Reaction: QPR 1 Ipswich Town 0 – Mick McCarthy thought Town looked the more likely winners before Matt Phillips struck at the death

Bartosz Bialkowski is finally beaten at QPR on Saturday in the 87th minute

Bartosz Bialkowski is finally beaten at QPR on Saturday in the 87th minute

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy thought his team looked the more likely to score prior to Matty Phillips netting QPR’s late winner in today’s 1-0 defeat at Loftus Road.

Phillips stooped to nod home in the 88th minute, Town having been comprehensively outplayed in the first half but then having several glorious chances in the closing 10 minutes.

The Blues have now lost three of their last four games in all competitions to exit the FA Cup and once again slip out of the Championship play-off places. Top-six Derby, Birmingham, Hull and Middlesbrough did all drop points today too though.

“They were miles better than us in the first half and we had a goalkeeper (Bartosz Bialkowski) in world class form, he just made save after save,” said McCarthy.

“Second half I thought we were far better and I thought we were the ones looking more likely to win actually in the last few minutes.

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“It’s always disappointing to lose, even more so with three minutes to go. I know how they feel because we’ve scored a few late winners ourselves recently.”

On the winning goal, he said: “We should never have allowed him to get free in the middle of the pitch. He (Sebastian Polter) did handle it, so that irks me a bit, but even so I’ve just said to my players ‘you wouldn’t get a free-kick off me for that in training, you’ve got to keep going’.

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“Then how we didn’t score in the last knockings goodness only knows.”

On his decision to start Brett Pitman and Luke Varney up front, he said: “My reason to play them was because they were brilliant when they came on against Reading and I felt it was the time to give them a game when they were feeling good about themselves. They deserved it.”

Asked if the blustery conditions played a part, he said: “I should say so! It wasn’t a great game was it? It ended up being exciting with all those chances at the end, but it was a horrible affair because the conditions were awful.”

He added: “If you look at our history from last year, we ended up in the top six on the final day of the season. It’s not that significant at this stage. It’s where you end up in May that counts.”

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