'Special night' for Mariner

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Plymouth boss Paul Mariner savoured the 2-0 victory over former club Ipswich and hailed his "unbelievable" players for producing a fine team display.

The Ipswich legend returned to haunt his old side as goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Joe Mason helped Plymouth to a vital away win, which improves their survival prospects.

Mariner, who played for Ipswich between 1976 and 1984, said: "It was a special night. I got a tremendous reception from the fans and can't thank them enough."

He added: "We had a great rapport together when I played here but, equally, it was pretty special coming back in my present role with Plymouth. I thought my players were unbelievable and extremely professional."

Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan was relieved to come away with three points against Preston after seeing his squad decimated by a combination of injuries and a virus sweeping the club.

"We've had a traumatic couple of days with injuries and illness and the team got changed this morning three or four times," he said. "The victory had nothing to do with football really, but a lot to do with drive, determination and a will not to get beat.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway hailed "an excellent team performance" after they thrashed Swansea 5-1 to move up to seventh in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Holloway said: "We really hurt them in front of goal. This was an excellent team performance which I am delighted about."

Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins was ecstatic after his team took apart bottom side Peterborough 4-0 to go five points clear of the relegation zone.

Adkins said: "I thought the first half was exceptional and the players went out there feeling 10 feet tall. They have the backing of their team-mates and I thought that the 11 who went out there were magnificent."

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