Paul Lambert insists his Ipswich side will not give up on their Sky Bet Championship survival fight until it is mathematically impossible to stay up.
A 90th-minute winner from substitute Modou Barrow gave Reading a 2-1 win over Town at Portman Road.
While the Royals’ boss Jose Gomes says he always had faith in his players who showed great “team spirit” to come away with the vital win.
The battle of the basement clubs was billed as a must-win game for Ipswich by their manager but they are now 12 points adrift of safety.
Lambert said: “I thought that the two goals they scored were really poor and I thought we never dealt with them at all.
“We had a great chance towards the end of the first half we go 1-0 down and I thought second half we done everything we could to score but their second goal is a really, really poor goal.
“We missed too many big chances. We had a lot of chances and the goalkeeper made some good saves and we have had some bad misses.”
He said it would be difficult to pick up the 12 points to retain their Championship survival.
“Time is not on our side that’s for sure but until it mathematically impossible you never give in. Your job is to try and win, it’s still possible but it’s going to be really hard. We need a lot of work but you never, ever stop giving in.”
Norwich City loanee Nelson Oliveira opened the scoring for the Royals in the 19th minute with Gwion Edwards replying for Ipswich in the 83rd minute.
But the sting in the tail came from Barrow who was sent clear following a late break by Reading to beat Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski and send the 1,495 visiting fans into wild celebrations.
The Royals’ keeper Emiliano Martinez made a string of saves in the second half and helped to chalk up only Reading’s second away win of the season.
Ipswich had their chances to grab a point and deep into injury time Luke Chambers headed narrowly wide of the goal following a corner by Edwards.
Gomes felt it was a big win for his team and said: “It was very important the three points.
“It was a big game but it was just three points. We are in the middle of the big war and the final games will decide everything but this game did not decide anything.
“We know that if we win against Wigan we will pass them next Saturday.
“I had faith in my team even the players showed a good team spirit the way that they fight and the chances they create to score.
“We cannot find any easy game in the Championship but sometime the games are not beautiful.
“In this league all the teams can beat each other.”
And he had praise for his goalkeeper saying: “He is a good goalkeeper despite getting injured during the warm up.”
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