George Hirst believes that Ipswich Town were beaten by the better side in their 2-0 defeat to West Brom, although he was frustrated by the nature of the goals that they conceded.

The Blues suffered their first away defeat of the season as the Baggies became the first team to shut them out since February 14th, picking up all three points thanks to goals from Darnell Furlong and Grady Diangana at the start of each half.

That’s been a theme of Town’s games in recent weeks, having often conceded the first goal in the early stages. They have, however, been good at fighting back from behind, but it proved to be too difficult for them at the Hawthorns.

“I don’t think we had a bad start,” Hirst said after last night’s game. “A lot of people will see it and say ‘oh, they’ve conceded early again’. It’s not about the start itself, it’s about conceding from a set piece.

“It’s something that we’re big on and we pride ourselves on being strong from those situations.

Ipswich Star: The Blues failed to fight back after West Brom's early goalThe Blues failed to fight back after West Brom's early goal (Image: Ross Halls)

“Today, they score and it’s an uphill climb again. It’s not ideal but they were probably the better side. It’s a tough league and we understand that we’re going to lose games, it’s not a matter of life or death right now.

“We’ve been beaten today by probably the better side and we move on to Wednesday to try and put things right.”

Of course, it was always going to be a difficult test for Ipswich. West Brom have lost just twice at the Hawthorns since Carlos Corberan took over as manager in October 2022, with the Spaniard boasting a lot of former Premier League players at his disposal.

Hirst believes that his side did show glimpses of what they could do, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

“We knew coming into it that they’re an experienced side and they’ve got good players all over the pitch,” the striker explained. “It was going to be a tough game.

“We don’t need to be making these games any harder for ourselves. We had spells where we had them on the back foot and we played some good football. Tactically, we caused them problems at times.

“We couldn’t really capitalise from that, which is a shame, but it’s a lesson learned. We’ll improve on it going forward.”

Ipswich Star: Ipswich's front line couldn't force Alex Palmer into a single saveIpswich's front line couldn't force Alex Palmer into a single save (Image: Warren Page)

While the result is far from disgraceful, the performance did come as a bit of a shock. Town are the top scorers in the Championship, yet they failed to register a single effort on target from their six shots across the 90 minutes.

“It’s not something that happens every week,” Hirst admitted. “It was a bit of a surprise for us.

“We want to be better than that, and it’s up to us as a whole team to go and create chances. It’s up to us as a forward unit to go and cause them problems and put their keeper under threat.

“Today, we didn’t do that. We’ll get back to the training ground on Monday morning and have a look at ourselves first and foremost, then go from there.”

If nothing else, the result changes little in terms of the outlook of the league table. Draws for Leeds United and Southampton have seen them cut the gap by a point, but the Blues still sit seven points clear of third after 17 games.

“We’re not taking our position for granted,” Hirst stressed. “There’s a lot of hard work that got us here and it’ll take a lot of even harder work to keep us there.

“For us, it’s about keeping on going and keeping the energy between the lads. Okay, we’ve lost today, but it’s not going to define our season. We’re going to get going on Monday morning and all focus is on Millwall.”