Better than Burnley were – Watford striker Troy Deeney tips Ipswich Town for the top

Ipswich Town players applaud the crwod following Saturday's 1-0 win over Watford. Photo: Sarah Lucy

Ipswich Town players applaud the crwod following Saturday's 1-0 win over Watford. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown. - Credit: Archant

Watford striker Troy Deeney believes Ipswich Town are more than capable of securing automatic promotion following his side’s 1-0 defeat at Portman Road on Saturday.

Tommy Smith’s 83rd minute winner settled a closely-fought and entertaining match between two high-flying Championship sides, Town leapfrogging the Hornets in the table to move up to fourth.

Mick McCarthy’s quiet revolution is gathering pace. Inevitably, the way he is getting the very best out of a low-budget squad, slowly but surely adding style to the solid foundations which have been laid, is being compared to the achievements of the Burnley side that was promoted to the Premier League in second spot last season.

“They’re a good side and will cause people problems,” said Deeney, a player who scored 24 goals in the Championship last season. “They’re definitely promotion contenders. Look how organised they are, you know what you’re going to get.

“In this league, Burnley have proved that if you have a good solid team, with plenty of spirit and who work hard, then you get your rewards. No disrespect to Burnley but these (Ipswich) have got some better players than Burnley had the year they went up, so they’ll do all right.

“They’ve got a good front two in (David) McGoldrick and (Daryl) Murphy, but also at the back they don’t look like they’re going to concede many. They’re a solid team.”

Three wins in the space of eight days has left the Blues just two points behind table-toppers Derby. Since the 1-0 home loss to Norwich back on August 23, there has been just one defeat in 13 matches. The Blues are seven points better off than they were at this stage last season.

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“Last season the gaffer kept comparing us to Burnley and saying we weren’t far off them,” said Town centre-back Tommy Smith. “The difference was they were nicking the 1-0 results and we have got one of those today.

“We don’t have any stand-out superstars, we haven’t spent a lot of money, but there is that real togetherness in the squad.

“We know that in this league anything is possible and anyone can put a run of results together. It is about consistency and we have had that consistency this season – long may that continue.”

He added: “Over the past couple of seasons we have faltered against the sides in and around us. It was something we looked at and needed to improve and I’m glad we are doing that now.

“It gives us the confidence to go on but if you look at the points we had dropped, it could be even rosier for us.

“We are not the finished article by any means but we are working hard to put together results.”

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