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Match-winner Ross McCormack wins praise from Leeds United boss
Ipswich 1, Leeds 2
Brian McDermott hailed the impact of striker Ross McCormack as Leeds continued their impressive start to the Championship season with victory at Ipswich.
McCormack played an integral part in United’s equaliser as Luke Varney crashed home to level David McGoldrick’s 11th-minute opener.
The Scotland striker then celebrated his recall to the national squad with the winner three minutes after the restart.
McCormack has been the subject of a reported three bids from Middlesbrough but McDermott is unwilling to sell, given his importance to the side.
The manager explained: “Ross is a quality player who scored a quality goal.
“I don’t know how many bids we have had – I leave that to the owners and the player’s agent. But I want him to stay and Ross wants to stay.
“I think selling him to another Championship club sends out the wrong message.”
Aside from praising his striker, whose talks over a new deal at Leeds to warn off potential suitors continues, McDermott was equally delighted with his side’s gutsy performance.
Ipswich dominated the first 25 minutes, scoring with a lethal 20-yard finish from McGoldrick and then seeing a lovely curling effort from left back Aaron Cresswell cannon off the crossbar.
But after Varney equalised and McCormack grabbed a winner that Leeds overall deserved, McDermott said: “They were on top for the first 25 minutes and we had to change our shape in the second half.
“We have been 1-0 down (in three league games) this season but that happens in football. There is good resilience and desire in the dressing room and I thought we were good value for the result.”
Town boss Mick McCarthy was disappointed his side did not capitalise further during the dominant opening throes of the match.
He also admitted his goalkeeper Scott Loach came in and apologised to the dressing room after reacting slowly to McCormack’s skidding winner.
McCarthy said: “We should have put them to the sword when we were on top in the first half.
“But then they got a fortuitous equaliser which changed the course of the game.
“The second goal was a really poor one to concede, from the moment we gave the ball away to the shot.
“He (Loach) came in and apologised – he should have saved it and he knows that. There is no point dancing around the issue.”
As his own side reflect on a tough Championship start that has seen them accrue just three points from a possible 12, McCarthy paid tribute to their opponents.
“Leeds have got some good experienced players and the front three (Varney, McCormack and Noel Hunt) are a real handful,” he said.
“They defended doggedly in the second half but we should have made them pay in the first half. If it had ended up 1-1, we would have taken that.”