MICK: TOWN STILL IN HUNT FOR TOP SIX
MICK McCarthy reckons there will be a few more twists and turns in the play-off race yet despite seeing his Ipswich side stumble with a disappointing defeat at Watford.
Anthony Holdsworth had levelled for the Tractor Boys after Albert Riera’s first Watford goal opened the scoring, but strikes from Davide Faraoni and Lewis McGugan put the game beyond McCarthy’s men.
But the former Republic of Ireland boss refuses to give up hope of finishing in the top six and claiming an unlikely spot in the final push for Premier League football.
He said: “I’m disappointed with the result but not with how we’ve played at all.Who knows? It could all turn on its head. We’re still in the mix with three games to go so let’s see what happens.
“You just have to look after your own result. Of course we thought there were some great results for us on Friday but if we don’t get our result they don’t make a difference.
“I thought we were fabulous in the first half but they scored with their first attempt and it was awful that we allowed him inside to shoot.
“And in the second half we let them off the hook just like we have for other teams this season with poor marking from a free kick that we should never let them score from.”
Ipswich started the brighter of the two sides but did not fashion an effort on goal until the seventh minute when Daryl Murphy’s shot on the turn was easily gathered by Manuel Almunia.
Watford looked most effective on the break and they almost forced an opening on 12 minutes but a fine challenge from Aaron Cresswell brought McGugan’s driving run to a halt.
The visitors went close two minutes later when Jonny Williams saw a powerful effort parried by Almunia.
The Hornets started to take control of the game as the half wore on and took the lead in style on 21 minutes as Riera cut inside from the left and fired into the far corner of the net.
Ipswich came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second half and almost levelled within a minute of the restart as Frank Nouble fired wide from a tight angle.
They did equalise two minutes later when Nouble’s low cross from the right was met by Wordsworth who touched home from close range.
Ipswich almost turned the game on its head after an hour but Luke Hyam’s header was brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Almunia.
That save seemed to spark Watford back into life and they took the game away from their opponents with two goals in as many minutes. First Faraoni was left unmarked to head in Daniel Tozser’s high ball into the box, and then McGugan sealed the win when he lashed a loose ball beyond Dean Gerken midway through the second half.
Hornets boss Beppe Sannino refused to rule out Watford’s playoff chances, but knows they will need to win their remaining matches to stand a chance. He said:“I wouldn’t speak about the play-offs but I would underline we had a good game today against a very good team and this gives more value to the victory.
“I think the turning point was when they hit the bar. From that moment we played good football and scored two very good goals.
“What was important today was to win the game and I would praise the way we carried on during the game. We were able to be confident and bring the ball into their half.
“We have to play again in less than 48 hours and we must assess the players and see if we can put together a good squad. The only way we can keep dreaming is to pick up all the points we can.”
FAN-TASTIC: Gabriele Angella, right, celebrates with a fan after scoring Watford’s second goal Inset: Albert Riera scores the first for Watford