Reaction: Mick McCarthy hails loan duo Emyr Huws and Toumani Diagouraga after Ipswich Town’s 1-0 win at Aston Villa

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says midfield loan duo Emyr Huws and Toumani Diagouraga have made all the difference to his team after today’s 1-0 victory at Aston Villa.

Emyr Huws scores Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park

Emyr Huws scores Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park

Cardiff City loanee Huws arrived late in the box to score the only goal of the game in the 83rd minute, while Leeds United loanee Diagouraga again impressed. It was a gutsy second half display after defensive duo Steven Taylor and Christophe Berra both went off injured in the opening period.

“It was a great win, a fantastic win,” said McCarthy, whose team are up to 13th in the Championship table ahead of Tuesday night’s game at Brighton.

“We played well last week (in a 2-2 home draw with Reading), so it was a back-up performance and an even better result.

“I’ve never doubted the character of the team. Our quality has not always been great, but I think that’s been better recently – and I think Toums (Toumani Diagouraga) and Emyr Huws have helped that in the middle of the pitch. They’ve been excellent. And the two lads up front (Tom Lawrence and David McGoldrick).

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park

“Certain aspects of the team have been better. We’ve kept the ball better. We’ve always been good at disrupting others and getting the ball back. We’ve been better with it in the last two games.”

With McCarthy having been banging on about a lack of goals from midfield for months, he was delighted to see Huws net the winner.

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“It’s something we’ve not had and it’s invaluable,” he said. “It was great that Didz (McGoldrick) picked him out instead of shooting on the angle. He’s made a real difference to us Emyr. Him and Toums.”

Asked what today’s win meant to him, the Blues boss held up three fingers and said dryly: “It’s three points. I’ll enjoy my weekend. Going to work tomorrow will be a lot easier, but I won’t be going out partying.

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park

“It’s a boost for me, it’s a boost for the club and a boost for Marcus (Evans). He’s my owner and he gets plenty of flak, despite sticking six million a year in to keep the club going. If my missus was giving me flak about all the money I put into the house I’d be a bit p****d off I tell you.”

Revealing that Taylor went off with a hamstring injury, he voiced his frustration at the manner in which Berra went off injured.

He said: “I thought it was a penalty actually. I thought he (Tommy Elphick) elbowed him. He got sparked I think. I hope it’s not concussion because if it is he might not be able to play for a couple of weeks.”

On his defensive reshuffle, he said: “I’ve always fancied Jonas (Knudsen) will make a good left-sided centre-back in a three. He’s good in the air and deal with going out wide.”

Ipswich celebrate their late winner at Aston Villa

Ipswich celebrate their late winner at Aston Villa

Meanwhile, McCarthy revealed that new loan striker Dominic Samuel (Reading) has broken his toe and will be out for at least six weeks.

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