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

09:00 17 November 2012

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy


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.”



  • A few simple adjustments and a couple of the right sort of new players and MM has got a new team, enthused and keen to win every ball. I have gone from pessimism to optimism, expect this afternoon's result to be a hard fought draw or even win. We'll see.

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    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • It doesn't necessary matter WHO takes the reigns of ITFC ...If the board and M.E doesn't get behind them and invest in young blood instead of loaners and 'has beens' we will still be in the same situation next year.... :(

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    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Bradley Orr is a good signing, and I will very much welcome Hyam being recalled to the side

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    Kevin Bailey

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • I am sorry to sound critical, but this was another very disappointing performance (wrong word!). We do need a goalkeeper that commands his area, has some skill and can kick the ball. Real lack of coherence and effort, thank goodness for the quality displayed by Ipswich Town supporters.

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    Blue and true since 1962

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Not strictly true of course. Jewell too started all bright-eyed and bushy tailed - and signed a few token old contacts and somewhat surprisingly, a couple of young players he rated.. Then starved of funds to keep players on contract he was lumbered with cast-offs and rejects at the bottom of the barrel, so unattractive a proposition are Town now to all but the most opportunistic money-grabbers. The bizarre hotchpotch Jewell left behind is no worse than that 'created' by Keane - and simply reflects a poor manager endlessly firefighting with a bunch of ever-changing misfits, most of who are only here for the ride. Mick the Man will be in exactly the same boat unless there is a sea change in the way the club is being bled dry... and it is surely telling that all has been silent on that crucial point - not to mention the revolving door already ushering in a new crop of aged loanees no better than players already here.

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    Rob Steroo

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Oh dear, must learn to keep my big mouth shut!

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    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Lets hope those holes are deep enough for some of them who didn't perform at leicester

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    martyn elmy

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • Pleased to see him impressed with hyam and elliott, understand his thinking for now with the club in bottom 3 , and think hyam will get his chance under Mccarthy when the time is right

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    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • Paul Jewell has gone now so reporters no longer have to pretend that he was 'forced' into his bizarre team selections or tactics. I had hoped his departure would lead to more realistic and objective reporting. I know you do not need to state the obvious but please don't try to defend the indefensible.

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    peter sadler

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • hallelujah, Mick every supporter and their mother have seen and said this .P J has signedloaned more players in 18 months than we have had in 18 years,week in week out played players out of position and one up front at Portman road,he won't be missed.

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    richard procter

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

  • AT LAST WE HAVE A MANAGER WHO UNDERSTAND'S WHAT WAS NEEDED TO BE DONE WITH THE PLAYERS AT PORTMAN ROAD... jewell was clueless as is clegg. on that hope mr clegg let MM get on with the job in hand..C.O.Y.B.

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    User Removed

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

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