Reaction: McCarthy praises referee’s ‘courageous’ late decision as Town win 1-0 at Leeds

Terry Connor and Mick McCarthy are applauded off the pitch after the win at Leeds

Terry Connor and Mick McCarthy are applauded off the pitch after the win at Leeds

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy praised referee James Adcock for a ‘courageous’ decision to turn down Leeds United’s vociferous late penalty appeals as his side secured a gritty 1-0 win at Elland Road tonight.

Sam Byram goes over in the penalty area and then gets booked for simulation

Sam Byram goes over in the penalty area and then gets booked for simulation

The home crowd were left incensed after Sam Byram was booked for simulation in the 86th minute after going down following a coming together with Jonas Knudsen in the area.

On first showing it looked like a foul, but replays showed there was no contact and Ipswich – back at their belligerent best after conceding eight goals in their previous two games – secured a well-deserved victory, Tommy Smith having headed home in the 32nd minute.

“I thought it was a penalty, I couldn’t see anything else, but I’ve just seen it on the replay and it’s not. Well done ref,” said McCarthy. “Why he has dived I don’t know because he’s in on goal. He doesn’t touch him.

“He got it spot on and I admire his courage. It’s Tuesday night, under lights, a crowd of 22 thousand are baying for blood and it would have been the easiest one in the world to give. Fair play to him.”

On his team’s organised display, he said: “That was a proper team performance, unlike Friday night (5-1 loss at Reading). But Friday night was just one of those nights.

“We didn’t get carried away, despite the tone of the questions in the press conference yesterday. You should know by now that I trust the players. Did I expect a reaction? Of course, because they are a great bunch of lads. They’re terrific and that defeat hurt them as much as anybody.”

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He added: “We had a back four tonight that defended like my team normally does. They were aided by the players in front of them too. It was a proper defensive performance. I don’t think Gerks (Dean Gerken) has had a save to make to be honest with you.”

Ryan Fraser and Cole Skuse were both substituted in the second half and had ice packs on their legs on the bench.

“Ryan’s is less serious than Cole I think,” said McCarthy. “I don’t know what he’s done, but it looks like he just rocked his knee. We’ll wait and see on that.”

Ipswich host Birmingham at Portman Road on Friday night.

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