League One gossip: Ipswich ‘best side in the division’ claims ex-Portsmouth boss, brutal Sunderland assessment from boss as Bolton cling on to any fading play-off hopes

Pompey got past struggling Crewe on Tuesday night reducing the gap to the play-offs to five points.

By Pepe Lacey
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 2:16 pm

There was plenty of action elsewhere yesterday involving some of the Blues’ closest top six rivals – with Sunderland, Plymouth, Ipswich and MK Dons all claiming three points.

Here’s the leading headlines from across the division

Michael Appleton’s Ipswich claim

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Former Pompey boss Michael Appleton claimed Ipswich are ‘comfortably the best side in the division’ – after Lincoln suffered a 2-0 defeat at Portman Road.

Wes Burns and Kayden Jackson were the men to fire the hosts into a two-goal advantage after 32 minutes, which was enough to see past the relegation threatened Imps.

Speaking to Lincolnshire Live after the defeat, Appleton said: ‘We played a good side who are in a good moment.

‘You can see why they’d only conceded one in seven going into the game. You can see why they’ve scored goals.

Lincoln boss Michael Appleton

‘For me, they’re comfortably the best side in this division by a distance, judging on what I’ve seen tonight.’

Alex Neil’s brutal Sunderland assessment

Alex Neil didn’t hold back after Sunderland’s 3-1 victory over Fleetwood at the Stadium of Light.

The visitors took a surprise lead in the 28th minute through Ellis Harrison, before an inspired comeback saw the Black Cats hit three past the Cod Army in the second half.

However, the Black Cats boss was far from pleased, telling The Chronicle: ‘It feels like back to the drawing board for me after that.

‘I don't want to put a dampener on a win, but I'm not taking massive satisfaction from that at all to be honest.

‘The result was excellent; the performance was extremely poor.’

The victory moves the Black Cats into fifth in League One two points ahead of seventh placed Wycombe.

Bolton grab late goal to cling on to remaining play-off hopes

Bolton scored a 94th minute equaliser against Morecambe to cling on to any remaining top six hopes.

The Shrimps took the lead through Cole Stockton midway through the first half, before January recruit Jon Dadi Bodvarsson levelled the game late on.

Speaking to the Whites club website, Ian Evatt said: ‘Some of our play was exceptional at times and it would have been a travesty not to get something out of the game.

‘It feels like two points dropped but you never know, that might be a big point come the end of the season.’

Bolton’s hopes of play-off football may have faded as Evatt’s side continue to sit 11th in League One as well as playing at least a game more than the teams above them.

There were two other games that took place on Tuesday night with MK Dons moving level with second place Wigan after a 3-1 triumph at home to Cheltenham, while Plymouth moved into the play-offs with a 2-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon.

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