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Round pegs in round holes – Mick McCarthy quickly spotted an imbalance at Ipswich Town

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 November 2012

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Archant

Leicester v Ipswich: ROUND pegs in round holes.

That’s what many Ipswich Town fans have been crying out for in years – and it’s taken new boss Mick McCarthy little over a fortnight to implement that philosophy.

Last season, Paul Jewell was forced to play right-winger Carlos Edwards at right-back due to a lack of back-up options, while centre-back Tommy Smith was the emergency cover for Aaron Cresswell – the club’s only real left-back.

McCarthy has moved quickly to bring in competition for the full-back positions in the form of right-back Bradley Orr and left-back Kelly Youga, with Edwards’ return to the wing in last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Burnley suddenly giving the side a much-needed injection of pace in the final third.

“We had a right-winger playing right-back,” said McCarthy. “As well as he had done in that position, that’s not his game. We also only had one left-back. Tommy Smith can play there, but he is a left-sided centre-back.

“It was square pegs in round holes – and I prefer round ones in round holes to be honest. That is not a criticism of anybody, it may have been needs-must in the past, but it is something I felt needed addressing. That’s why I’ve gone and got a right-back in.”

Speaking ahead of today’s trip to a Leicester side who started the season in fine form but have recently gone four matches without a win, McCarthy – who has led the Blues off the bottom of the Championship table with a return of six points from a possible nine – confirmed that new Blackburn loanee Orr will start at right-back, with Edwards continuing on the wing.

“His final pass for that winning goal last weekend was just sublime,” enthused the Blues boss, when asked about his evergreen skipper. “It was in the 87th minute, he’s just put a big shift in and, at the age of 34, he’s still got the legs to beat all of them. He out-sprinted them all to put the cross in and you need that in forward positions. That tells you the quality he has.”

Having been impressed with the likes of Elliott Hewitt and Luke Hyam in training, McCarthy says he will continue to stick with experience for now as the Blues look to claw their way out of the relegation zone.

With new signing Orr carrying the ‘leader’ tag that is also associated with the likes of Danny Higginbotham, Luke Chambers and Nigel Reo-Coker, McCarthy said: “It is important to have good characters.

“Some hard-nosed Championship experience is what is required at the moment and Bradley (Orr) has that. Already you can hear his voice. He trained with the kids on Wednesday and Russell (Osman) said he was great.”

Tommy Smith will be watching from afar as Ipswich Town attempt to find a new level of consistency to force their way into the Championship play-offs.

Tommy Smith leaves Ipswich Town after more than 267 appearances for the Blues over 10 years - he certainly made his mark. We’ve picked out the best pictures from his time at Portman Road.

Premier League Cup

Ipswich Town U23 0

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Ipswich Town U23s paid for failing to convert their chances as they lost 2-0 to Sheffield United in the Premier League Cup at Portman Road, writes Harry Mallett.

Ipswich Town will miss the ‘influence and experience’ of departing stalwart Tommy Smith, according to striker Martyn Waghorn.

Long-serving defender Tommy Smith admits the tears were flowing when he said goodbye to his Ipswich Town team mates having today completed his move to MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Ipswich Town remain 12th in the Championship table following Saturday’s dire 1-1 draw at lowly Bolton Wanderers.

Martyn Waghorn knows he and his team-mates must rediscover their clinical side and begin to put together winning runs if they are maintain any kind of play-off push.

Former Ipswich Town player Georges Santos joined Andy Warren for a special edition of the Kings of Anglia Podcast.

Joe Garner turned home to finish off a superb Ipswich Town move as the Blues rescued a draw at Bolton.

Town fan Karl Fuller looks back at Town’s draw at Bolton and why one of Mick McCarthy’s after-match comments was not needed

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