Pride Park Stadium

Next Game

Derby v Ipswich

Saturday, 30 August 2014, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Portman Road

Last Game

Ipswich 0 - 1 Norwich

Saturday, 23 August 2014, 12:15

Sky Bet Ch'ship

McCarthy: Wigan are favourites

Mick McCarthy believes play-off rivals Wigan are in the best place to claim a top-six spot - despite his Ipswich Town side edging closer with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham.

Last Updated: 01/03/14 at 18:23 Post Comment

Mick McCarthy: Played down Ipswich's play-off hopes

Mick McCarthy: Played down Ipswich's play-off hopes

Daryl Murphy was the match winner with a 38th-minute tap-in following good work from Paul Taylor and Frank Nouble.

Ipswich are now four points off sixth place but McCarthy insists others are better placed to claim a play-off spot.

The Town boss said: "I think the top five are clear and Wigan are the favourites for the sixth spot.

"They are ahead of us and they still have players from the Premier League last season. But we are still in there, scrapping away."

Of his side's single-goal victory, Town's fourth consecutive clean sheet at Portman Road, McCarthy added: "I think it was the right result - just. But I don't think we dominated Birmingham by any stretch of the imagination."

After a poor 35 minutes, the match turned on two big chances.

Murphy gave his side the lead after tapping home Nouble's low cross following great work from man-of-the-match Taylor.

The goal gave Ipswich a new lease of life and they deserved the three points after an impressive second-half showing.

But Birmingham should have restored parity on 63 minutes when Lee Novak was presented with an identical chance to Murphy's opener.

Sub Chris Burke did well to beat Tommy Smith and his low centre should have brought the equaliser, only for Nowak to fire over when it looked easier to score.

Anything but a victory would have been harsh on Ipswich who improved after taking the lead.

Taylor - who only started after new loan signing Jonny Williams got injured in training on Friday - was at the heart of all their best moments and he twice went close to doubling the lead before Birmingham keeper Darren Randolph saved from Paul Anderson after a woeful back pass from Jonathan Spector.

Birmingham boss Lee Clark had little complaints in his post-match summing-up.

Clark said: "We were a little toothless. We didn't have enough quality. The defence was solid and we stood up to a big physical team in Ipswich - we did the ugly stuff well.

"But we didn't do enough when we had possession. We lacked that quality and I don't think we deserved anything from the game."

And Clark felt Novak's gilt-edged chance was typical of his side's overall performance.

He added: "Lee Novak usually puts those chances away but unfortunately he hit it over the bar.

"A chance like that, away from home when you are not creating many, has to be taken and that seemed to be a problem for us today."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Tottenham strike deal for Montpellier midfielder Benjamin Stambouli

Tottenham have agreed a fee with Montpellier for defensive midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, according to the French club.

Transfer news: Chelsea confirm agreement with AC Milan for two-year Fernando Torres loan

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will have a medical at AC Milan on Saturday ahead of an agreed two-year loan deal.

Europa League: Roberto Martinez happy Everton start and finish at home

Roberto Martinez is happy with the way the fixtures have worked out for Everton in their tough Europa League draw.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property