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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.

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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.”

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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

Preston North End's Lee Holmes (left) and Rotherham United's Ben Pringle battle for the ball during the Sky Bet League One, Play-off Semi Final, First Leg at Deepdale, Preston.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has confirmed that he expects to sign Ben Pringle on loan from Fulham before Saturday’s game at Bristol City – and that he wants to add a central midfielder to his injury-hit squad.

Mick McCarthy

Chief football writer Stuart Watson reports back from Mick McCarthy’s press conference ahead of Bristol City, where the Town boss talked injuries and signings.

Cole Skuse is likely to be missing for at least a month

Cole Skuse and Giles Coke are both facing at least a month on the sidelines after picking up injuries at Queens Park Rangers, leaving Mick McCarthy thin on the ground in the centre of midfield heading into his side’s trip to Bristol City.

Bartosz Bialkowski in action during the Ipswich Town V Portsmouth (Emirates FA Cup Third Round) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 09 January 2016.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
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Ipswich Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski says he is close to agreeing a new contract at the club.

Mick McCarthy with assistant Terry Connor

Ipswich Town are once again looking to the loan market. Stuart Watson profiles some of the Premier League starlets they could turn to over the coming days.

Ryan Fraser in agony clutching his hamstring on the sideline at the end of the QPR match

Ipswich Town loanee Ryan Fraser is set to be sidelined for six to eight weeks with the hamstring injury he sustained in the latter stages of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at QPR.

Ben Pringle, pictured in action for Fulham

Ipswich Town are closing in on the loan signing of left-winger Ben Pringle – and it’s understood there could be another new recruit to follow.

Mick McCarthy gives former Ipswich loanee Jonny Williams a hug at the end of the game at The City Ground on Saturday

Ipswich Town have had mixed success in the emergency loan window in recent years – for every Jonny Williams there has been a Zeki Fryers.

David McGoldrick is guilty of a push on the keeper from this corner at Ashton Gate

Ipswich Town will play in front of a sell-out Ashton Gate crowd, when they travel to Bristol City for manager Lee Johnson’s first game in charge.

Ben Pringle (centre) celebrates League One play-off victory at Rotherham

Ipswich Town are set to announce the loan signing of Ben Pringle, from Championship rivals Fulham, on a 93-day emergency loan.

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