James Scowcroft backs former team-mate Stearman’s Town switch
09:31 30 January 2013
FORMER Blues striker James Scowcroft has backed Mick McCarthy’s loan swoop for versatile Wolves star, Richard Stearman.
Blues boss McCarthy has signed Stearman until the end of the season, and is also on the verge of landing Colchester United midfielder, Anthony Wordsworth, for a six-figure fee.
Stearman, valued at £1.8m by the Black Country club, is primarily a centre-back but is likely to fill the void left by loan right-back Bradley Orr, who has returned to Blackburn Rovers, at home to Middlesbrough, on Saturday.
Scowcroft was a team-mate of Stearman, signed by McCarthy for Wolves in 2008, when the defender made his Football League debut as a 17-year-old at Leicester City, back in 2004.
The former England Under-21 international, who has 18 months remaining on his deal at Molineux, will also provide competition for Luke Chambers, Leeds loanee Patrick Kisnorbo and Tommy Smith at the heart of the Ipswich defence.
He was a regular starter under McCarthy at Wolves, and was also favoured by Terry Connor – the current Town assistant manager – as Wanderers battled, ultimately unsuccessfully, against relegation to the Championship, last season.
“Richard is a very talented player and I remember playing in his debut and he was highly-regarded,” said Scowcroft, who now works at Ipswich’s academy, under Bryan Klug.
“He was a right-back at the time and he performed really well and went on to represent England at under-21 level.
“Ipswich are getting a player that is good on the ball and versatile and the manager (Mick McCarthy) is signing someone he knows he can trust.
“That’s important. It can be a gamble if you sign someone you have never worked with before whereas Mick knows exactly what Richard can and can’t do.”
As for Wordsworth, former Colchester boss John Ward believes the midfielder may have to up the intensity of his game if he is to be a success at Ipswich.
Wordsworth has played in the centre of midfield and on the left for the U’s and has scored 35 goals in 199 appearances for the Essex club. Ward, now manager at League Two Bristol Rovers, said: “Anthony will possibly have to quicken up his game as he steps up a level.
“He has a languid style and people assume he is lazy, but that is not the case with him, either as a person or a player.
“He is a good character and could not have signed for a better manager if he wants to realise his potential as he is still developing as a player.”