Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy has played down the Bluebird’s hopes of promotion to the Premier League this season.
Cardiff City faltered again in their chase for the playoffs, as they suffered what Bluebirds boss McCarthy described as a “humbling” 5-0 defeat at the hands of Darren Moore’s Sheffield Wednesday on Easter Monday.
McCarthy’s Cardiff have only picked up five points in their last six games, after enjoying an unbeaten run from January till March – which ended after a 2-1 home defeat to Watford.
“It was a humbling experience, that’s for sure.” Said McCarthy. “The first goal has set them up with a bit more confidence than maybe they would have had. To concede from a corner kick, we should have defended it better. That’s disappointing.
“I’m not sure what we can do to stop the second goal, to be quite honest with you. They’ve worked it well, and with the cross from the wing-back and the finish from Paterson, it was an amazing goal. And with the third one, I’m disappointed that we’ve given the free-kick away, but again, there’s nothing Dillon can do about it.
“I thought we started the second half well. We’ve had a couple of scrambles but we couldn’t score, and we’ve been punished for throwing men forward and they’ve caught us on the break twice.
“It’s hard to sit in and be organised at 3-0 down, because you’ve got to go hunting for the ball. We got punished for it tonight.”
Cardiff manager McCarthy told the press that he had witnessed the “worst performance” of his Cardiff City career at Hillsborough. The former Ipswich Town and Sunderland boss believes his side were also on the end of “the best Sheffield Wednesday performance all season.”
“It was the worst performance that we’ve had since I’ve been here, and I would imagine that it was the best Sheffield Wednesday performance all season. Added McCarthy.
McCarthy reflected on his time at the club so far, and commended his players effort and endeavour since he replaced Neil Harris in late January, as he put in to perspective the Bluebird’s chastening defeat.
“I think teams have looked at us now and seen us as a threat, and they’ve had to play better against us. Sheffield Wednesday tonight were very good, I thought. Said McCarthy.
“We’ve had to be at full tilt all the time. When we’re all at it and when we do it properly, then we’ve had results. The players have given me everything since I’ve come into Cardiff, and I can’t knock them for effort.”
With Cardiff eight points adrift of 6th placed Reading with six games remaining of season, McCarthy has called for “a better team performance all-round” in the club’s upcoming fixture against Blackburn Rovers.
“We’ll just keep trying to pick up points. Because everything has gone so well since myself and TC have come in, it’s been fabulous, and it’s easy to be supportive when it’s all going well. Added McCarthy
“When we’ve had a disappointing one, that’s when we need the support, and we’ll continue to work and try to get back on track.“We’ve got to try and win against Blackburn now and get back to a better team performance all-round. We’ll certainly try to do that on Saturday.”