Hughton hails ‘excellent’ Ipswich – but believes a draw was the fair result

BIRMINGHAM City boss Chris Hughton believes Ipswich Town were able to play with a great freedom during last night’s 1-1 draw at Portman Road.

Town fans were left singing their praises of the team with manager Paul Jewell and midfielder Andy Drury both hailing the performance as one of the best of the season.

But Hughton believes his side did enough to warrant a point from the Portman Road clash, citing chances missed by striker partners Marlon King and Nikola Zigic.

He said: “I think it was a fair result. We know Ipswich put us under a lot of pressure – particularly in that second half. They have got the players to be able to do that, especially in the wide areas.

“They are always a threat but on chances, both teams missed some very good chances, and the fact we lost our centre-back in the first half, I thought it was a fair result.”

Hughton felt his side could have actually left Suffolk with all three points after Zigic had a late chance cleared off the line by left-back Aaron Cresswell.

He said: “When you assess the game, we could gave won it, especially with the Zigic chance (the striker.

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“The ironic thing is with all the good chances Ipswich had, the one we conceded (from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas) was a relatively soft goal. That is the disappointment.

“The way to look at it was we could have won it, but we could have lost it.”

And of Ipswich, he added: “I thought there were spells in the game that I thought they were excellent. With all due respect to Ipswich, I think they are looking at next season and they were able to play with some freedom in their game. They were always a threat.”