Stand-in manager Terry Connor believes Ipswich's 4-0 victory against Middlesbrough provided a welcome tonic for boss Mick McCarthy.

The Blues chief was forced to miss Saturday's npower Championship match because of a bug that also kept him away from the training ground all week. However, Town produced a sparkling performance, thanks to two goals from Tommy Smith and one apiece by strikers David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean.

"Mick's absolutely delighted with the result and performance," said Connor. "I spoke to him straight after the game. He's been really struggling for two or three days and he's just beginning to get over it.

"It's the first game of his managerial career that he's had to miss his team playing, so I'm pleased we got the result for him. Hopefully it'll make him feel a lot better. He can come back to work on Monday knowing we won 4-0, got three points and kept a clean sheet."

Connor was delighted with his side's all-round performance. He explained: "After our second goal we blossomed and grew in confidence and belief. The two goals were a bit of payback for Tommy, for all the times he's been in there and nearly scored, when the flight of the ball has just beaten him.

"You have to keep persevering and this week he managed to score two superb headed goals."

Boro boss Tony Mowbray said: "It was a poor performance from us and there are no excuses. We came here in a positive mood thinking we could get three points, hoping to push on and put pressure on the top two again.

"Now we're looking for a reaction because today wasn't good enough. We've lost four on the bounce and we either curl up and die or come out fighting, to show our credentials for a top-six place.

"We've got a great chance to do that this week with matches against Barnsley and Leeds. Ipswich are a hard and honest team to play against. We got frustrated that they weren't letting us move the ball around, because our game is all about the fluency of our passing.

"But we're better than we showed today. We have to roll our sleeves up, get back to working hard on the training pitch and get back to winning ways. You have to put these games behind you."