Mick McCarthy makes bold prediction about 'champions' Newcastle

Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie

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Mick McCarthy has backed Newcastle United to finish top of the Championship.

McCarthy's Ipswich Town side were beaten 3-0 at St James's Park this afternoon.

Ayoze Perez scored two goals, and also set up a strike for Matt Ritchie.

READ MORE: Daryl Murphy reveals the thinking behind his decision to leave Ipswich and join Newcastle

The result saw Newcastle go three points clear at the top of the division.

“We were beaten by the better team, beaten by the champions," said McCarthy, who made a point of shaking the hand of every United player after the final whistle.

"If I see a better team than that this year, I’ll be surprised.

“I’ve just spoke to the players, That was one of those days where we couldn’t do a lot about it. We tried everything to stop them and to get a foothold in the game.

“To be fair, the one pleasing thing was we kept it at 1-0 for 70 minutes. We gave the ball away from a throw for the second goal, but nevertheless the finish was fabulous. All three of the finishes were fabulous.

“I wonder if we’d have had those chances, or anybody else, would they have scored them? I don’t know.

“They were better than us, they are better than us and they’ll be champions in my view.”

United manager Rafa Benitez said: "We have to keep working hard, but it is great that confidence is high.

"It was easy in the end when you see the result, but not during the game. That is what is we always have to remember.”