A 1-1 draw was no more than Preston deserved with McCarthy blaming himself for his side's poor display after making seven changes.
"We were poor, as poor as we have been all season," he said.
"But that was credit to Preston, who you have to congratulate for not letting us play. I thought they played well and deserved a replay.
"But I also take responsibility. I picked a team with too many players who had not played enough. They were not battle-hardened or match-hardened.
"I wanted to avoid a replay and give players a rest. But now we have to travel up there - so that didn't work, did it?"
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- David McGoldrick