‘I’m cool getting the stick for the team’s performance’ – McCarthy on goalless draw with Burton

PUBLISHED: 18:35 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:00 10 February 2018

Town manager Mick McCarthy walks off at half time in the Ipswich Town v Burton Albion (Sky Bet Championship) match.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Town manager Mick McCarthy walks off at half time in the Ipswich Town v Burton Albion (Sky Bet Championship) match. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted his team produced their worst performance of the season in this afternoon’s forgettable goalless home draw with rock-bottom Burton Albion.

The Blues failed to land a glove on a Brewers side who came into the game on a five-game losing streak and leaking goals at an alarming rate. The loudest cheer of the day came when Bersant Celina finally produced Town’s first shot on target in the 85th minute.

And in the end it required a fine reaction stop from Bartosz Bialkowski in the final minute to secure a point.

“It was probably the worst game here all season and our worst performance when you consider how we played and won games earlier in the season,” said McCarthy, who gave himself an hour to cool down before speaking to the media.

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“It was tough today. Everybody has been asking me why that is and I’ve been saying ‘well, maybe the opposition had a bit of a bearing on that as well’. Because I thought they played well.

“At the end of it you just make sure you don’t get beaten. We didn’t play well at all. It was a tough game. They made it really hard for us today.

“We started well in the second half, we didn’t get anything from it and it then fell into that malaise again unfortunately.”

Asked if he felt it was Burton being good rather than his own team being poor which had the greater contribution to a lack of chances created, the Blues boss replied: “I think it’s always a combination of both isn’t I’m not going to blame any one thing.

“I would imagine Nigel (Clough) thinks his team has played well and acquitted themselves well. I think you have to give some credit to them, but we were disappointed and it’s a poor performance by us.”

With the toxic chants about his style of football returning today, McCarthy – who is out of contract this summer – said: “Well, I tell you every week that the only way I can affect that is by the team playing well and us winning. I’ll continue to try and do that.”

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Asked if his players needed to take responsibility for such a flat display when firm favourites, McCarthy said: “That’s the problem when you are ‘firm favourites’. That doesn’t do us any favours at all. We get two goals last week at Sunderland, then we can sit in and make it tough for them and try to catch them on the break. I thought they did that to us today, certainly in the second half.

“I’m more than cool getting the stick for the team’s performance. There are times when some of the decisions we make with the ball aren’t good, but they are my players and my responsibility.”

Asked what he said to his players at the end, he replied: “I wouldn’t tell you. That’s my private business. I wouldn’t allow cameras in the dressing room, ever, unless we’ve won the league or qualified for a World Cup and they come to see us popping the corks. We let them in then be cause it’s nice for posterity.

“Other than that I wouldn’t though. It’s private what I do and how I do it.”

When it was put to McCarthy that he always says his players give him their all, he interjected saying: “And they did today. They kept going. A lesser together, committed bunch of lads could have got beaten in that game,

“And I go back to what I said about Burton. Look at the players they’ve got on the pitch. They’ve got a lot of Championship players. I would imagine they thrived on the fact we were firm favourites. There will be some suggestion that we took them lightly, but we didn’t. If anyone does question that then they question my professionalism and the players’ professionalism.

“We haven’t played well and they’ve done well. It’s a combination of both unfortunately.”

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