The Tractor Boys were well organised and disciplined throughout and became the first team to stop the Bluebirds scoring in a league match this season with a resolute display.
And they could have won the game with Guirane N'Daw's curling effort crash off the post early on and Frank Nouble inches away from a dramatic winner.
"It was probably a fair result overall," McCarthy said. "I would have taken it before and I'm happy with it now.
"On reflection we might have got all three points. In open play I think we probably had the better chances in the second half.
"We always work hard every week. We get our stats and we work as hard if not harder than everyone else and they really have bought into that team shape. They've bought into everything I've tried to do.
"I tried to make us organised and hard to beat and if you work as hard if not harder than everyone else than you'll have a chance."
The point leaves the Tractor Boys in 19th place, six points clear of the relegation zone, but despite his side's recent form McCarthy is aware they could easily slip back into danger.
"I'm still looking behind me," he said. "Whatever we've done so far it can change so quickly. We'd lost two on the bounce and I didn't want to lose three league games on the bounce.
"A revival is one thing but you don't want the patient to die!"
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- Frank Nouble