Thursday 18 January 2018

Mick McCarthy surprised by Ipswich's 100pc start to the season

Mick McCarthy (Harry Engels/Getty Images)
Mick McCarthy (Harry Engels/Getty Images)

Mick McCarthy says he is as surprised as anyone by Ipswich's flying start to the new Championship season after they made it three wins from three with a 4-3 victory at Millwall.

Jordan Spence headed in with minutes to go at The Den to move the unfancied Tractor Boys third in the table, shortly after substitute Tom Elliott equalised for the hosts.

In the first half, Jed Wallace had given Millwall the lead before Joe Garner levelled and Martyn Waghorn scored either side of Aiden O'Brien's overhead kick to give Ipswich a 3-2 lead.

McCarthy praised his side for showing the desire needed to win, and hailed new signing Waghorn - who has three goals in two games.

"I knew he was a good player but he is better than I thought he was," he said.

"He is versatile he is playing wide right and he was in the box a couple of times.

"Our front four were magnificent, we had to survive a barrage. The irony is that it was a defender who scored the winner.

"I was not expecting a 4-3, we scored some magnificent goals but conceded three as well and that was disappointing but they were good.

"They were a handful, and when they put the big fella [Tom Elliott] on I looked at our bench and thought we need to get two on just to cope with him.

"They have not been beaten here too often and I don't think they will either. I hope they don't. Millwall are hard to play against, they are a real handful and I think they will be fine."

In contrast, Millwall boss Neil Harris was seething with his side at full time and criticised goalkeeper Jordan Archer for allowing Garner's long-range strike to find the back of the net.

"It is not good enough here at The Den, it is unacceptable," he said.

"Ipswich showed their class and ability at key moments. In my opinion we have given them four goals away at key moments.

"We were ahead after 44 seconds and we give a goal away, yes the goalkeeper should save it - there is no doubt about that.

"It is a horrendous error. He should save it at the end of the day, it is what he is in the goal for.

"For the second goal we gave it away cheaply, the third goal we gave it away and good teams punish you.

"The fourth goal is the icing on the cake, I have not got the professionalism or leadership in my group to deal with a free-kick against a non-physical Ipswich side.

"We have been excellent defensively so far but today the players decided to play their own game."

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