Perfect day for Mackay

WHILE the Blues trooped home in misery their chief tormentor was celebrating pretty much a perfect day. Malky Mackay went home with plenty of bubbly after bagging his first-ever brace of goals in one of the best days of his career, writes Derek Davis.

WHILE the Blues trooped home in misery their chief tormentor was celebrating pretty much a perfect day. Malky Mackay went home with plenty of bubbly after bagging his first-ever brace of goals in one of the best days of his career, writes Derek Davis.

He said: "That's massive. A derby win at home to Ipswich, to captain the team in my 200th league appearance and to score two goals. It's right up there."

There have been big days before. Seven years ago this weekend Mackay scored for Celtic in an Old Firm derby at Parkhead. Yesterday the Hoops won again, beating Rangers 1-0 in a Scottish Cup tie. He said: "I think that was the last time Celtic beat Rangers in a Scottish Cup tie – apart from today, which was very, very pleasing to hear.

Mackay – who took over the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Adam Drury – is used to bagging vital goals for Norwich, but he's never scored twice in a match for anyone. And he could even have had an unlikely hat-trick.


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But Mackay admitted that City could well have been dead and buried by half-time against an Ipswich side who have scored more league goals than any other team in Division One this season. He said: "Without a doubt it could have been two or three nothing to Ipswich at half-time and the game would have been dead and buried.

"We had a few choice words at half-time and went out and really showed our character and spirit and determination and it just shows you that goals change games. We got the goal and it settled us down, we started passing it. Ipswich could have been defending a 3-0 lead at that point and the game would have been over, so it is all about taking chances.

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"Ipswich could certainly be feeling aggrieved they came away from here with a 3-1 defeat, but goals change games and it did change the style today. It is an old adage, but it was a game of two halves. Certainly they dominated us in the first half and we deserved to be two or three goals down. But I thought second half we dominated them. Whether we should have won or they should have won, it is goals that change games."

Mackay was at a loss to explain City's first-half performance. "If I knew that I'd have been having the words at half-time," he said. "Don't take anything away from Ipswich, who came in and played very well. They played a tight four in midfield and didn't let our midfield settle and caused us a lot of problems. These things happen: why did Crewe go and beat Wigan yesterday? Why did Rotherham beat West Brom last Saturday? It's a league where anybody can beat anybody if you are complacent, which we weren't today.

"You are never complacent for East Anglian derbies. You go out there and you know it's going to be a tough game. You know that Ipswich have scored lots of goals in this division and are going to give you a torrid time. They are up for revenge for what we did to them at Portman Road. It was going to be tough, no matter what, and they came at us very strongly. Fortunately we were in it at 0-0 at half-time and really came on in the second half. Our fitness showed, they went down to 10 but our fitness, drive and determination showed in the last 20 minutes."

But Mackay admitted he was puzzled by referee Mark Clattenburg's decision to award Ipswich a penalty, although there was some confusion as to who had committed the foul on Richard Naylor – Mackay or Jason Shackell. Mackay said: "It was a strange one. He has come in front of both of us and fallen.

"I have looked at it three or four times and I can't see why it's been given against either of us. He certainly pointed to Jason, but Jason won the header. He came across me and has fallen. I find it a strange one but you have to live with decisions like that."

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