McCarthy admitted feeling uncomfortable that his side went on a post-match lap of appreciation, following their 3-1 success at home to Birmingham.
Ipswich secured their npower Championship status thanks to goals from Carlos Edwards, Luke Chambers and Daryl Murphy, before Chris Burke pulled one back for below-par Birmingham.
McCarthy said: "I'm not really happy that we went round applauding our crowd because we'd stayed up, having been scrapping to avoid relegation.
"I'd prefer to go round thinking we're in the play-offs. I didn't enjoy that.
"But it was a lap of appreciation from us to them, for their support.
"If someone had said to me in November that we'd need 60 points to stay up and we'd only got seven, I'd have said: 'Do me a favour. Forget it - we'll never get anywhere near it'.
"It's been remarkable and it was nice to seal it like that, without having to rely on anyone else. It was a really good performance - as good as we've played.
"There was still a bit of pressure and I'd have hated it if we'd had to go to Burnley needing to win."
- Sports & Recreation
- Daryl Murphy
- Carlos Edwards