Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy hailed his side's work ethic after they picked up a well-earned point in a goalless draw at npower Championship leaders Cardiff.

The Tractor Boys were well organised and disciplined throughout and became the first team to stop the Bluebirds scoring in a league match this season. And they could have won the game with Guirane N'Daw's curling effort crash off the post early on and Frank Nouble inches away from a dramatic winner.

"It was probably a fair result overall," McCarthy said. "I would have taken it before and I'm happy with it now. On reflection we might have got all three points. In open play I think we probably had the better chances in the second half."

He added: "We always work hard every week. We get our stats and we work as hard if not harder than everyone else and they really have bought into that team shape. They've bought into everything I've tried to do."

The point leaves the Tractor Boys in 19th place, six points clear of the relegation zone, but despite his side's recent form McCarthy is aware they could easily slip back into danger.

He said: "Whatever we've done so far it can change so quickly. We'd lost two on the bounce and I didn't want to lose three league games on the bounce. A revival is one thing but you don't want the patient to die!"

It took Cardiff 27 minutes to create a real chance, Mark Hudson missing the first of two first-half headers in a match short on quality. Craig Bellamy and Aron Gunnarsson both had second-half chances to extend Cardiff's lead at the top of the table - with second-placed Hull losing 3-1 to Sheffield Wednesday in the evening kick-off.

But despite throwing on strikers Heidar Helguson, Joe Mason and Tommy Smith Malky Mackay's side could not find the breakthrough. The Scot, though, had few complaints about the final result which leaves his side eight points clear at the top.

He said: "We were playing against a team who are right at the top of the form table with a new manager and some new players coming in. They'd only lost two in 10 so if we had not worked as hard as them then we'd have been beaten.

"For us to come out with another clean sheet, our fourth in five games, on the back of 13 points out of 15 I'm delighted. I think you can always hope you can create more chances. We created 20 attempts on their goal but it is the clinical nature of that final pass that was missing."