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Ipswich Town 3 v 1 Birmingham City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 24th February 2024 Kick-off 15:00
Hutchinson: Important That Us Subs Make an Impact
Saturday, 24th Feb 2024 19:53 by Russell Claydon

Omari Hutchinson has highlighted the big impact the substitutes are playing in keeping Ipswich Town's promotion push on track after he once again came off the bench to score late on in the 3-1 home success against Birmingham City.

The Chelsea loanee had come up with a 95th minute winner in a 4-3 thriller at home to Rotherham United on Tuesday and scored in stoppage-time four days on.

This time it was to put the seal on a victory, after fellow substitute Jeremy Sarmiento had put Kieran McKenna's side back in front on 81.

The 20-year-old winger or attacking midfielder's sixth goal for the club, his fifth in the league, came racing on to a Kieffer Moore headed flick-on in the 92nd minute from Axel Tunazebe's throw-in ahead of a cool finish from just inside the area.

It was a victory which saw Town go back level on points with second-placed Leeds United in the Sky Bet Championship table and to within six points of leaders Leicester City following their Friday night loss to the former.

“It's a massive three points,” said Hutchinson, “the last three games I think we've done really well.

“It's very important that us subs are making a huge impact off the bench and I think that's what it's all about we're helping out the team as much as possible.”

Indeed, Town's 18 goals from substitutes in the league is more than any other side across the EFL.  

Hutchinson said: “You see Jez [Sarmiento] has done it twice now, he's a really important player to us and he gives us a different dynamic. And I think it was important for him as well to get his confidence up as well.

“As I said, the team is doing really well and the subs are having a huge impact. I've been playing 10 and right wing, coming on and impacting the game just trying to get goals and assists for the team.”

There was an earlier-than-expected introduction for him this time around though, with Wes Burns leaving the field in the 21st minute with a calf issue.

“I was just sitting down and saw Wes, I think he was struggling with his calf, and the manager just said 'come on and just keep doing your thing as you've been doing in the last games and help the team out' and that's what I did,” he said.

“It's difficult coming on 21 minutes into the game and trying to get the tempo as quick as possible which was so fast but I eased my way in to help the team out.”

The young Chelsea talent was soon involved in the Blues’ opening goal, providing the cutback to Sam Morsy in the 31st minute from which Conor Chaplin cleverly flicked beyond John Ruddy.

“I didn't really see it as it happened so quickly,” he said. “I was just driving down the line and I didn't really have any options so I cut it back to Skip and he shot and luckily Chappers is always in the right positions, so he tried to get a flick on it.”

Town's good work was then undone with Birmingham's first shot seeing Jordan James convert Koji Miyoshi's cutback on a breakaway to level in first-half stoppage time.

Hutchinson remarked: “It's frustrating, we're always trying to work when we lose the ball to win it back as soon as possible but stuff like that happens and it's how you react, and we go again.”

Reflecting on his own stoppage-time strike that confirmed the three points, he revealed Moore had signalled to anticipate the header in behind the defence.

“Kieffer has had a flick-on earlier and I didn't really read it so he told me next one I get try and read it,” he said.

“I knew Axel was going to throw it to him so I just span inside and went in behind hoping he got a flick on and it paid off.

“I've been working with Granty [Lee Grant, coach] a lot on staying composed in front of goal in training and I think in previous games at the start of the season I was kind of rushing my shots and panicking a bit, but I saw the keeper and just slotted it.”

His second injury-time goal in two quickfire home games was a very different finish but saw his work on the training pitch pay off.

“I was just trying to stay in the box and stay alive for the last goal that I got [against Rotherham] but I think it's really important for getting my confidence up,” he said.

“I've got good momentum now and it feels like everything is clicking together.”

Asked if parent club Chelsea been in contact to give any feedback on his loan, he said: “I have my loans manager who looks after me who tells me what I need to improve on and what I'm doing well. But besides that, no, I'm just focusing on Ipswich right now.”

Quizzed on Tuanzebe's positive display, having come into the side at right-back for Harry Clarke, he said: “A very good game, he hasn't played in a while but as I said, the subs making an impact and coming in the team straight away I think he made a huge impact today.”

Asked if anyone in the dressing room had mentioned the Southampton result, with the Saints having suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Millwall, in Neil Harris's first game back in charge, he said: “No, what was the score?”. On hearing of the 2-1 defeat he replied coolly: “Nice!”.

Quizzed on whether he takes much notice of other scores, he replied: “I think now we have little looks at it and we talk about it a little bit more now but, to be honest, much has been said but we're just looking to Plymouth now and whatever happens happens.”

Hutchinson revealed he did watch the Leeds victory over Leicester but that it was something no one was getting too fixed on the outcome of. 

“I did,” he said. “It is what it is, one team is going to win, that's the game and it's about focusing on us now.

“Saturday [Plymouth] will be another tough game, they're got good individual players and it'll just be about how we're going to stop that and how we're going to win really.”

Photos: TWTD/Matchday Images

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MK1 added 19:59 - Feb 24
Fantastic performance again. Would like Hutch to start, but guess McKenna loves the impact the subs can have. Long may it continue.

billlm added 20:28 - Feb 24
If he keeps his head on his shoulders unlike rashford he will be a top player clean, very good footballer,

pennblue added 20:28 - Feb 24
So humble, we are so lucky to have him here.

Gogs added 22:25 - Feb 24
if there's any chance, any, sign him up. This lad is class!

budgieplucker added 22:49 - Feb 24
At the beginning of the season there were some doubters with this signing and feeling that Kyle Edwards may have been hard done by. In all honesty would have Kyle Edwards scored the type of goals that Omari has done this season, I think the answer there is a big no. Kyle used to look lost when out of possession and tracking back, this lad shows so much enthusiasm to go and hunt the ball down and slide tackle etc.

bobble added 23:37 - Feb 24
every team needs a sub like this bloke..imagine facing him after 70-80 minutes of running and puffing....he runs rings around the tired defenders at the end of a game..
when i used to play i went in goal for 90% of the game, then played forward when every one else was knackered, it worked great for me always scoring a few late goals...

Karlosfandangal added 12:31 - Feb 25

Agree……..wonder how many millions he will cost bet they will want around £10 million for him

SoCalTownFan added 05:56 - Feb 26
BooUrns is world class and when he went off it was a big blow, but this guy is a great replacement, he's a real live wire and like Burns, every time he gets the ball he makes something happen

Jugsy added 10:03 - Feb 26
budgieplucker - I was certainly one of those Omari doubters at the start and mid parts of the season, I also harped on about Kyle Edwards. Pleased to see that i'm wrong, the lad has really kicked on. Couldn't believe his energy levels at the end of the match to gas the Brum defence for his goal.

SoCalTownFan - Burns world class? Great player but possibly an OTT assessment!

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