Ipswich boss Paul Lambert hailed the chemistry among his table-topping side following their 1-0 victory against Rochdale at Spotland.
Danny Rowe’s 52nd minute goal proved enough to break down Dale’s resistance and send the Tractor Boys above Wycombe Wanderers on goal difference.
Lambert’s men still have a game in hand on the Chairboys and the Ipswich boss is enjoying what he is seeing – and believes they can get even better.
“I think we’re in a good place we’re still building things and it’s a long long way to go but the chemistry between our players is absolutely brilliant,” he said.
“I thought in the second half we were brilliant, I really did. I thought we were excellent, we controlled the game. In the first half I thought we were comfortable, we hit the post, hit the bar and made one or two little moments ourselves.
“We’re never going to come to teams and not concede a free kick, a corner, a shot on goal, but we defended well and second half we controlled the game.”
Luke Woolfenden saw a header strike the post and Luke Garbutt sent a shot against the crossbar in an evenly contested first half, Dale going close when Matty Done was played through by Callum Camps only to hit a tame shot at Will Norris.
Ipswich stepped up a gear after the interval and made their quality tell seven minutes in when a deflected Gwion Edwards cross was bundled into the net at the back post by the incoming Rowe.
Town pushed for a second with Garbutt’s 30-yard free-kick testing Jay Lynch in the Dale goal.
Dale refused to give in, however, and Luke Matheson had a 20-yard effort deflected wide while Jimmy Keohane’s delivery across the face of goal was a fraction too soon for Ian Henderson to capitalise.
When Keohane did pick out Henderson in Dale’s next foray forward, the striker was narrowly off target attempting to lift the ball over Norris.
“Our lads put in a hell of a shift in difficult circumstances in terms of our squad being stretched, losing players during the game and a lot of adversity with decisions going against us that were critical to the outcome of the game,” said Dale boss Brian Barry-Murphy.
“There was a clear push in the build up to the goal. I don’t want to go away from having the players be fully respectful of the referees but there comes a stage where I have to ask whether the fact the players are not asking the officials for decisions counting against them?
“I’m not advocating the barracking of referees at all, but I think there has to be a balance.
“A lot of things went against us but I thought our application was immense and our play in the first half was very productive, we just weren’t able to find the finish.”