Ipswich Town: Mick McCarthy defends Ainsley Maitland-Niles after penalty foul

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mick McCarthy
Mick McCarthy tries to console Ainsley Maitland-Niles after the game

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy has defended Ainsley Maitland-Niles after he conceded a penalty which allowed Bolton to snatch a 2-2 draw on Tuesday.

The winger, 18, fouled Wellington Silva in the area deep into injury time.

"I said to the lads, because they were having a pop at Ainsley: 'hold on a minute, if any of you haven't made a mistake you can punch him in the face, and me as well," said McCarthy.

"Well, there weren't many that got up, because we've all made them."

McCarthy, speaking to BBC Radio Suffolk, added: "We've all made [mistakes] when we're a lot older and a lot more experienced than Ainsley is. The only way we can survive and thrive is by sticking together.

"We're not the best team in the league, we all know that, but when we stick together we're a real force to be reckoned with."

Ipswich would have moved into the Championship play-off places with victory at the Macron Stadium, but they lost a two-goal lead to the Championship's bottom side.

McCarthy, though, refused to blame Arsenal loanee Maitland-Niles, who also took the free-kick that led to Christophe Berra's 72nd-minute goal which had made it 2-0 to Ipswich.

"We all need a bit of love, we all need an arm around us and a cuddle at times. If you make a mistake, you don't need a kick in the [genitals] as well just to prove it was a mistake," McCarthy continued.

"Let's get on with it, because he put in a great delivery for the goal, and a great delivery for one that Tommy Smith headed wide."