'We do feel sorry for the fans' - McGreal on Barrow defeat
- Credit: Pagepix Ltd
Ipswich Town interim manager John McGreal says he and the players feel sorry for the club's 'diehard fans' following tonight's 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Barrow.
A much-changed Blues side were completely outplayed by a team currently sitting 19th in League Two during the first half, Jordan Stevens and Robbie Gotts both scoring.
The second half response was too little, too late with many of the 200 away fans left with a miserable 320-mile late night trip back to Suffolk.
"It hurts," said McGreal. "It's another game which just highlights our inconsistencies. "It was a really, really poor first half. I guess you can then argue that it's easy to get on the ball in the second half when you're 2-0 down and they drop off a little bit, but at least they've had a little bit of a go in the second half.
"We had to adapt and change the shape just to get amongst them. I think it worked a lot better.
"I picked guys that needed a game and they obviously haven't performed.
"We're so inconsistent. We go from Charlton (limp 2-0 loss), to Wigan (spirited 1-1 draw), to that tonight. Even within the 90 minutes you see our inconsistencies.
- 1 Man 'punched and slashed' in serious assault in car park at Ipswich B&M
- 2 Ellie uses 4 tonne truck to make impressive entrance at school prom
- 3 Burger van owner's anger after thieves steal food from trailer in Ipswich
- 4 Ipswich firm admits mis-selling foam loft insulation to Suffolk customers
- 5 'Fantastic opportunity' as Ipswich's Thomas Wolsey pub listed for sale
- 6 Travellers remain at Ipswich park after arrival last week
- 7 Search ongoing for 29-year-old Suffolk man missing for three weeks
- 8 5 award-winning restaurants in and around Ipswich you need to visit
- 9 'We're going to push back!' - Ashton's message to Norwich City
- 10 Tent, kitchen units and bedding dumped in 'unsightly' fly-tipping
"The only way to get that consistency is to continue to work hard and go again.
"I wouldn't be surprised if, come Saturday (against Sunderland at a near sold-out Portman Road), our guys put on another excellent performance like they did against Wigan just with the way they are at the moment."
Asked about the Blues' away support, McGreal said: "I always give the fans a mention because they are die hards, absolute diehards. They've come all this way, will travel all the way back again and then go to work in the morning - and we've not given them a performance.
"We had a little bit of a go second half, but that should be a given. We do feel sorry for them.
"Come Saturday there's going to be close to 30 thousand at Portman Road. We're not getting consistent results but the fans are still there backing the lads up. The players have got to give them something."
Asked if he'd had words at half-time, McGreal said: "Yeah. I'm only caretaker, but I'm a proud man. I couldn't sit there and watch that. Things had to be said and things had to be changed. I'm not scared of changing teams and taking off big names. We needed energy, we needed to get legs in the team and we needed to get the ball in and around their back three. We did that second half."
It remains to be seen if McGreal gets a fourth game at the helm or whether a new manager is appointed before the weekend.
"I've enormously enjoyed it," said the Liverpudlian. "I'm proud as punch to represent the club. I haven't got the results, but that wasn't the remit. The remit was to get the guys in a better place. Tonight is obviously a little bit of a killer, but I take the positives out of that second half performance. I really do. There's something there to build on. With the inconsistencies of this season you have to grab whatever positives you can.
"There's work to be done, no doubt about that. I know the new guy will come in with their own ideas. The January window is just around the corner as well, which I think will make a big difference. I know the fans will get right behind the new guy."