GALLERY & REACTION: Mick McCarthy proud of his side after draw at Nottingham Forest

The Ipswich players cannot believe it as Forest steal a share of the points with a Michail Antonio e

The Ipswich players cannot believe it as Forest steal a share of the points with a Michail Antonio equaliser in injury time.

Mick McCarthy was proud of his players but admitted Ipswich Town’s 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest felt like a defeat.

Daryl Murphy twice gave the visitors the lead, with a stunning first-half strike and second-half header, but twice Town were pegged back, by Robert Tesche’s 63rd minute strike and Michail Antonio’s last-gasp leveller.

Both goals came from left-wing corners to the back post, with both scorers standing in almost identical positions, as Town squandered the chance to replace Forest, in third, in the Championship.

Instead, the Blues stayed in the play-off zone, in sixth, and despite watching his team concede two goals from set-pieces, McCarthy spoke with a huge amount of realism after the game.

“I am hugely proud of the performance and thought we deserved it,” said McCarthy.

“If the (Antonio’s) goal had come with 10 minutes to go we would be going away thinking ‘what a great point’, so it feels a bit like a defeat.

“It won’t though when I sum up the game, which I have already started, and we have already earned 19 points this season.”

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Town go into the 13-day international break unbeaten in seven games and, in Murphy, have one of the Championship’s in-form strikers.

“We are unbeaten in seven, having won four and drawn three, so I would have taken that seven games ago,” added McCarthy, who saw Luke Hyam limp off early in the first half, possibly with a hip flexor problem he had been struggling with in training.

“There will be a lot of people that will see Forest as top-two-elect or promotion-elect, they are capable of it to be fair.

“I am never happy with any goals we concede, but Stuart (Pearce) will be disappointed that his full-back (Eric Lichaj) gets done and allows Murphy to hit it in the bottom corner.”

On Murphy, McCarthy added: “They were two great goals from a striker full of confidence, who is probably playing the best football, of his career at the moment.”

Meanwhile, Forest boss Stuart Pearce said: “I thought it was a real blood and thunder game. I am disappointed it took us so long to get the equaliser, certainly on the chances we created.

“Their goalkeeper made some outstanding stops and when he wasn’t there they had defenders scooping the ball off the line.

“It was a real cup final of a Championship game and we can counter missing out on three points by saying it’s mid-October and we still haven’t been beaten as a football club.”

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