Ipswich Town 2 Bolton Wanderers 0 reaction: McCarthy hails good result, if not performance
PUBLISHED: 18:34 16 September 2017 | UPDATED: 21:02 16 September 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy said today's 2-0 Championship home win over rock-bottom was a great result if not a great performance.
Following a drab first half, Cole Skuse scored a deflected goal in the 48th minute with David McGoldrick only making the points safe with a neat finish at the death.
The Blues are fifth in the table and two points behind leaders Leeds ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Elland Road. They also have a game in hand.
“It’s a great result, a fabulous result,” said McCarthy. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you we were brilliant but the result is.
“I wonder whether you go away from my press conferences and think I’m a manager getting his excuses in early when I talk about the opposition being good. I sometimes wonder if you think; ‘Good one, they’re bottom of the league with two points and are crap and can’t believe he’s even saying that. They should steamroll them, and all that’.
“Well, if ever my comments on Friday afternoon hit home... It was true what I said about them being a good side with well-worn Championship players because they were far better than us in the first half and we were lucky to get away with it. We kept it out the net though. We defended, we had to scrap, we had to be belligerent.
“I decided to change it at half-time because it wasn’t working.”
With Skuse scoring only his second goal in 176 appearances for Town, the Blues boss quipped: “He’s just been drugs tested – maybe that’s the reason!
“There’s always a bit of ribbing that goes on with the lads, but I think the players, like me, appreciate Skusey for what he does. He was outstanding today.
“Of course I want more goals from midfield and more goals from defenders at set-pieces, but I’m not really bothered as long as we win.
“I’m not going to sacrifice what Skusey does well in order to get him more forward and leave us wide open. He got back and made a great tackle in the first half.”
McCarthy switched from wing-backs to 4-4-2 at half-time, bringing on Bersant Celina for Callum Connolly.
“We needed a spark,” said the Blues boss. “That first half was no half for Bersant to be playing in. I was playing 3-5-2 and he was never going to get a game in that. When it opens up it’s better for him.
“He had a face like a slapped arse yesterday because he wasn’t involved, but I made a point of saying to TC (Terry Connor) and to Chambo (Luke Chambers) that they should tell him to be ready to go (off the bench).
“Alright big nose has not picked me today, unlucky, and I’m really upset by it, but don’t take that upset into anything else.
“And I thought he was great. There was a moment when he tried to nutmeg someone in front of me and I was going to throttle him. He says he didn’t. We’ll have a look on Monday morning because it meant they could stick the ball in our box.”
With Jonas Knudsen absent due to a tight hamstring, Myles Kenlock produced a man-of-the-match display on the left.
“I thought Myles was different class today from the word go,” enthused McCarthy. “He’s had a right royal kick up the arse recently because I want him to compete with Jonas Knudsen for that position.
“It shouldn’t be ‘I’ve been in the first team and now the gaffer is leaving me out because he prefers Jonas’. Yes, I do, because he’s bloody better than him mostly. Today, he was different class. So well done to him.”
Asked what attributes he had asked Kenlock to improve, the Blues boss said: “Every one of them. He’s been in the gym doing his weights and strength and conditioning work, being in at nine o’clock and doing extra before he goes out, training properly every single day again.
“It happens to young men when they get left out – they stop doing all the things that got them in the team in the first place.
“He’s a great kid, but to maintain the level that got him in the team he’s got to keep doing everything right. Today he set the tone with his first tackle. Two weeks ago, against Fulham, he got turned and it was stuck up the side of him. I’m not having that and won’t accept it. The day I do start accepting that stuff you might as well wheel me out of here.
“That’s for all of them. Flynn (Downes) and Tristan (Nydam) have been great, but the moment they drop their guard and do less than they were doing they are out on their earhole.”