MANAGERS’ REACTION: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy describes 2-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion as ‘huge’

In the driving seat: Mick McCarthy before the start of Saturday's match against Brighton at The Amex

In the driving seat: Mick McCarthy before the start of Saturday's match against Brighton at The Amex - Credit: Archant

Brighton v Ipswich: Blues boss Mick McCarthy described his side’s 2-0 victory at top six rivals Brighton & hove Albion as ‘huge’.

A combination of superb Ipswich defending, a fine save from keeper Dean Gerken and several wasted goalscoring chances saw the Seagulls frustrated in front of a season-high crowd of 29,093 at The Amex Stadium, with second-half headers from Tommy Smith (60) and Daryl Murphy (80) sealing a priceless victory.

Mick McCarthy’s men are back to within five points of the play-off places heading into the final nine games of the Championship campaign, with third-place Derby and seventh-place Nottingham Forest coming to Portman Road next Tuesday and Saturday respectively.

“It’s a huge win, yeah,” said the Blues boss. “It’s a difficult place to come and play, a fabulous place to come and play I might add.

“We’ve done things right today. We’ve defended when we’ve had to and we took our chances when they arrived. It was the reverse of last week (3-1 home defeat to Wigan) when I thought we played well but didn’t take chances and conceded poor goals. I’m sure when you ask their manager he’ll be saying exactly the same as that.


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“They might feel they’ve been mugged because they had plenty of chances, but we had one in the net (in the first half) through Jonny Williams and that was onside by the way. It didn’t make any difference though so we’ll let him (the linesman) off!”

He continued: “Brighton are a good side, they’ve got good players and play some good football out of the back. They’ve had a few flicks at goal, but I don’t know how many saves Gerks has had to make? We had a fair amount of chances and as an away performance it was a very good one.”

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On lone striker Daryl Murphy, who set-up the first and scored the second, McCarthy said: “If he’s ever played better than that I want to see it. He’s up there on his own, he runs the channels, he comes back and defends. I think the goal, running across the defender, is the work of TC (assistant manager Terry Connor). They’ve been working on that.

“It was a great goal for him and he deserved it for his performance.”

Crystal Palace loanee Jonny Williams was booed throughout by the Brighton fans because of their rivalry with the Eagles, but the Welsh international responded with an energetic and skilful display which culminated in him putting in the cross for Murphy’s goal.

“The ‘Palace reject’ hey?” joked McCarthy, referring to the home chants. “I’ll take him if that’s what he is. I don’t think so somehow. He’s a good player and has given us something different that’s for sure.”

Asked to assess his side’s top six chances, McCarthy said: “We’ve still got a chance. We’re playing Derby on Tuesday and Nottingham Forest on Saturday. I kept saying we’d know where we are at the end of that week. Maybe we won’t with the way results are going. There are lot of us all still in the mix. It’s lovely that we’ve still got a chance.”

Brighton boss Oscar Garcia said: “We were the better team, we dominated possession, but we didn’t take our chances. We switched off twice and they punished us. Apart from those two goals they did very little.”

– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match analysis and more reaction, including Mick McCarthy’s reasons behind handing Anthony Wordsworth his first league start of the season and an interview with Crystal Palace loanee Jonny Williams.

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