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Saturday, 16 May 2015, 12:15

Sky Bet Ch'ship Play-Offs Semi-Final

Sannino keeping his powder dry

Beppe Sannino would not be drawn on Watford's chances of finishing in the play-offs after they boosted their outside hopes with a 3-1 victory over fellow top-six hopefuls Ipswich.

Last Updated: 19/04/14 at 19:06 Post Comment

Beppe Sannino: Would not be drawn on play-offs

Beppe Sannino: Would not be drawn on play-offs

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Saturday's win moves the Hornets to within five points of sixth place in the Sky Bet Championship but, potentially crucially, they also have a game in hand.

Goals from Albert Riera, Gabriele Angella and Lewis McGugan ended the Tractor Boys' hopes of moving into a play-off position on Saturday after Anthony Wordsworth had equalised at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets head coach said: "I won't speak about play-offs but I'm delighted.

"We played a good game against a very good team and this gives more value to our victory today."

Watford took command with two goals in three second-half minutes after Ipswich had gone close to taking the lead when Manuel Almunia tipped a Luke Hyam header onto the crossbar.

Sannino felt that a pivotal moment of the match and said: "I think the turning point was when they hit the crossbar. From that moment we were able to play good football, we were looking to score and we did well, we scored two very good goals.

"What was important today was win the game and to not concede a goal in the last 10, 20 minutes was good.

"But what I would like to praise is the way we carried on during the game. We were able to bring the ball in their half and to play comfortably away from our box. Also the players that came on today were very good. They gave us the response I was looking for. (Cristian) Battocchio, Sean (Murray) and (Daniel) Pudil were in the game at the right moments and I'm pleased with them."

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy also felt Almunia's save was a key moment, but lamented his side's defending when an unmarked Angella was able to head home Daniel Tozser's free-kick.

He said: "I think that [the crossbar] saved the game for them and then poor marking from a free-kick. It was a great delivery from them, it was good movement and a good header but no way should he get on the end of it because it should have been stopped."

Reflecting further on the game, McCarthy said: "I thought our boys were fabulous in the first half. I thought we started the first half well, I think they scored with their first attempt and that was poor. Whenever you score and it's a great goal, they'll think it is, it was awful that we allowed him [Riera] on the inside to shoot, that's not like us. But I thought we were excellent in the first half.

"The second half, I don't think we've let them off the hook, I think we've let all the other teams off the hook as well by conceding the goal we have for the second. Three minutes after we've hit the crossbar, we're 3-1 down."

Turning to the effect the result had on Ipswich's play-off hopes, McCarthy said: "You have to look after your own result, that's my mantra. Everybody else can do whatever they want. If we win, there's nothing anybody can do about it.

"If we'd have won today everyone would have been thinking great but who knows, we could win today and got slapped on Monday, I've no idea. And if you ask me how it's going to pan out, I haven't got a clue. I thought our performance today, up until the second goal, was outstanding."

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