WEST BROMWICH ALBION...2 IPSWICH TOWN...0
West Bromwich Albion have made a flying start to their bid to make an instant return to the Barclays Premier League after victory over Roy Keane’s Ipswich Town.
They have won their last three league games but manager Roberto Di Matteo is not getting carried away at such an early stage of the season.
“There are still 42 games go and this is a long, long season,” said Di Matteo.
“I only became a Championship manager six weeks ago and I still have to get used to that.
“I was really pleased with how we played against Ipswich. It was three points, a clean sheet, a great performance and a good afternoon.
“I thought we were very convincing all game but Ipswich have a certain Richard Wright in goal and he had a good afternoon as well.”
Ipswich boss Roy Keane vowed to things around after seeing his side crash to defeat.
First-half goals from Youssouf Mulumbu and Robert Koren sent Ipswich slumping to their third defeat in the Coca-Cola Championship leaving them with just one point from a possible 12.
The margin of their defeat would have been greater but for the heroics of goalkeeper Richard Wright who set the seal on his display by saving a 74th-minute Luke Moore penalty.
Keane said: “I always knew that the job would be difficult but there is no getting away from the fact that it is a massive, massive challenge over the next few months. It is sink or swim for the players.
“We need to do better and I don’t want to keep saying it. We don’t look much of a goal threat and we are giving bad goals away. That is a recipe for trouble so it is going to be very, very hard.
“But it can be done. You have to believe that we can turn it around.
“The Championship season is very long and you have to believe that we can get up to speed – sooner rather than later.
“Against Albion we gave a couple of bad goals away and we need to do better.”
Albion were set on the way by Mulumbu’s first goal for the club in the tenth minute when the Congo international beat Wright with a low drive to open his account following his summer switch from Paris St Germain.
Ipswich thought that the danger was over after David Wright cleared a Jonas Olsson header off the line following a corner from Chris Brunt but the loose ball found its way to Mulumbu who made no mistake from 25 yards.
Wright then kept Ipswich in contention by denying Brunt and Moore but he was powerless to prevent Albion doubling their lead through Koren.
The Slovenian international started and finished the move. He fed the ball in to Chris Wood and then ran forward to take a return pass from the teenage striker before beating Wright with a rising near post close range drive.
Moore should have set the seal on the win when Shaun Cummings was fouled by Tommy Smith only for Wright to palm away his spot-kick before the former Aston Villa striker saw his follow-up cleared off the line by Alex Bruce.
Scorers: Mulumbu (10), Koren (38).
WEST BROMWICH ALBION: Carson, Cummings, Martis, Olsson, Mattock (Beattie, 75), Brunt (Thomas, 55), Mulumbu, Koren (Valero, 84), Cech, Wood, Moore. Substitutes: Kiely, Barnett, Reid, Cox.
IPSWICH TOWN: Richard Wright, David Wright, Bruce, Balkestein, Smith, Walters, Garvan (Colback, 46), Trotter, Martin, Stead (Quinn, 46), Wickham (Priskin, 71). Substitutes: Lee-Barrett, McAuley, Counago, Upson.
Referee: Steve Tanner (Somerset).