Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy was full of praise for substitute Michael Chopra after his cool finish lifted the Tractor Boys four points clear of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over Blackpool.

Chopra scored his fifth goal of the campaign five minutes into the second half when he raced on to Guirane N'Daw's lofted pass, shrugged off the challenge of Alex Baptiste and slotted past Matt Gilks. The win saw Town claim only their fifth home win of the season, moving them up to 18th in the npower Championship table.

McCarthy saluted match-winner Chopra, insisting there was never any chance of him leaving on loan despite approaches from rival clubs. He said: "Some clubs asked about him but I made the decision we needed him and needed his goals."

He continued: "His winner was the one bit of real quality in the whole game. From the time he made his run to the time he got across the defender and held him off to the minute he finished with his weaker left foot.

"The defender was all over him and the keeper narrowed his angle, so it was real quality. He showed a bit of class. He's got something about him. He scores his goals but it was the way he went about his job and worked hard."

Town just about deserved victory in what became an increasingly tense, and sometimes scrappy, affair.

Daryl Murphy and Luke Hyam both had early chances for them, before Tiago Gomes lashed against the post for Blackpool after being played in by Chris Basham. Baptiste then shot across the face of goal and agonisingly wide after a pass from Matt Derbyshire.

Both sides huffed and puffed after the goal but it was the Tangerines who went closest, when Baptiste's header was cleared off the line by substitute Frank Nouble.

McCarthy said: "It was horrible, scrappy, scruffy, ugly, magnificent 1-0 win. I'm not bothered how we get them as long as we get the points to keep us in this league."