Ipswich Town Post match views
Malky Mackay admitted that his squad needed a stern talking to at the interval at Portman Road, resulting in a second half fight back that helped maintain Cardiff City’s top spot going into the international break. Two goals from Heidar Helguson were enough to cancel out DJ Campbell’s first half stoppage time handled goal, making the long journey home run a little quicker than could have been the case.
“It was a game of two halves,” he said after the game. “They probably deserved to be in the lead at half-time, just not in the manner in which they did. It was a horrendous error from the linesman, because the boy (Campbell) has punched the ball in with his fists, realising it and not even celebrating.
“But they probably deserved the lead because they dominated the first half, while I thought we completely dominated the second half - we asked them a lot of questions and kept them on the back foot. During the first-half we didn't make the right decisions and we didn't put the ball into the right areas where we knew we were going to threaten. For the second half though I thought we worked the ball into those areas really well.”
Credit was rightly directed to substitute Conway, who added a much needed dynamism and enjoyed far more success against Ipswich Town’s best player in Carlos Edwards. Similarly, Heidar Helguson’s full blooded contribution was also worthy of a special mention.
We knew in wide areas that the longer the game went on we would test the resilience of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Murphy in having to track back. Through Craig we did that in second half and I was delighted with the overall performance. “Craig Conway made a huge difference, he came on and he stretched them, he did what asked Craig Noone to do,” Malky said. “The energy he showed, the way he put Edwards on back foot.
“As for Heidar – he ended up running himself dizzy at the end. He’s a credit to the profession. People were beginning to question him not being on the score sheet, but the amount of energy, work rate and passion he puts in is incredible. He’s a credit to himself and is someone youngsters really should look up to because he's a proven Premier League goal scorer, is a proven international footballer and at thirty five is still chasing the ball to earn us a corner in the last minute of the game. He’s scoring headers and also scoring tap-ins by being in the right place in right time. He also headed against our own bar just to keep us on our toes!”
The away win and league position are a factor for all to enjoy, but for Malky the best factor of the day was the way in which his squad handled the pressure, pulling out a win on a day when key players were absent and the performance wasn’t at its optimum levels.
Speaking of his team, he said, “We showed real character after their goal. It wasn't a case that they couldn't do what I was asking them to do, they simply needed to go out there and believe that they could do it. In the second half we did that, we had much more confidence, much more energy and winning a lot more balls. In the second half we were switching play much quicker, getting high up pitch and putting Ipswich on the back foot. We brought an edginess to stadium because we were keeping the ball, we were pressing their goal, especially after first one.
“Our club hadn’t enjoyed a very good record here in terms of the club's history and we needed to dispel that, but for me it’s better to see the character of team in making a difference from the first half to the second.
“I'm not counting my chickens. It's only ten games gone, though it's nice to be up and around it. I'm more happy with the fact there's an new group that have gelled together quickly and have allowed us to get on a firm footing in the league at this stage.
“After that I’ve been in this league far too long to think further ahead because there's a long way to go and a lot of good teams in this league. It's just nice to be in and around the top going into the international break where some of the knocks and bruises can heal up. We came here without Bellamy, Smith, Mutch, to name but three who have regularly been in our starting line-up and still left with the points we wanted.”