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Mick McCarthy has praise for Chambers and Smith – but knows a new centre-back is priority

09:40 03 January 2013

Luke Chambers

Luke Chambers

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TIME is running out for Blues boss Mick McCarthy to add a new centre-back to his depleted ranks before Town’s first assault on the FA Cup this season.

The Town manager currently has just two recognised centre-backs to call upon, Luke Chambers and Tommy Smith, as he plots a cup shock at struggling Aston Villa.

Danny Higginbotham back-tracked on extending his loan deal, a decision that happened so quickly that the McCarthy-penned notes in the club’s matchday programme for Brighton said he was delighted to keep the Stoke City man.

Instead, the 33-year-old made his debut for Sheffield United at Doncaster after completing a free transfer to Bramall Lane.

Rookie Tyrone Mings, primarily seen as a left-back but someone who could deputise in the centre, was included on the New Year’s Day bench but he is cup-tied for Villa Park after featuring for former club Chippenham Town in the qualifying rounds of the competition.

With Bradley Orr also made unavailable by his parent club Blackburn for Saturday’s match, McCarthy would arguably have to turn to Guirane N’Daw as a makeshift centre-back should anything happen to Chambers or Smith.

While the pair looked a little edgy in Tuesday’s home defeat to Brighton, McCarthy heaped praise on the duo’s performances over the festive period.

He said: “The fragile nature of the team means the spine is there – but we have the two of them and no one else.

“They are not the biggest, but they are two good competitors who have been excellent. I have been delighted with them.”

McCarthy has continually been linked with defenders Ronald Zubar and Richard Stearman, both from his former club Wolves.

But he said: “I have been linked with a lot of the Wolves players. One, because they are good players. And two, because I have managed them. I’m hoping it will be a busy January – I’m certainly looking to get some reinforcements.”

1 comment

  • What a surprising statement !!!!!! Ever since we lost DeVos ,Magilton realized the team was short of a commanding CB, Keane also realized it but then CEO Clegg allowed McAuley to walk away for free, then Jewell came in and he too realized he wanted a CB. So he brought in various loan players. Now finally MM having lost Higginbotham realizes the team needs a CB as a priority. Jewell said good CB's were 'rare' or was it just to hide the fact that ME & CEO Clegg were holding back funds or were not prepared to pay the going rate for good defenders? Let's hope that their attitudes have changed and MM is allowed to buy a strong defender.

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    Brian Betts

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy highlighted the performances of Josh Emmanuel, Jonas Knudsen and Tom Lawrence as positives after tonight’s goalless home draw with high-flying Brighton.

Ipswich Town couldn’t capitalise on Brighton finishing the game with 10 men as they played out a second successive goalless draw at Portman Road in front of their lowest league attendance in almost four years.

Ipswich Town have an opportunity to quickly bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to Leeds as they host Brighton and Hove Albion at Portman Road tonight.

Ipswich Town’s next home game takes place tonight – but how well do you know the opposition?

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers says the team has got to start trying to entertain the fans more ahead of tonight’s Championship clash with Brighton at Portman Road (7.45pm ko).

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers feels criticism of him playing at right-back has been unjustified, but admits he’d love to nail down his preferred position of centre-back again.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy will continue to deploy a safety-first tactical approach heading into back-to-back home games.

Ipswich Town have nine players out injured for tomorrow night’s visit of Championship high-fliers Brighton, but the good news is that Grant Ward and Teddy Bishop are both available for selection.

Mick McCarthy has plenty of credit in the bank at Ipswich Town, but that could rapidly start to run out unless things begin to change.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy conceded his team were ‘poor’ in today’s 1-0 defeat at Leeds United and admitted a lack of goals is a concern.

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