Ipswich 2 Pompey 2 McCarthy: Pompey were the best side

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy   Picture: Joe Pepler

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy Picture: Joe Pepler

Conor Chaplin, Gareth Evans and Gary Roberts celebrate Pompey's League Two title win. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Mick McCarthy admitted: Pompey deserved to win.

The Ipswich boss had no qualms with accepting the Blues were the better side in the FA Cup third-round showdown at Portman Road.

I think they probably deserved to win.

Mick McCarthy

McCarthy felt Paul Cook’s side showed the ability they have in their ranks.

He said: ‘I think they probably deserved to win – I thought they were excellent.

‘I was relieved to go in at half-time 0-0, though I did think we were better in the second half.

‘It was disappointing to concede almost straight after scoring but it was testament to my players that we kept going and didn’t get beat.

‘We were below par but they are one of the better League Two teams and they have a lot of quality.

‘I’m not sure we deserved the draw.’

McCarthy was encouraged by Ipswich’s increased threat when introducing Ryan Fraser and Freddie Sears in the second half.

They both helped to even the game up late on after Pompey’s dominance for much of the game.

McCarthy said: ‘They played some good football, caused us all sorts of problems and denied us any real chances until Freddie and Ryan came on at the end.

‘Maybe I had too many in the team who had not been playing. They were excellent though and they deserved the draw at the very least.

McCarthy was frustrated by the fact his side now face a replay at Fratton Park, but admitted it was a result he was happy to take when Conor Chaplin put Pompey in front with four minutes left.

He said: ‘What is pleasing about my team though is that they never give up.

‘I thought at 2-2, there still might still be a winner.

‘It certainly would have been harsh on them if we scored but I’d have taken it!

‘We didn’t want the replay but when you’re 2-1 down with two minutes left, you take it then.

‘We didn’t play well but we didn’t lose and that has been a theme recently. If we can’t win, don’t get beaten.’

– JORDAN CROSS

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