Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp praises Ipswich Town counterpart Mick McCarthy after Portman Road defeat

Town manager Mick McCarthy shakes hands with Birmingham manager Harry Redknapp at the final whistle

Town manager Mick McCarthy shakes hands with Birmingham manager Harry Redknapp at the final whistle of the Ipswich Town v Birmingham City (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 05 August 2017. Picture: STEVE WALLER www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp praised his Ipswich Town counterpart Mick McCarthy, after the latter won the battle of the Blues at Portman Road on Saturday.

Joe Garner’s strike on 50 minutes settled the hosts’ nerves and the contest, Birmingham, who had created the better of the chances prior to the goal, struggling to find a way back into the game.

It was a great reaction from Town’s players, who fought back after last weekend’s 6-1 humiliation at League One Charlton - their last pre-season friendly of the summer.

“We had a couple of good chances which we didn’t take, they broke on us and full credit to Mick, he picked up a team that lost 6-1 last week,” said Redknapp.

“Ok they had a lot of players missing or whatever, but it’s still not nice and not easy, so one-hundred per cent credit to Ipswich, they came out and worked their socks off for him.”

Redknapp’s men could have been in front at the break, Bartosz Bialkowski saving Michael Morrison’s header and Marc Roberts’ shot, before Che Adams curled an effort narrowly over the bar - the sides going in goalless at the break.

Bialkowski then denied Emilio Nsue with a smart reaction save in the second period, before David Davis’ cut back across goal was waiting for a team-mate to tap home an easy finish.

“I wouldn’t have taken a draw at half-time,” said Redknapp.

“I thought if anyone was going to win it it was going to be us and then we had the great chance to score in the second half.

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“Within 10 seconds of that, the ball is in the back of our net and that changed everything, it changed the game.

“We then became more open, we had to change how we work, we looked to push people forward and obviouskly they got more confident and it became more difficult.”

Redknapp also gave his opinion on Jordan Spence’s challenge on Clayton Donaldson, which could have seen the Town man sent-off as he could have been perceived to be denying the striker a run on goal, despite the ball running to goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

“It could have been and I thought the referee was going to send him off, it did look that way.

“I don’t know whether it was (a red card) but when it happened I thought it was.”

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