Mick McCarthy plays down Ipswich Town's play-off chances following win over Sheffield Wednesday

Mick McCarthy plays down Ipswich Town's play-off chances following win over Sheffield Wednesday

Mick McCarthy was left very pleased with his side's performance in the 2-1 win on Tuesday evening at Hillsborough.

Sam Straw

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy "enjoyed" his side's performance in the 2-1 win against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday evening at Hillsborough

It was a very uneventful first-half in South Yorkshire but McCarthy's side arguably had the better of the chances and could have gone into the break in the lead.

However, they were able to seal the three points in the second-half as Martyn Waghorn scored twice either side of a Lucas João equaliser for the home side. 

McCarthy felt his side thoroughly deserved all three points. He said: "I certainly enjoyed that tonight anyway. I think overall we deserved to win. We matched them in every department."

He added: "I know Barts (Bartosz Białkowski) saved one with his face early on, it has hit him in the kipper but he kept it out the net which he is pretty good at. I think in the second-half we were the better team. It was great to see Waggy (Martyn Waghorn) get his goals and the second one was real quality."

Waghorn ends barren run 

Waghorn's double ended a run of 15 games in which the 28-year-old had failed to find the back of the net in all competitions. His last goal had come against Nottingham Forest back in December in a 4-2 win at Portman Road

McCarthy admitted that the striker had begun to feel frustrated: "I was getting growly with him in the first-half because he shot from 30 yards and then missed at the near post. He was getting frustrated at not scoring."

He added: "For him now to get his goals, he can calm down a bit and play his game. He has a wand of a left foot."

The striker's second goal was particularly impressive as he curled a free-kick into the top corner with his left foot from a tight angle. Jos Luhukay admitted in his post-match press conference that there was very little his team could have done to prevent it from going in, such was the quality of the strike. 

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Play-offs still a possibility? 

This win has resulted in the Tractor Boys moving to within seven points of the Championship play-off places with a game in hand. With plenty of games to play between now and the end of the season, they do still have an opportunity of closing that gap further if they are capable of putting a run together. 

However, McCarthy feels it is too much to ask: "I still have (ruled out play-offs). I did not say we would stop trying. I still think it is too much. Seven points behind with a game in hand."

This was the first time in which Ipswich had won back-to-back games since November which will give supporters some hope that they may now be able to go on a run. Their previous win came at Deepdale as they beat fellow play-off hopefuls Preston North End 1-0 courtesy of a Mustapha Carayol winner. 

McCarthy has been left pleased with his side's recent results: "Since November apparently so you keep telling me. Two really good wins at Preston and Sheffield Wednesday. Six points from two games is great."

One blow for the Tractor Boys was that 29-year-old winger Carayol was taken off in the first-half with what McCarthy revealed to be a groin injury. The winger has impressed since his arrival in January following his release by Nottingham Forest.

McCarthy said: "Muzzy (Carayol) did some really good work but we had a different threat when Freddie (Sears) came on. They have all played well. It has been a good team performance."

Town will now be hoping that they can get their third consecutive Championship victory on Saturday afternoon as they face another team hopeful of achieving a play-off place in the form of Sheffield United at Portman Road.