Brown praises Town

EVEN the way Ipswich Town warmed up impressed Preston boss Craig Brown, who believes Town are certainties for automatic promotion.The former Scotland manager was effusive in his praise for Joe Royle's team and his coaching staff.

EVEN the way Ipswich Town warmed up impressed Preston boss Craig Brown, who believes Town are certainties for automatic promotion.

The former Scotland manager was effusive in his praise for Joe Royle's team and his coaching staff.

He purred: "We were playing the form team and the best team I have seen in the Nationwide Division One this season.

"You don't like to drop points at home, but against a team of that calibre it is not a disaster.

"I told Joe afterwards I thought your second-half performance was magnificent. That said, we still had a couple of good chances to kill them off."

Brown spied on Town's pre-match routine and made a point of mentioning it after the game.

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He said: "I was watching Willie and Tony Mowbray taking the warm-up.

"The way they play comes from that warm-up. It was superb. I think ours is best in league but their players were tremendous even in the warm-up phase. It was really something."

Asked what he thought put Ipswich a notch above the ordinary Brown said: "Quality. They have a very good young vibrant side. The quality of player.

"The quality of coaching in Joe and Willie Donachie – they know what it takes to win this division.

"They have the experience of Jim Magilton and around him young players moving sweetly.

"The two strikers are a handful, Couango and Kuqi complement each other very well. It is a well-balanced side with a lot of pace at the back. Fuller usually runs away from defenders with his pace but he was not able to."

While Preston's home form has been good they have not fared so well away and Brown would love to be close to Town in May.

He added: "If we finish above them we will be promoted. They will get promoted automatically.

"They may have started the season poorly but in their last 10 games they have won eight lost one and now drawn one against us."

And after seeing his side dominate the first half, Brown was happy enough to share the points by the end.

He said: "It was a fair result, either team could have won it. We were disappointed with the second half we could have gone in at half-time further ahead and deserved to have done. But Ipswich were better team and created one or two chances."

The Preston goal came from a former Manchester United trainee who last scored last March while on loan at Norwich and his last Preston goal was way back last December.

Brown said: "I was delighted for David Healy. He has hardly played and his feet were burning at half-time."

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