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MANAGER’S REACTION: ‘We let them off the hook’, says Mick McCarthy after 2-0 defeat Leeds

PUBLISHED: 18:05 15 December 2012

Leeds United v Ipswich: ‘We let them off the hook’ – that was Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy’s assessment after his side’s four-match unbeaten streak was brought to an end with a 2-0 defeat at Leeds United.

After an even start to the match, Leeds took the lead after 19 minutes when Jerome Thomas scrambled the ball home from a badly-defended corner kick.

Ipswich then rode the proverbial storm as Aaron Cresswell cleared a David Norris header off the line and Luciano Becchio headed a guilt-edged chance over the bar, but finished the half well as Carlos Edwards forced a good save out of keeper Paddy Kenny.

The Blues carried that moment into the second-half, however, just as the natives began to grow restless a piece of miscontrol by Bradley Orr saw Leeds break away and add a superb second goal through Paul Green.

“We gave a bad goal away in the first half – we didn’t defend the corner kick properly,” said McCarthy. “There wasn’t a lot in it up until then.

“We got away with a headed chance from Becchio just before half-time, but I thought we’d done alright and done okay.

“We were playing well second half, we were getting on top, the crowd were giving it out to the Leeds players, the bench were starting to get animated – then we’ve let them off the hook.

“It goes up to our front players, but ends up coming back in our net. It was a great goal by them, but pretty poor from our point of view.

“It was a fabulous finish – quality – and that’s the difference today. We’ve had our chances to set someone up or score, but they took their chances and we didn’t.”

He continued: “We had our chances, even at two-nil. Michael Chopra had a good chance after coming on and, of all the people you wanted in front of goal, it was him – but it didn’t go in. There’s the difference.

“Had we scored it would certainly have been a nervy finish for them.

“I was delighted with how we kept the ball, but that’s Championship football and you can get done on the break.”

He added: “I’m disappointed. In the paper tomorrow it will say ‘Leeds 2 Ipswich 0’ and look like a fairly regulation win for the home team. It wasn’t that at all.”

– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich for match analysis, comment and more reaction.

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