Ipswich Town will be more pleasing on the eye this season - Mick McCarthy

David McGoldrick, left, Kevin Bru and Giles Coke

David McGoldrick, left, Kevin Bru and Giles Coke - Credit: Archant

Blues boss Mick McCarthy is confident his team will play a better brand of football this season, ahead of the big kick-off at Brentford.

McCarthy has added six forward-thinking players to his squad this summer in the form of Giles Coke, Ryan Fraser, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Brett Pitman, Larsen Toure and Jonathan Douglas.

Town reached the play-off semi-finals last season, in what was the Blues’ most exciting league campaign in a decade, but a lot of their success was based on teamwork, doggedness and a determination not to be defeated.

They did possess flair players, with the likes of Cole Skuse, Kevin Bru and Teddy Bishop all being key components in the Town midfield, but McCarthy believes he has increased his side’s creative edge ahead of the Blues’ Championship season opener at Griffin Park on Saturday.

“All along, my beef with my team has been for us to be better with the ball,” explained the Blues boss (pictured).

“We go and get it back because we have such great lads that work hard and compete, but my mantra has always been, can we be better with the ball?

“I think we have proved we probably can and it was interesting on Saturday.

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“I made the substitutions in the second half and had David (McGoldrick), Skusey (Cole Skuse), Kevin Bru, Pits (Brett Pitman) and Cokey (Giles Coke) all on the pitch at the same time.

“They are really good footballers, who drop in and play and we weren’t trying to stretch it. It was interesting to watch.”

Along with the aforementioned quintet, McCarthy has also brought in defenders Jonas Knudsen and Josh Yorwerth and while he is keen to make one or two more additions, he is delighted with the strides he has made with his squad in the last year.

“I had a look at the team photograph from last year the other day and the names on it and thought that it does look considerably better now,” said McCarthy.

“While I’ve got 17 players, 19 with the keepers, we’re trying to get 20, maybe 22 if we can, and I can hang my hat on them all, every single one of them is a proper Championship player, so it’s a nice feeling.”

“If we are selective, based on what we saw on Saturday, Jonas (Knudsen) is a good signing, Brett Pitman is a good signing as is Ryan Fraser.

“Then there is Ainsley Maitland-Niles who is worth every single penny we are paying to Arsenal.”

Meanwhile, young Town defender Matthew Clarke has joined League Two Portsmouth on loan until January 3.

The Academy graduate, who broke into the first-team last season, will team up with the south coast club as he looks to gain further League experience.

Town have a 24-hour recall clause in place on the agreement, which can be activated after 28 days of the loan spell.

Clarke can play centre-back, left-back or in midfield.

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