McCarthy: Two Unlucky Goals But Bristol City Deserved Win
Saturday, 30th Sep 2017 18:43
Town boss Mick McCarthy felt the Blues were unlucky with two of the goals they conceded as they were defeated 3-1 at home by Bristol City but admitted that the visitors were the better side and deserved to win.
“It was frustrating,” McCarthy said. “I’m not going to sit here and say overall in the game we were unlucky because I thought they deserved to win, they were better than us.
“But we were unlucky in terms of the goals we’ve conceded, two of them. And after two minutes, it really knocked the wind out of our sails to concede that.”
Was conceding so early crucial to the way the game progressed? “They are a good team, they played very well. It helps if you’re 1-0 up after two minutes, certainly to be that good a team and us, the home team to not really to get started, get a foothold in the game. And they played well then.”
Martyn Waghorn’s goal four minutes before the break made the scoreline 2-1 and got the Blues back into the game but McCarthy admitted his side made little headway after the break.
“I think they handled it particularly well,” he added. “They sat in to the halfway line and certainly whenever we lost it they’d catch us [on the break] and they had a couple of chances because of that. They’ve not conceded many goals either.
“I thought we were a threat in the first half and not so much in the second half, that’s probably because they were 2-1 up and they’ve got a real threat, they’ve got pace up front.”
McCarthy refused to blame tiredness after three games in eight days and the impressive display as they beat Sunderland 5-2 on Tuesday.
“I’ve had pretty much 16 players that I’ve been working with, they all put a shift in every week and I admire them all for that," he reflected.
“Tuesday night, I don’t know whether it took it out of them, I didn’t foresee that coming, I wasn’t looking at them thinking they were tired, but goals do change momentum in games and how things work and they got one after three minutes.
“We got one after 10 or 15 minutes on Tuesday and even having conceded another we got another, but we looked far better, we looked sharper.”
McCarthy admitted that the loss of Tom Adeyemi in the warm-up hampered his plans for the game but similarly wasn’t using that as an excuse for the loss.
“Of course it did because he was selected to play but that’s not detrimental to Tristan Nydam because Tristan played very well,” he said.
“But we played really well with Tom in the team, he’s linked up well with Didzy and them. Everybody was disappointed to lose him, no one more so than him, but I’m not going to blame that either, it doesn’t help, but I’m not going to blame that.
“He’s nicked his hamstring, we don’t know [how serious that might be], he’ll probably have a scan tomorrow and we’ll find out.”
David McGoldrick came off injured in the second half and is now a doubt for Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales.
“Likewise, he’d a tight hamstring,” McCarthy added. “I asked him about five minutes before and he said he was all right. I didn’t think he was, I’d seen him stretching off and then he said he couldn’t carry on.
“Likewise, he’ll go for a scan, he’s in the Ireland squad, I’m sure they’ll want him to go over and assess him.
“But the last thing I need is for him to go over and train or do anything and get injured. We want him fit. As you know we can’t afford any more injuries, certainly not to him, the way he’s been playing.”
The two games are a big chance for McGoldrick to make his mark with Ireland and McCarthy says it would be a blow for the striker to miss out: “Yes, it is but he’s got to be fit.”
Asked to assess the first couple of months of the season with the Blues eighth on 18 points having played 10 games, one fewer than most other clubs, he said: “Would I have taken it? Yes, I would have taken 18 points.
“But I’m under no illusions, and this isn’t detrimental to the other clubs, but the teams we’ve beaten, where they are, Barnsley, Brentford were very good but they’ve still been down there, Bolton, Millwall, Sunderland.
“The teams we’ve beaten are beneath us, maybe they’re beneath us for a reason. We lost to Fulham quite badly, not so much today because I think the two deflected goals have really changed it.
“We lost at QPR and we lost at Leeds, we played well at Leeds. I think overall we’ve had a good couple of months, we’ve played well in the games. My assessment is that we’re giving too many goals away.”
He added: “I can’t do anything about the first one [today], the second one, certainly the ball in the box. I think he’s a good player [Famara Diedhiou] but they’ve spent the guts of £6 million on him and he looks the part to be fair.
“And the third one we can’t do a lot about, but certainly some of the other ones we’ve conceded over the last few weeks we can, we’ve got to do better.
“Something to work on and I’m sure it will help when there’s a bit more pressure on them when Webbo’s back. It was nice to see him on the pitch, he looked a bit ring rusty but it was good to see him back and when Tommy Smith’s back we’ll have our defenders back fit.”
Midfielder Emyr Huws is due to return from his achilles injury after the break but not for the next game at Sheffield United.
“I’m not sure he’ll be fit for that game and likewise Flynn Downes,” McCarthy continued. “We need players back fit, in any position.”
He says his squad will now be given a break: “They’ve worked hard, there’ll be no recriminations from me. They’ve all worked their socks off and done well. We’re in a better position we were last year by a good stretch.”
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson thought his side deserved the victory: “I’m delighted with the result. This is a difficult place to come, especially with the form they have been in.
“There was a lot of talk beforehand about threat from their front five but we dealt with it quite well.
“We played some good football, we had the lion’s share of possession and created plenty of opportunities, plus we worked our socks off.”
Johnson felt Town striker Joe Garner should have been dismissed following a clash with Aden Flint in the first half, the Blues frontman reacting after the Robins defender appeared to stand on him when grounded following a challenge.
"I thought Joe Garner could have gone for a red card but I'd rather talk about my team," Johnson told his club's official Twitter.
In his press conference, he added: "My instinct was that - well, I'm going to be biased first and foremost - was that it was a little bit naughty but I haven't watched it back."
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