Poll: Reaction - McCarthy knows just how important Sears’ late winner against Forest could turn out to be

Freddie Sears celebrates his winner. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Freddie Sears celebrates his winner. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: sarah lucy brown

Ipswich v Forest: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy knows just how important Freddie Sears’ late winner against Nottingham Forest this afternoon could prove to be.

With Daryl Murphy’s opener (22) having been cancelled out by Christophe Berra’s own goal (54), the atmosphere inside Portman Road became increasingly edgy as fans became aware that the chasing duo of Wolves and Brentford were both winning.

It looked as though the Blues would be heading to Blackburn next weekend realistically needing to win in order to seal the club its first Championship play-off spot in a decade. Then came Sears’ deflected winner meaning that a draw at Ewood Park, possibly even a small margins defeat, will do the job.

“I always said it would go to the wire,” said McCarthy. “A point would now seal it for us at Blackburn, where as if we’d have drawn today we’d have been going there probably needing a win.

“By winning this one we’ve given ourselves a really good chance of being involved in that £140 million pound lottery – or whatever figure you want to put on it. We’re not there yet though. There is still work to do.

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“Brentford are playing Wigan (at home) next weekend and are more than capable of putting three past somebody. I fully expect that Wolves will see Millwall off at home and that Derby will win too (at home to Reading).

“What you expect in this league does not always turn out that way though.”

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Asked if his side deserved victory today, he replied: “I’m not bothered! It’s three points in my pocket, whether it was fair or not.

“They had a good spell after they scored, we then had another good spell, Reg (Luke Varney) has headed a couple over, there weren’t many chances in the game and we won it. That’s all that matters.

“It was great link-up between Murph (Daryl Murphy) and Freddie for both goals. Talk about combination play. Murph has to do the hard bit by putting it in the net for the first, something he’s become very adept at that this season, while Freddie has had a really big impact with us.”

With the atmosphere among a 25,000 crowd inside Portman Road decidedly edgy after Forest’s leveller, McCarthy said: “That’s understandable given what’s at stake. I think that fear of losing freezes you a little bit when something’s gone wrong.

“I thought our three subs won us the game actually. I thought Reg (Luke) Varney was outstanding, as was Kevin Bru. And I thought Ando (Paul Anderson), for someone who has lost their slot, just about won us the game with his energy when he came on. He changed the impetuous.”

With Ipswich already nine points ahead of the total they finished with in ninth last season, McCarthy added: “Seventy-eight points and still not guaranteed a play-off spot – do me a favour!

“Everyone who has been involved in this promotion chase has been excellent. Whoever goes up will have deserved it and earned it because it’s been a tough, tough scrap. Congratulations to Watford (who sealed promotion today).

“We always seem to get involved in that actually. When I first came in we got to the stage where we had 58 points and could still have gone down (on the last day). Maybe it’s us!”

– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match analysis and more reaction.

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