MANAGER’S REACTION: Mick McCarthy proud of the efforts of his nine men

Forest v Ipswich: IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy says he was proud of his players’ efforts after a late deflected goal finally ended the magnificent effort of his nine-man visitors at Nottingham Forest.

The Blues saw Lee Martin sent-off for a straight red card in the 40th minute, while Richard Stearman was dismissed for a second booking in the 69th minute.

Town’s hard-working and organised approach continued to frustrate Billy Davies’ in-form side though and in the end it took a heavy deflection on Lewis McGugan’s shot – six minutes from time – to break Ipswich hearts.

“We were unlucky to hold out – it’s a poxy deflection that’s cost us. They didn’t look they were going to score any other way.

“Regards the sendings off; Lee Martin, no argument with that. As he’s tackled him, Henri Lansbury has knelt on him and stood on him, messed him about. But it’s the one that retaliates that always gets it.

“I don’t think Lee Martin elbowed him that hard for him to be down on the floor rolling around as long as he did though. That annoys me, but it’s still a sending off.

“The second one (Stearman), I don’t know. At the time I thought it was another booking, but I’ve just seen it again and it just looks like he knocks him off the pitch. If he hit him in the face then he deserves it, but I didn’t see that.

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“Maybe it was a bit reckless from him seeing as he was already on a booking.”

McCarthy added: “My players were fabulous. I was really proud about how they went about their jobs. It was a fantastic effort, but we’ve lost.

“They’ve got the crowing rights because they’ve won. And come the end of the season no-one will care how it happened.

“It was a great effort and we gave them a couple of scares at the end even with nine-men, but it wasn’t to be.”

Town have dropped a place in the Championship table to 18th place and are back to within four points of the drop zone heading into Saturday’s game at fellow strugglers Peterborough United.

Martin and Stearman will both now be suspended for that game at London Road, with Martin also missing back-to-back home games against Bolton and Leeds.

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