Mick McCarthy refuses to blame his side after Ipswich Town’s 3-2 home defeat to Brighton

Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor mull things over

Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor mull things over

Mick McCarthy chose to heap praise on Brighton, rather than be too critical of his own players after Ipswich Town’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by the Seagulls, at Portman Road, today.

Two goals in the opening 12 minutes from Kazenga Lualua and Tomer Hemed fired the visitors into a deserved 2-0 lead and it could have been worse for the hosts, striker Sam Baldock and Hemed, again, firing narrowly wide.

Town were lacklustre in the opening period but brightened up after the arrival of substitute David McGoldrick at the break.

And Town were soon back in the game through Freddie Sears and a McGoldrick penalty, only for Hemed, to put Brighton back in front just minutes after the hosts had restored parity, with a glancing header.

“I think Brighton are a good side, they played very well,” said McCarthy.

“Brighton started well, were the better side. The first goal was a wonderful strike and the second goal came from a wonderful delivery and if you don’t get a head on it, then it’s one of those that Gerks (Dean Gerken) can’t do anything about.

“They were excellent first half, second half I thought we started well.

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“We were winging it a little with three-up (front) and Didz (McGoldrick) almost in a free role. They hit the post (through Dale Stephens in the second half) and we got away with that, but I thought it was a good response.”

Asked if one or two of his players were under-par, McCarthy added: “Let’s give someone else some credit. When we’ve won away I’ve tended to give my team credit for playing well, or when we have had to scrap it out, I have tended to give my team credit.”

Despite their impressive play, Brighton did survive one or two scares, defender Uwe Hunemeier avoiding a second yellow card, at the end of the first half and his replacement, Lewis Dunk getting away with a handball in the penalty box, before Ryan Fraser eventually won Ipswich a spot-kick.

McCarthy refused to apportion any blame to referee Keith Hill or make excuses for a lack of fortune.

“When I saw Hunemeier substituted at half-time, it wasn’t no surprise to me,” McCarthy quipped.

“I asked the referee at half-time whether he thought it was a foul and he said he was going for the ball.

“There’s a lot of times in my career when I’ve done that, but I’m not bothered about that (Hunemeier foul), not at all.

“I don’t like seeing players get sent-off, it’s how he (the referee) perceives it and I think he had just booked him and it’s one of those amber cards which could come out I think.”

He added: “Don’t any of you (press) write a report that says ‘McCarthy bemoans a decision’ because if you do you are sadly mistaken and I would be hugely disappointed.

“I never even mentioned it until you asked me but, if you ask me a question, I’ll give you a straight answer.”