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Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says pride needs to replace the pain

Watching on with 2,000 Town fans at Carrow Road as our bitter rivals staged an on-pitch Wembley celebration was the cruellest of ways to end our season.

What made it worse was that there was nothing in the two ties, until Christophe Berra’s red card four minutes after the interval on Saturday.

The Scotland international reacted purely with instinct as Nathan Redmond’s shot came at him.

But Berra has been immense for us at the heart of the defence and unfortunately, it was just one of those things that can happen in football.

There had been a fear that for all our hard work in the first leg, it could have been quickly undone in Norfolk.

But although Norwich had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes, through Russell Martin’s effort which was cleared off the line by Paul Anderson, I felt we were the better side.

The never-say-die attitude that has been fostered under Mick McCarthy was evident again when we levelled through Tommy Smith’s close-range effort.

Unfortunately the Canaries were always likely to be able to open us up and exploit the extra space at the other end, and so it proved.

Bartoz Bialkowski shouldn’t have been beaten so easily by Redmond’s shot at his near post, but he had made a good save in the same move.

McCarthy looked back at Teddy Bishop not getting a penalty in the first half as another key factor.

But while I have seen them given, the contact looked minimal and the lack of appeals were telling.

What Mick is right about though is that we can rightly be proud of this side. Competing against vastly more expensive squads, we came close to something special.

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