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‘It’s a big win’ – McCarthy hails Ipswich Town’s ‘stoic’ 1-0 win at Derby County

PUBLISHED: 22:59 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 23:20 28 November 2017

Callum Connolly celebrates his early goal at Derby in Town's win last night. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Callum Connolly celebrates his early goal at Derby in Town's win last night. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Pagepix Ltd.07976 935738

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy insists there was nothing lucky about his team’s battling 1-0 win at Derby County tonight.

Mick McCarthy before kick-off at Derby County Picture Pagepix Mick McCarthy before kick-off at Derby County Picture Pagepix

Callum Connolly headed the Blues into a fifth minute lead, then the visitors defended superbly to keep their first away clean sheet in the Championship for 19 matches and extend an unbeaten run at Pride Park to 10 games.

With his side moving back to within three points of the play-off places, McCarthy enthused: “It’s a big win. I thought it was a really good disciplined, fighting, well-organised, stoic performance.

“We were a threat in the first half, then we’ve had to defend. They’ve had all of the ball, but it’s what we allowed them to do with it.

“I thought we nullified them for the most part and when they did get through we’ve had good last-ditch tackles and Bart (Bialkowski) made a great save.

Emyr Huws battles with Andreas Weiman at Derby Picture Pagepix Emyr Huws battles with Andreas Weiman at Derby Picture Pagepix

“I said to the lads coming off ‘what’s that all about, a clean sheet?!’ They were thrilled not to concede.”

Asked if it was a deserved win, he replied: “It’s interesting that. If it was a team in the Champions League that went away and was that disciplined people would be waxing lyrical about it. We’ve done it and I guess it’s boring Mick.

Bartosz Bialkowski saves at the feet of Andreas Weimar during the first half at Derby Picture Pagepix Bartosz Bialkowski saves at the feet of Andreas Weimar during the first half at Derby Picture Pagepix

“At the end we might have given the ball away a couple of times, and it could have gone another way, but it wasn’t a lucky win. And anyway, you could say we were unlucky against Sheffield Wednesday (2-2 home draw) last week.

“It was a good performance from us. Nobody can knock that. We frustrated the hell out of them.”

Tristan Nydam slides into a challenge on George Thorne at Derby Picture Pagepix Tristan Nydam slides into a challenge on George Thorne at Derby Picture Pagepix

Not only have Town not lost at Pride Park since 2006, McCarthy hasn’t lost an away game against Derby in 22 years as a manager.

“They should have employed me a long time ago because my record here is better than it is at Portman Road!” he joked.

Flynn Downes tangles with Joe Ledley at Derby Picture Pagepix Flynn Downes tangles with Joe Ledley at Derby Picture Pagepix

Asked if his team can be top-six contenders, the Blues added: “If we can keep clean sheets, we’ve always got a threat in terms of goals, so maybe.

“But last Wednesday I’m chewing and Saturday, having played well in the first half, we lost 2-0 (at Aston Villa) and it didn’t look like we had any chance of making the top six.

“So I’m not going to start waxing lyrical. We’ll just keep going, keep trying to pick up points and see where we end up.”

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