McCarthy: We Deserved To Win

"We probably just about deserved that," he said after the 2-1 win at Portman Road.

"In the first half we played very well and for the away side we were controlled, not giving them many chances and kept possession well.

"It was a good finish by Tommy Smith for the first goal. We then had the expected second-half onslaught - it was almost as if our goal seemed to lift them.

"We got a very fortunate break for the second goal, but then we've not had too many this season, and there are times when that happens when the ball is cleared but Julio did well to follow it in.

"That took the sting out of Ipswich for a while and although we lost a goal it was too late for anything to happen."

McCarthy had praise for his two goalscorers saying: "Julio is a terrific player who is having a fine season and did very well today even though he was playing in what many would consider to be not his strongest position."

Of Smith he said: "I thought Smith played very well. His movement is always very good and although sometimes the ball doesn't stick to him he took his chance extremely well."

Asked about his own FA Cup pedigree, McCarthy joked: "I've not got further than my own backyard when I played in the Cup.

"In all seriousness, I did have a couple of good Cup runs as a player at Millwall but I can't remember how far I got. I think it's a really exciting competition though and it's nice to still be a part of that excitement.

"As a kid I always wanted to play in the Cup Final, and although the Champions League these days may be better for clubs, you're remembered forever for playing in a Cup Final."

Of the victory itself, McCarthy said: "It was important to get back to winning ways after our defeat at Millwall last week.

"It was not so much the defeat more our very poor performance on the day. I feel a Cup run can be a help to our league form, and certainly the players get a buzz out of it.

"We are in a great position and who knows how far we can get and we might make a nice few quid out of it as well."

McCarthy also had praise for centre-half pairing Phil Babb and Joachim Bjorklund, saying: "I thought our centre-halves were brilliant today.

"I had a pop at them last week when I felt they gave Danny Dichio too easy a ride but they were much better today playing against two good strikers in Shefki Kuqi and Pablo Counago.

Ipswich Town 1 Sunderland 2
Reuser 89
Smith 45
Arca 68
Starting line-up Sub'd
Davis
McGreal
Wilnis
Richards1 (69)
Westlake
Magilton
Wright
Miller
Counago
Kuqi
Naylor
Substitutes Sub'd
Reuser
1 (69)
Bowditch
Mitchell
Diallo
Marshall
Competition

Saturday 24th January 2004
Match Statistics
13Goal Attempts9
6On target6
7Off target3
0Woodwork0
8Corners2
12Fouls14
7Offside7
Cards shown
McAteer (84)unsporting behaviour
Other Information
Referee
Riley, M ,W Yorkshire
Attendance
Starting line-upSub'd
Poom
McCartney
Bjorklund
Babb
McAteer1 (90)
Whitley
Arca
Thirlwell
Williams2 (90)
Smith3 (82)
Kyle
SubstitutesSub'd
Thornton1 (90)
Oster3 (82)
Ramsden2 (90)
Proctor
Ingham