REACTION & GALLERY: Ipswich Town boss not too downhearted after 2-0 defeat at Norwich City

Freddie Sears after his first half chance was saved by Norwich keeper John Ruddy

Freddie Sears after his first half chance was saved by Norwich keeper John Ruddy

Norwich v Ipswich: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy was not left too disheartened by Sunday’s 2-0 East Anglian derby defeat at Norwich City.

Daryl Murphy is not happy with an assistant referee's decision at Norwich

Daryl Murphy is not happy with an assistant referee's decision at Norwich

Both Canaries goals came following a mixture of quality and fortune; Bradley Johnson hammering home in the 24th minute after a low cut-back deflected kindly into his path and the killer second squirming over the line after Cameron Jerome’s shot hit Lewis Grabban to wrong-foot Bartosz Bialkowski. Town battled throughout but their direct approach was made to look painfully one-dimensional in comparison to the Canaries’ creative midfield play.

“I don’t think there’s a lot in the game,” rued McCarthy. “Nobody has dominated the game but they scored the two goals. That was it.

“We lost the ball in midfield for their first one, it took a bit of a deflection off one of our lads, but the shot was unstoppable. It was a terrific strike.

“The second one has taken a deflection too. I think Bart was going to save that.

“We didn’t get any of that. We had a few scrambles in their box, but the deflections didn’t go our way and it wasn’t our day in front of goal.

“Freddie had that chance (at 1-0), but that was a great save. I thought Freddie took it in his side and hit it well. You’ve got to give the keeper (John Ruddy) credit for that.”

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Having once again completed an East Anglian derby double, Norwich – who have now won six straight games – are above their regional rivals for the first time in months.

Town started the weekend in third spot but have now dropped to sixth. With Derby, Middlesbrough and Brentford all beaten on Saturday, and Bournemouth drawing, the Blues remain just three points adrift of the automatic promotion spots and two above seventh.

“I’m not worried about what the other results were,” said McCarthy. “I don’t look for that. If all our rivals lose every game, and so do we, it makes no difference. I’m not looking for silver linings.

“In a really tough fixture I thought we played alright and we’ve just been beaten by the two goals.

“When you look at the squad and the team that Norwich have got, how many teams put this down as an away win? We’ll go again.”

Asked if automatic promotion is still the goal, he replied: “Of course, yeah. We’ll go for that and if we fall short, and end up in the play-offs, we’ll have had a great season. If we end up in the top two it might surprise even more people than if we end up in the top six.”

He continued: “Bragging rights don’t give you any more points. It gives them the kudos of course, and I fully understand what it means to supporters having played and managed in several local derbies, but it’s still all to play for.

“We’ll knuckle down and look to finish, at least, in the play-offs. What are we three (points) off the top two still?

“I don’t think this will affect our lads. They’ve responded well to set-backs all season. I keep saying, the lads have been brilliant all season.”

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