McCarthy backs Championship ‘babies’ Downes and Nydam to come back stronger after ‘tough’ games
PUBLISHED: 16:08 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:59 03 November 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Mick McCarthy has stressed he always expected Tristan Nydam and Flynn Downes to find the going tough but has backed his youngsters to become “really, really good players” for Ipswich Town.
With a string of injuries robbing McCarthy of Emyr Huws, Tom Adeyemi, Andre Dozzell, Luke Hyam and Teddy Bishop for all or part of the season, both Nydam and Downes have been pressed into action, making a combined 23 appearances.
The teenage duo have shown maturity beyond their years but have also faced some difficult moments, with manager McCarthy convinced the duo will go on to become vital players for the club.
He said: “I just had a conversation with them both to say if I was a 26 or 27, playing in the Championship, I’m not going to let an 18-year-old come and lead a merry dance around me, that’s for sure.
“Tristan had a tough time at Burton (subbed in a 2-1 comeback win) but always competes and tries to do his stuff, as did Flynn on Tuesday (subbed in a 3-1 loss at Cardiff), but they have had very tough games for the two of them.
“Coming in and having one or two games, on the odd occasion (is fine), but being relied upon to do it each and every week is tough for them.
“Conversations with them always start with me really telling them how wonderful I think they are, because they are, they’re two really good players.
“In Saturday’s game (at Burton) Tristan had his head in the air all the time and was looking around. It was ever so physical for him.
“And the same with Flynn on Tuesday night, he found it difficult. And they will. But they’ll be good players. I’m not worried about them.
“My only worry for them is that they worry about how they play and what they do, that they think about it too much. And they’ve no need to. They’re going to be really, really good players for the club long term. But they are babies in relation to this league.”