Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy hails his ‘horrible bunch’ after Wolves draw

Tractor Boys keep play-off hopes in their own hands with two games to go

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy hailed the “belligerent, stubborn and hard working” qualities of his “horrible bunch” of players after a determined 1-1 draw at his former club Wolves moved Town closer to securing a place in the SkyBet Championship play-offs.

Despite Wolves bouncing back to take a point through Benik Afobe's 31st goal of the season in the 50th minute after a Richard Stearman own goal had given the Tractor Boys a first-half lead, Town's play-off hopes are now in their own hands with two games remaining.

Former Wolves boss McCarthy was delighted with his side’s determined display and he said: “It was a good performance and a good point. It is very pleasing.

“Wolves were in the ascendancy in the second half but we have had a great, stubborn, belligerent, professional performance – all those horrible words people don’t like in football but I do because you win games and win leagues by doing that.

“We are always hard to beat and hard to play against. The first thing I said to the players in the dressing room after the game was what a belligerent, stubborn, hard working, tough, horrible bunch you have turned out to be and I love you and I am proud of you because you need all those qualities to be a good team. It is lovely to have.

“A lot of those qualities are probably the reasons why we are where we are.

“It takes a lot of things to be in the top six and there will be teams below us who are all playing sexy football but we are winning games and we are in the top six and we still have a chance of being promoted.

“So to anyone who cocks a snook at the way we are doing it I laugh at them and think it is comical because I think what we do we do well and isn’t that what having a job is all about?”

McCarthy, who was sacked by Wolves in February 2012 after almost six years in charge of the club, insisted that he did not have anything to prove on his second return to Molineux.

He added: “I think I am very much liked and respected by the Wolves fans and I love the club and the people here so I don’t think I have got anything to prove and I always appreciate getting a nice warm welcome coming back. But I have taken the point and I am happy with that.”

Although they trailed at the break, Wolves needed only five minutes of the second period to draw level when Afobe stabbed home at the far post and they could have gone on to snatch a winner with Nouha Dicko carrying their greatest.

They could not find a second goal, though, and their play-off hopes are now hanging by a thread.

However, coach Kenny Jackett insisted they will not be throwing in the towel.

He said: “It is out of our hands and now we will need to win our final two games and other teams will need to lose. But you don’t know what will happen.

“So we need to make sure that we go again next week. It is a tough call, we understand that. We will have to see how the table looks but one way or another we have to put in a good performance and give it everything we have got next week at Wigan.

“If the door is still open through other people slipping up we have to make sure that we are there.”