Mick McCarthy was the polar opposite to Rafa Benitez just before 5pm on Monday afternoon.
Whilst Rafa was at a loss to explain what he had just witnessed, the Ipswich boss was happy to come up with any number of reasons why his players had come out on top.
Mick McCarthy declaring ‘Some might ask where did that performance come from?’ and then answering his own question.
Acknowledging it as ‘probably our best performance of the season’, McCarthy was keen to say that anybody who thought it was because Newcastle played badly – it was only because his players had stopped the Magpies from putting on a decent display.
As for what led to Ipswich playing so well and stifling Newcastle’s game, the Ipswich Manager thought that the biggest crowd of the season (over two thousand more than for the derby against Norwich) and reduced relegation fear nerves were big factors.
Whilst Newcastle were shocking from the start, there may be some credence to an extent in Mick McCarthy claiming that it was the home side stopping Rafa’s team playing, with the key opening goal as evidence.
Matt Ritchie was crowded by a number of Ipswich players in the middle of the pitch and caught in possession due to too much ‘fannying on’. To compound that, Yedlin and Hayden had charged forward and beyond Ritchie, meaning that when he lost the ball there was only the snail-like pace of Hanley and Lascelles to deal with the counter-attack, plus Ritchie himself trying to retrieve the situation.
The centre-halves backed off all the way into their own box and when the shot came, Karl Darlow had no chance, all a bit cruel on Matt Ritchie as well as he got back but could only help the ball into the net as he tried to clear.
Maybe Ipswich did play well but Newcastle were indisputably rubbish and much of that was nothing to do with anything that McCarthy’s players did.
“We were excellent and fully deserved the win. It was probably our best performance of the season.
“Some might ask where did that performance come from?
Maybe having Didz (striker David McGoldrick) in his pomp, that helps. Maybe we were a bit nervy before.
“I said before the game to the players, there is 20,000 plus out there – they may not have all come to see you play but let’s make sure they go away talking about you and they did that.
“The front four were outstanding. Wardy has been fantastic for us all season but he has stepped up another level just lately and all over the park we were excellent.
“People might talk about Newcastle not playing very well but we didn’t let them play well.
“It was a great occasion, with 25,000 and that’s what we want. It was a fitting performance on Sir Bobby Robson Day.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Ipswich 3 Newcastle 1
Newcastle: Murphy 62
Ipswich: Sears 42, McGoldrick 69, Huws 90+3
Possession was Ipswich 45% Newcastle 55%
Total shots were Ipswich 9 Newcastle 12
Shots on target were Ipswich 3 Newcastle 4
Corners were Ipswich 2 Newcastle 7
Referee: Tim Robinson
Darlow, Yedlin (Gamez 78), Lascelles, Hanley, Dummett, Ritchie (Mitrovic 82), Hayden (Gouffran 61), Shelvey, Atsu, Diame, Murphy
Elliot, Perez, Mbemba, Colback
Crowd: 25,684 (Newcastle 2,000)
(Ipswich 3 Newcastle 1 – Latest example of Fergie Time disaster)
(Match Ratings of players for Ipswich 3 Newcastle 1 – see HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Ipswich defeat go HERE)
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