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Better the devil you know – Mick McCarthy would rather keep loanees than undertake complete rebuild in January

06:05 22 December 2012

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy


IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy says he would love to keep everyone of his short-term loanees when their deals expire next month.


Stephen Henderson (West Ham), Danny Higginbotham (Stoke), Bradley Orr (Blackburn), Bilel Mohsni (Southend) and DJ Campbell (QPR) are set to return to their parent clubs at various stages in January, while Nigel Reo-Coker’s contract also expires.

And after refusing to comment on reports that he is planning a transfer raid on former club Wolves for a trio of players – Ronald Zubar, Richard Stearman and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake – the Blues boss said he would be more than happy to simply keep his current squad together.

Having quickly moved out of the bottom three with a return of 16 points from a possible 27, Town could widen the gap between themselves and the bottom four with a home victory over struggling Bristol City at Portman Road this afternoon.

Admitting that his plans for the January transfer window are very much ‘up in the air’, McCarthy – whose side today start a run of five games in 15 days – said: “I like the ones that I’ve got at the moment.

“I certainly wouldn’t be dissatisfied to be able to keep them all, but it’s not just down to me. I can’t do anything about what their clubs want to do or whether other clubs come in for them.”

Higginbotham and Mohsni both see their loans expire on December 31, with McCarthy admitting he thinks it will be difficult to sort out an extension in time for the New Year’s Day visit of Brighton.

And the Blues boss admitted it may be difficult to keep hold of Campbell – who has scored eight goals in 13 games – due to the fact that QPR boss Harry Redknapp may want him back or other clubs may try and sign him.

Reports in the Midlands say that a deal for 27-year-old right-back Ronald Zubar is ‘nailed on’, while striker Ebanks-Blake, 27, and versatile defender Stearman, 25, are strong possibilities.

McCarthy signed all three for seven-figure fees during his six-year stay at Molineux, while new boss Stale Solbakken is understood to be keen to bring in his own players to fit into a more patient passing style of play.

– Follow @Stuart_Watson and @davegoods on Twitter for live match updates this afternoon.



  • Mick isn't being serious, he just wants the current players to stay committed until replacements are obtained. Despite a couple of wins this squad just isn't good enough on the whole. The most overrated player is Martin, a forward with no goal threat and almost no creativity.

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    gaz man gaz

    Sunday, December 23, 2012

  • So if better players become available he does not want them, more like he has been told there is no money available to invest.

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    Cyril Baker

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • Very strange strategy from maccarthy when the loaned players and the few town own have been total duds so far this season. But I suppose its only to be expected from a manager who has failed so often in his managerial career. The 3rd tier of football is still looming very close make no mistake about that!!!

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    ged scott

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • McCarthy should stick with what we've got for now. Try & keep at least one of the loanes & he can get enough out of our current squad to keep us in the championship. Only a fool would think the play-offs are possible this season.I think Marcus will only let him spend big money next summer when we can add some better players who want to come & play for Ipswich Town on a permanent basis.

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    Chopper Hammond

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • Depressing and pragmatic words from Mick the Man. Unless the football league step in and stop the farce of asset-stripped clubs like Offshore Investment FC being able to field EIGHT of somebody else's players financed by other clubs, the grim reality will continue. Aided and abbetted of course by misguided 'supporters' proudly financing the destruction of the club and managers blithely riding the gravy train in the confident knowledge that ultimately, their embarrassing tenure will result only in a temporary loss of dignity soothed by the healing qualities of a massive pay-out.

    Report this comment

    Rob Steroo

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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