Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted his side were not at their best after they missed the chance to go top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-2 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion.Daryl Murphy hit his 18th goal of the season to cancel out an early goal by Sam Baldock, before Joao Teixeira scored twice to put the Seagulls 3-1 ahead at the interval.
Substitute Freddie Sears scored late on to raise hopes of Ipswich rescuing a point, but McCarthy said: "We have to give Brighton a lot of credit.
"It was not going to be easy. Brighton played well in the first half and we didn't do well with the goals we conceded.
"We've had one or two players missing through illness and injury and perhaps Brighton have gone up a couple of percent because they are playing us."
Ipswich are not back in action until they entertain Wigan a week on Saturday, and McCarthy added: "The players are off until Monday .I just want them to have a break and recover."
Brighton have won three out of four games since manager Chris Hughton took charge, and McCarthy said he was not surprised to see the Seagulls recovering from their poor start to the campaign.
He said: "Chris is a mate of mine. I know what he's all about. Norwich were still in the Premier League when he was sacked and he was at Spurs for a long time.
"When I took over we were in the bottom six and now we are finding that teams are steeling themselves when they face us. Having said that, our first-half performance was not what I was expecting."