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Smith welcomes competition for places in ‘really strong’ Town squad

PUBLISHED: 16:50 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 02 November 2017

Tommy Smith, pictured battling with Cardiff's Omar Bogle for the ball, is in World Cup action. Picture: PAGEPIX

Tommy Smith, pictured battling with Cardiff's Omar Bogle for the ball, is in World Cup action. Picture: PAGEPIX

Pagepix Ltd

Tommy Smith believes Ipswich Town will have “a really strong squad” when the club’s injured players return and has welcomed the increased competition for places.

The New Zealand international came back into the side for Tuesday night’s defeat by Cardiff, replacing Adam Webster at the heart of the Blues’ defence, but at times looked short of match sharpness having not featured since the opening day due to a hamstring injury.

Town have been hit by a string of injuries in defence this season, which saw Mick McCarthy at one stage fielding a backline made up entirely of full-backs, but Smith now believes the strength of the Blues’ squad is beginning to show itself.

READ: Joe Garner on celebrating against former club Preston

“There are more of us coming back now and that means there is some good competition for places” the 27-year-old told the club website.

“Without that pressure you can start to get complacent. You need to know there are others challenging for your position. It keeps you on your toes and makes you more determined to perform at the top level.

“It would be nice to have everyone fit at some point this season. If all the guys are fit then I think we have a really strong squad on paper.”

READ: Hunt backs McCarthy - ‘If I was an Ipswich fan I would be happy with Mick’

Town take on Preston on Saturday and could have Emyr Huws back in the matchday squad following his Achilles injury, while Tom Adeyemi has also been dealing with a hamstring problem and Teddy Bishop and Luke Hyam remain sidelined.

Emyr Huws is excited by the chance to repay the faith shown in him by Mick McCarthy and the Ipswich Town fans after returning from an injury he admits ‘messed with his head’.

Teenage midfield duo Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam must compete for their places now senior players are returning to fitness, says Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy.

Fit-again Teddy Bishop is ready to play the role of super sub for Ipswich Town, says boss Mick McCarthy.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is ‘absolutely not’ seeking retrospective punishment for Sheffield Wednesday defender Glenn Loovens following his nasty challenge on David McGoldrick on Wednesday night.

Mick McCarthy is set to field ‘a few fresh faces’ when Ipswich Town face Aston Villa tomorrow, while he hinted at a start for Emyr Huws.

Following the news David McGoldrick faces a month out with a groin injury, sports writer Andy Warren looks at the arguements four and against Mick McCarthy’s potential replacement options.

Ipswich Town take on Aston Villa, at Villa Park, in a Championship match tomorrow (3pm ko).

Bartosz Bialkowski expects the return of midfielder Emyr Huws to give Ipswich Town a real boost as the Blues prepare for Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa.

Adam Webster has admitted he feared for his future as injury threatened to disrupt his second season at Ipswich, but now believes he’s finally hitting his stride at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town forward David McGoldrick is expected to be sidelined for a month after today undergoing surgery on a deep cut in his groin.

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