MANAGER’S REACTION: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy happy with a point after his side are twice pegged back in a 2-2 home draw with top-six rivals Bournemouth

Ipswich Town v AFC Bournemouth. Sky Bet Championship. Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy.

Ipswich Town v AFC Bournemouth. Sky Bet Championship. Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ipswich v Bournemouth: Mick McCarthy declared himself happy with a point after his side were twice pegged back in an entertaining 2-2 home draw against Championship top-six rivals Bournemouth.

Goals from Paul Anderson (46) and Paul Green (52) twice put the Blues in front, but the Cherries twice responded through Steve Cook (44) and Matt Ritchie (80) and were good value for a share of the spoils.

Town would have moved into sixth place with a victory, thanks to Brighton’s 1-1 home draw with Blackpool. Instead they remain one point adrift of the play-off places heading into their final two matches – at promoted Burnley on Saturday followed by the visit of mid-table Sheffield Wednesday on May 3.

The Blues have passed up two golden opportunities to put a top-six finish in their own hands over the Easter weekend, having also lost 3-1 at Watford on Saturday following some favourable Good Friday results, but McCarthy remains upbeat.

“It was a hard-fought game,” said the Blues boss. “I think it was a really good advert for the Championship, actually. It was a fairly open game. We certainly had a disadvantage in terms of playing Saturday-Monday. Normally it’s Saturday-Tuesday and they had Friday-Monday.

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“I can’t express really the pride I have for the lads. The do their job every single week and put so much effort in for me, for the club, for themselves. I think they honour the shirt really. They’re fantastic. They’ve done it again today.

“At the end of that game they were running on empty some of them. Normally on a Monday we do nothing. They had 95 minutes of football to play today.”

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He continued: “I thought our opener was a great goal, as I always do. We took a throw-in quickly and caught them with their pants down a bit. Skusey (Cole Skuse) gets there and Ando (Anderson) – who had been sick prior to that – gets in at the far post and scores.

“I don’t think we could do a lot about their two goals. It was an unbelievable overhead kick and a deflection. It happens. They had other chances. We’ve had days ourselves where we’ve got away with things. It happens during a season.

“I thought our lads were terrific. They’re a good side Bournemouth, they had that day extra to recover, they moved it around, but we stuck with it and got a well-deserved point.”

Asked to sum up the play-off picture, McCarthy said: “Two games to play, let’s see what happens. We go to Burnley next. We might win two games and that might be enough. We might get slapped in them both and have no chance.

“We can’t do anything about everyone elses’ results. Just as you’re saying to me ‘good result at Brighton’ someone will be saying to them ‘good result at Ipswich’. I think it’s a good point for us with the way we’ve had to play the two games in three days. I’m really delighted with the lads. It’s a good point for us.”

– See tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for more reaction.

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