Nobody expected us to win

LIKE any manager whose team has just been dumped out of the FA Cup George Burley turned his attentions straight to the league.The Rams are in a perilous state, stuck in the bottom three – just ahead of Wimbledon and Bradford City and four points adrift of Burnley.

LIKE any manager whose team has just been dumped out of the FA Cup George Burley turned his attentions straight to the league, writes Derek Davis.

The Rams are in a perilous state, stuck in the bottom three – just ahead of Wimbledon and Bradford City and four points adrift of Burnley.

Burley said: "It would have been a big bonus to win here at Portman Road but no-one really expected it. Now we have to concentrate on the league and there are some big games coming up. But we must learn to concentrate for the full 90 minutes. Up to the first goal I thought we had the better of the chances.

"I am trying to strengthen my squad, which is a bit thin.


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"We have been asking a lot of our youngsters but we can take heart from the way we matched a good side like Ipswich in the first half.

"We need to play like that week in and week out and cannot afford to make mistakes from dead ball situations."

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Burley pointed to Richard Naylor's killer first goal for the defeat after holding out for 54 minutes.

He said: "We knew it was going to be tough but we started brightly and more than matched them for 45 minutes. I felt that the first goal might settle the tie. When Ipswich took the lead we were punished for awful defending of a free-kick.

"All credit to Richard Naylor for his technique but it was poor marking. It was a bad goal to give away. We just let Naylor run free at the far post although it was a quality ball in by Jim Magilton."

The second goal came from a swift Town breakaway and the third a cruel twist of the knife after a mistake from Derby's young keeper.

Burley said: "It was a cup-tie so we pushed forward after we fell behind. The third Ipswich goal was keeper error but young Lee Grant has been outstanding for us. He is only 21."

Derby appealed for penalties from a Richard Naylor handball and a tackle on Lee Morris but neither were given and, unlike the week before when Burley bitterly disputed Norwich's first goal, he had no real complaint about the officials. The Derby boss said: "My players claimed it was handball but the referee was in a better position than myself. There are ifs and buts in football but in the end the referee gives what he thinks is right."

Derby gave a debut to striker Manel, signed from Espanyol earlier this week. The Spaniard hit the crossbar with a back header and had a shot smothered by Kelvin Davis. Burley said: "He showed a lot of good touches. We should have got more balls into the box for him. Even so he might have had a couple of goals and hit the bar with a header late on. I think he is going to be a good acquisition for the club."

If Derby County are to survive this season, he will have to be.

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