MANAGERS’ REACTION: McCarthy and Warnock reflect on game-changing red card

IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy admits his side got away with an ‘ordinary performance’ to beat Leeds United 3-0 at Portman Road – the sending off of Tom Lees in the 32nd minute changing the game.

Leeds had forced several saves out of keeper Scott Loach in the opening half an hour, before Lees was giving his marching orders for a clumsy high challenge on Jay Tabb in the middle of the pitch.

David McGoldrick nodded home in stoppage-time and netted a second four minutes after the restart, with substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas adding a third in the 68th minute.

Leeds actually enjoyed the better of the possession over the course of the game though and still created chances with 10 men, ending the match with 17 attempts on goal.

“I’m pleased because it’s the first time in ages where we’ve actually got away with an ordinary performance,” said McCarthy.

“Certainly, for 30 minutes, Leeds were better than us, but I remember going to Leeds and playing well and getting beat (2-0), I remember going to Bristol City and playing really well and getting beat (2-1), I remember going to Forest and getting two sent off and deserving to get something (1-0 defeat). It’s our turn today.

“I don’t think there could be any argument about the red card – and it changed the game. For once we were the beneficiaries of a decision.

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“I thought early on in the game their front three were causing us problems and our back four wasn’t as solid as it had been.

“I guess there would have been a time when we’d have capitulated under that sort of early pressure. We did it a couple of times after I’d just arrived (at Crystal Palace and Leeds).

“That doesn’t happen now. The players made blocks, the keeper made saves, they’ve had a few misses too, but nevertheless we stuck at it and kept in the game.”

Leeds boss Neil Warnock, who conceded his side’s play-off hopes now look very slim, said: “It’s difficult doing a press conference when you think you should have won four or five nil and you’ve been beaten by three.

“It’s a strange situation, but what can you say? We’ve had one lad (Tom Lees) who’s let everyone down; the team, all the travelling fans – it’s one stupid moment. I don’t know what else to say – it’s just ridiculous. He doesn’t need to make that challenge.

“I’ve never been to Ipswich and dominated a game as much as that in my life. We’ve had 15 clear chances, two of the best ones cleared off our by own players in Michael Brown and Luke Varney. They were great clearances – I think Mick should buy a lottery ticket tonight!”

– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match analysis, comment and more reaction.