It's very open at the top, says Mills

MICK Mills made over 700 appearances for Ipswich Town, and managed Stoke City for more than four years.So he was an interested spectator at Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship 1-1 draw at Portman Road.

Elvin King

MICK Mills made over 700 appearances for Ipswich Town, and managed Stoke City for more than four years.

So he was an interested spectator at Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship 1-1 draw at Portman Road.

The 59-year-old says that both clubs could feature heavily in the promotion race.

“I give them an equal chance,” said Mills.

“Teams are bunched up more this season and a team could gain automatic promotion with a total less that the normally recognised 90 points.

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“And a play-off place could be gained with less than the usual norm of 75.

“Stoke were very effective and well organised, but so are Ipswich in what is turning out to be a very open league.

“Jim Magilton will be looking to strengthen Ipswich in the transfer window, but he is in the same boat as a host of other managers.”

Magilton felt a point was fair. “We started excellently and passed the ball very well. We scored a terrific goal from our most dangerous player and at that point everything looked rosy, but it was as though we waited for something else to happen.

“Stoke aren't fourth in the table for no reason and they gave us a few nervy moments.”

Magilton accused Haynes of switching off just before Stoke scored their equalising goal, but he was still full of praise for the 19-year-old.

“If he keeps applying himself in the same way he can be anything he wants to be.

“Joe Royle got it right when he said that Danny was a bottle of pop - full of fizz when first opened but can sometimes turn flat.

“He's added some consistency to his game, though, and his work ethic and attitude has been first class, not only in matches but every day in training.”

Stoke manager Tony Pulis felt his side should have been awarded a late penalty after the challenge by Neil Alexander on Jon Parkin.

“It was an embarrassing decision and the referee couldn't have been in a better position,” said Pulis. “The goalkeeper totally took out Jon's legs.

“Ipswich will know they were in a game and, with a little bit of luck, we could have taken three points because we didn't sit back.

“Ipswich are a very good team, especially at home, and they have six players who can all score goals.”