Ipswich Town boss delighted with Middlesbrough point, and has special message for Brighton boss Chris Hughton
PUBLISHED: 17:58 23 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:47 24 April 2016
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Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy was pleased with his side's display after the Blues held promotion-chasing Middlesbrough to a 0-0 draw on a nervy afternoon at The Riverside Stadium.
The hosts, who were unbeaten in seven and had won their last six at home, did everything but score – Bartosz Bialkowski pulling off four fine saves and Jordan Rhodes hitting the post.
Daniel Ayala also went close with a header but Town could have won it in the closing minutes, only for Liam Feeney to blast high and wide over the bar when well positioned.
McCarthy handed youngster Paul Digby his first league start, at centre half, and the on-loan Barnsley man did well, up against attacking threats such as Jordan Rhodes, Gaston Ramirez and Stewart Downing.
“I am delighted with how we went about the game, we were fortunate but they didn’t put the ball in the net and we defended well and the goalkeeper played well. It was an all-round good workmanlike display and it’s a great point,” he said.
“Middlesbrough are a good team and they didn’t play badly and the there was nothing wrong with the crowd and atmosphere, but they came up against a belligerent bunch.
“It could be a good point for them because, as bonkers as it is, we could have won it at the end. We wouldn’t have deserved it but I wouldn’t have given a s***e.”
On Digby, who replaced Christophe Berra, who missed the game with a knee injury, McCarthy commented: “It wasn’t a day for him to be playing the ball out of the back and he did what he did well and produced a great block in the first half.
“He wasn’t stepping in against any mugs and I was delighted with him.”
Striker David McGoldrick also lasted the 90 minutes as he continues his comeback from injury, and McCarthy was pleased with the Republic of Ireland international’s contribution, ahead of Euro 2016.
“I thought Didzy was excellent, he stayed the whole game which I didn’t think he would, I am delighted for him.
“They do like him at the Republic of Ireland and with that kind of performance he will be fit to travel and play if needed.”
Before the game, McCarthy talked about honouring the league’s integrity, and his side certainly gave no quarter against the Teessiders.
McCarthy was particularly happy for his friend, Brighton manager Chris Hughton, whose own side won 3-1 at Charlton and are third in the table with two games remaining, behind Boro and Burnley on goal difference
“If I have done one person a favour, I hope it’s Chris Hughton,” said McCarthy.
“He is my mate and a wonderful guy, and so Chris, that’s a point for you lad.
“I hope we help him get promoted.”
More reaction in Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star