Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst rightly labelled his players as “warriors” after drawing 1-1 with Aston Villa.
The Blues boss is yet to taste victory with his new Club but would have left Portman Road feeling jubilant following an excellent performance against the Villains.
Jonathon Kodja gave the visitors the lead but Town fought back as Trevoh Chalobah scored his first goal since signing on-loan from Chelsea.
The Blues played the majority of the encounter with ten men as Tayo Edun was shown two yellow cards by referee Tim Robinson but failed to let that dampen their spirits as they held on for a good point.
In a vastly improved performance compared to Tuesday’s disappointing Caraboa Cup exit at Exeter City, Hurst was delighted to have witnessed a dramatic reaction.
“In terms of a reaction, this wasn’t the circumstances we all would have chosen but the players absolutely stood up to be counted and were like warriors out there.” he said.
“We very much Aston Villa a game even when down to 10 men and we still carried a threat of sorts and limited them to very little, especially when you look at the quality they’ve got in their side. Everyone in the ground today was proud to be associated with that team, which we saw with the ovation they gave the team at the end.
“While I fully appreciate it’s not three points it almost feels as good as a win with that feeling. We’re not playing against a team from a lower league, we’re playing a team expected to be right in the mix for promotion and have players who have played higher and are internationals.
“I’m delighted for the players that they did see it out because, if we had conceded late, it would have been extremely cruel.”
The Blues continue their tough start to the campaign under new management as they head to Derby County on Tuesday evening, and Hurst could be forced to make a number of changes following slight knocks.
“I was concerned about Jon [Nolan] during the first half but we got him going again at half-time, but it reached the point where he couldn’t have done much more.
“[Cole] Skusey’s feeling his quad but had to stay out there. There’s a lot of walking wounded in there and plenty of tired legs but, thankfully, their efforts got something out of the game.”