Elliott Hewitt will be in the Ipswich Town squad to face Burnley as Massimo Luongo returns to Tottenham
15:18 09 November 2012
Ipswich v Burnley: IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy has revealed that summer signing Elliott Hewitt will be in the squad for the visit of Burnley tomorrow.
The 18-year-old right-back was coveted by a number of clubs in the summer after bursting onto the scene at League Two club Macclesfield, but the prospect of double hip surgery put many off.
Ex-Town boss Paul Jewell swooped to sign him in a £150,000 deal but never got the chance to play him as he suffered a number of injury set-backs during the rehabilitation process.
Hewitt played 90 minutes for the club’s Under-21 side on Wednesday as an experienced side – including the likes of Michael Chopra, Nathan Ellington, Luke Hyam and Josh Carson – went down to a 1-0 defeat to Swansea at Playford Road.
“I was really pleased with Elliott Hewitt,” said McCarthy. “That was a good athletic performance.
“I liked him when he was at Macclesfield – I think most people were watching him at that time. He’s in the squad tomorrow. He’s just had an operation on two hips and the temptation is to see somebody and think ‘I’ll have a bit of that’.
“We’ll have to be careful not to rush him, but I really enjoyed watching him play.”
Having played a 4-4-2 formation for the 1-0 win at Birmingham in his opening match in charge, McCarthy rested Guirane N’Daw – replacing him with Andy Drury – and deployed a 4-1-4-1 system at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. With Daryl Murphy withdrawn from a striker’s role to play on the left-wing again, the Blues lost 5-0 against the high-flying Eagles.
Asked if he would play two up front at Portman Road – a place Ipswich have failed to register a league win in 10 attempts – McCarthy said: “Two o’clock tomorrow you’ll have my team sheet.
“Why would I even begin to tell anybody so that they can prepare? If I get the team from Burnley now I can organise myself far better than if I suddenly see something an hour before kick-off. I’m not going to give any hints or suggestion, you’ll have to forgive me.”
On powerful midfielder N’Daw – who fell out of favour under Jewell but played a crucial role in McCarthy’s winning start as Blues boss – he said: “I decided not to play him (on Tuesday) because he’d got cramp in both legs (at Birmingham). If you get cramp in both legs on Saturday it’s normally because you’re not match fit so I decided to change it.
“Perhaps we did miss his power and presence, but none of the goals came through the middle of the park. You couldn’t say we were weak in there. The first goal is a mistake (by Luke Chambers), the second is a debateable penalty from the wide area, the third goal is another penalty, the fourth one is the most awful defending that you could ever wish to see (down the left side) and the fifth is daft because we get caught on the break.
“I thought the lads in midfield played okay actually. He (N’Daw) is a presence, but only if he can get about the pitch.”
Tomorrow is the last game of midfielder Richie Wellens’ one-month loan switch from Leicester City, while Lee Martin is suspended after he picked up his fifth booking of the season at Selhurst Park.
Meanwhile, teenage midfielder Massimo Luongo has had his season-long loan from Tottenham cut short by agreement of both clubs. Having shown a great deal of promise early on with the Blues, the youngster became the victim of the rule which means clubs can only name five domestic loanees in their match day squad. Stephen Henderson (West Ham), Danny Higginbotham (Stoke), Wellens (Leicester), Bilel Mohsni (Southend) and DJ Campbell (QPR) have all been preferred in recent weeks.
– For more from McCarthy, see tomorrow’s EADT.