merry men have in my opinion been disrespectful in some of their comments towards us fans, it goes both ways I understand that ! But they are the product and we are the customer, and there's that old adage the customer's always right ! So let the customer know is Mccarthy staying or going ? Because so many of us are at a stage now where this is our overriding question ? The club owe the loyal fans this much surely !!!

    Report this comment

    Lee B Blue

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • or an excuse to put us into administration and walk away?

    Report this comment

    walberswicks

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • in a season when its impossible to get relegated, perhaps ME and Bottom six Micks cut price strategy may come unstuck. with everyone looking for a way out of PR perhaps they won't give a s**t if we were relegated. no-one picking up a bonus this year, MM leaving, the loan players thinking about better things, most of the senior players ready to jump ship, half a squad who know they're surplus to requirements and any youngster loaned out or with no experience. who can glue this mess together to get another 5 pts in eight games?? with MM waving the white flag, against all the odds there's an outside chance of this team achieving the unachievable. and would relegation for ITFC turn into an enormous bonus for Marcus Evans International?

    Report this comment

    walberswicks

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • Ever so sorry ! That should have read '. . . should of played Douglas.' In fact, this apology should of read '. . . should of read .'

    Report this comment

    Lazlo

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • Now, hold my hand and I'll show you the future. It's not that far. PR is handed back to taxpayers and redeveloped Monopoly-style, houses and hotels. People rush to buy in Beattie Drive, Baxter Place and Portman Wark. Playing staff are sent back where they came from or sold (proceeds: nil). ITFC peacefully laid to rest. Keen footballers from Ipswich join with Needham and Leiston to form NIL FC, East Suffolk's phoenix from the ashes. The man from Wimbledon doing porridge in a S American slammer. McCarthy even older, bumbling, a member of self-help group BEB (Brown Envelope Brigade: President: Peter Reid; Chair: Allardyce; Members: Warnock, McCarthy et al). The local rag bought out by the Beano.

    Report this comment

    Lazlo

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • Absurd comments from an absurd mismanager. With the season completely dead and with a raft of players and the manager queuing up to leave the club should be c!earing the decks and playing young fringe players. There is absolutely no chance of relegation and never has been. Rotherham, Wigan and Burton pre-booked relegation before a ball was kicked. There is of course every chance of a bottom six finish - and always has been due to sheer uselessness of the mismanager. But you don't get relegated for underperforming, ludicrously playing rent-a-mob and coming in the bottom six.

    Report this comment

    Pundit

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • Come on, you didn't really expect them to win in S Wales, did you? Mick should have played Douglas. Actually Ips were rather lucky yesterday, as they have been most of the season. All the surrounding strugglers were winning, but couldn't maintain it. Isn't it more exciting for fans to be involved in a near-relegation tussle than to be floating aimlessly mid-table?

    Report this comment

    Lazlo

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • An absolute disgrace. I'm looking forward to reading Mondays EADT, because surely you will be printing a front page condemning Marcus Evans and the direction this once great club is heading under his disgraceful ownership. Increased ticket prices, which were already at a premium, for a pitiful product; sticking with useless manager who's arrogance knows no bounds and asset stripping the club. EVANS OUT!

    Report this comment

    Jason

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • I cannot believe Mick is giving the players "time off" so they are fresh for their next match .How ridiculous and arrogant is that , these are suppose to be fit professional footballers , they need extra training not a bloody rest .Give mick a permanent rest and send him off on his summer vacation early let's have a new manager in who will work those players and get them fit and up for a relegation battle .

    Report this comment

    Macke

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • Harsh words indeed campers. Truth of the matter is as we all know is that Evans isn't interested anymore. Is Mick the Mouth any good, who knows, he's got a sketchy past, talks the talk all the time but hasn't achieved that much. If it wasn't for the possibility of getting a huge pay off, he would have walked months ago. No, Evans is the problem, the only thing you can do is vote with your feet. Eventually he'll sell, could however be when we're in the old division 4. Sad times huh?

    Report this comment

    tell-it-as-it-is

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • Ipswich Town FC are a disgrace. The sooner they get relegated the better. Every other clubs fans hate Ipswich and tbh they are not worthy of playing in the Championship. Hope this club bleeds you dry Evans you cancer.

    Report this comment

    Stat-Matt

    Saturday, March 18, 2017

  • You come up with the same excuses every week micky me boy you are dragging us down why don't you give us all a break and resign "soon"

    Report this comment

    Bacon & Egg

    Saturday, March 18, 2017

  • You come up with the same excuses every week micky me boy you are dragging us down why don't you give us all a break and resign "soon"

    Report this comment

    Bacon & Egg

    Saturday, March 18, 2017

  • You come up with the same excuses every week micky me boy you are dragging us down why don't you give us all a break and resign "soon"

    Report this comment

    Bacon & Egg

    Saturday, March 18, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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