GALLERY & REACTION: Mick McCarthy delighted to secure morale-boosting win ahead of Norwich trip

Freddie Sears celebrates his second goal

Freddie Sears celebrates his second goal - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ipswich v Birmingham: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy was delighted to see his side get a morale-boosting win under their belt ahead of Sunday’s eagerly-anticipated East Anglian derby against Norwich City at Carrow Road.

The Blues beat Birmingham City 4-2 in an absorbing match at Portman Road tonight. Freddie Sears made good on his pre-match promise of goals with two fabulous finishes, with Tyrone Mings having broken the deadlock and Kevin Bru making the game safe in stoppage-time. Gary Rowett’s side made Town sweat though, twice halving the deficit, at 2-0 and 3-1, through David Davis goals.

Seven of the Championship’s top eight sides all won tonight (Bournemouth in action tomorrow evening), with Norwich recording their fifth straight victory – a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Blackburn.

“We didn’t want to go into the game against Norwich with anything else but a win,” said McCarthy, whose side have won three of their last four matches. “It makes you feel a bit better about yourself and gives you confidence. They certainly will be because I think they’ve had five wins on the bounce now. They’re flying – and so they should be.”

Reflecting on last night’s game, the Blues boss said: “It was car crash football wasn’t it to be fair? We kept just giving them a little bit of something to hold on to. We just couldn’t kill the game off, but it’s all about the result as far as I’m concerned.

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“We were probably tighter and played as well on Saturday (in the 1-0 home loss to Reading) but just didn’t score.”

On Mings’ headed opener, his first goal in professional football coming at a corner, McCarthy said: “The two lads sat behind me, Chappers (Richard Chaplow) and Reg (Luke Varney) said ‘did you just tell him to go up?’ I said ‘yes I did, and I’m going to claim an assist!’ They didn’t leave anyone up so I told him to get up there instead of having a rest. It was a fabulous header.”

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On Sears, who now has 17 goals for the season (14 for Colchester), the Blues boss said: “I am delighted with him. His two goals were outstanding; two really good finishes. His second goal; his touch around the defender was just terrific.

“He looked a real hot prospect when he came through at West Ham in the Premier League. He’s had to go backwards in order to go forwards and I admire him for doing that. He kept learning his trade and since walking in the door he’s looked like he can handle this level.”

Asked what pleased him most about the win, McCarthy said: “The subs that came on had an affect. That’s always pleasing. And the ones that came back into the side played well too. Ando (Paul Anderson) played well, Jonny Parr played well. I thought Chaplow came on and did well, he’s an accomplished player him. Tabby’s just awesome isn’t he? He comes on and plays in the centre of the park.”

On Cole Skuse, who was forced off with an injury in the first half, he said: “His back went in to spasm. I have no idea how long he’ll be out for. It could be a couple of days, it could be a week.”

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