Tony Mowbray said his side's 4-0 defeat of his former club Ipswich Town had been harsh on the visitors but added that keeping an unblemished home sequence was vital in the Championship, writes Lisa Smith.

Mowbray was delighted with his side's win but said it had to be kept in perspective - what pleased him most was that his defence stood firm despite being harangued by their opponents for much of the second half.

Mowbray, who himself spent nine years at Portman Road, said: "Ultimately it was a strange old game.

"In the first half we dominated, really, and it probably warranted more than a 1-0 lead at half time.

"Chances came but in the second half Ipswich had a real go. They pushed people on and they gambled everything chasing the game.

"The thing is the longer the game went on the more they gambled and pushed men forward and in the end we were able to capitalise by getting some goals later on on the break.

"From my perspective I am delighted overall in a game where we had our backs to the wall for half an hour of the second half. Last season there might have been times when we would have caved in in this situation but this time we showed we have got a little bit of something. The players dug in and ultimately ran out winners."

Mowbray, still close friends with Ipswich manager Jim Magilton since his days there, added: "It is a cruel game and the scoreline is very, very harsh on Ipswich. You could see what a good footballing side they are and they will do very, very well this year if they continue to believe in themselves.

"We have to give great credit to them. I would suggest they and Southampton are the only sides in this league that can play with a great quality and brand of football."

Mowbray was full of praise for his major stars. He said: "We have quality now. Miller showed me in training why he should start in this game. He showed me all week and he has had an opportunity with Craig Beattie having been away with Scotland.

"Miller worked extremely hard in training last week. He is a threat. He has got strength, he has got pace and a left foot. He scored and he has scored in just about every game he has either played in or come off the bench including the reserves.

"To me football is all about application and I think Miller applies himself extremely well. I think he accepts he is a young player and that he has lots to learn. He has to work extremely hard but he has the attributes and the assets."

Mowbray also praised his other striker the veteran Kevin Phillips. He said: "He is a credit to himself but he is also a fabulous member of our football club. You saw what he did late on out on the field for our side.

"He was working against the whole back four by himself towards the end and he scored those two goals late on.

"That is his quality - you don't need me to eulogise about Kevin Phillips - he did it all last season for us and he is up and running with goals for us already this season."

Filipe Teixeira, the Portuguese midfielder, earned the man-of-the-match accolade and Mowbray said: "Teixeria probably covers more ground than any other player we have got in the team and he has technical ability."