Reaction: It was a Ram-raid – Mick McCarthy says Ipswich Town ‘mugged’ Derby County with 1-0 win

Luke Varney celebrates scoring at Derby with Jonathan Douglas

Luke Varney celebrates scoring at Derby with Jonathan Douglas

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits his side ‘mugged’ Derby County in securing a 1-0 win at the iPro Stadium last night.

The Blues defended wave-after-wave of attack in a one-sided first half then scored with their first shot on target, in the 53rd minute, when substitute Luke Varney’s 20-yard effort was palmed into his own net by keeper Scott Carson.

It was then a case of some more body-on-the-line defending to see out the victory which lifts them up to ninth in the Championship table and leaves the Rams with just one win and one goal to their name so far this campaign.

“I said to the lads ‘sod the two draws, let’s lose one and win one’,” said McCarthy, referring to last Friday’s controversial last-gasp defeat at Reading.

“We’ve mugged them to be fair. They were better than us, dominated the first half, for 10 minutes we were hanging on...

“But it’s all the stuff that I preach to the players that I think sometimes supporters don’t like me talking about. It’s about being resilient and tough and hard-working and putting a shift in. That gets ridiculed a bit, but without it you get nothing.

“We’ve shown all those qualities tonight. When we were getting a right royal doing in the first half we got blocks in and saves in and headers out and they couldn’t score.

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“They were better than us, but we had Jonny on the spot in Reg (Varney), who has been fabulous around the place. It’s great when a sub comes on and does that.”

With Varney and Tom Lawrence replacing Kevin Bru and Conor Grant at half-time, McCarthy explained: “I was tempted to make changes in the first half, but I don’t like doing that to players because that can be really detrimental to them.

“I just said to Tom Lawrence, ‘you’ll do for me kid’. He’ll fit in with us, he’ll be right up my street, because he worked his socks off.

“It was hard for Conor Grant having been out for two weeks.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy revealed that Tommy Smith and Freddie Sears were out with back and groin injuries respectively but could both be okay for Saturday’s visit of Aston Villa. Cole Skuse played tonight with illness before coming off in the 72nd minute.

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