Square pegs in round holes is only a short-term fix, admits Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
PUBLISHED: 16:48 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:55 08 September 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is counting down the days until the cavalry arrives, admitting he can't afford to play square pegs in round holes all season.
With virtually half of his squad sidelined through illness or injury, the Blues boss has been forced to name a defence made up entirely of full-backs and an ultra-offensive midfield/attack that includes four out-and-out strikers in recent weeks.
Town may have won their opening four league games in the face of such adversity, but they were comprehensively beaten 2-0 at home to Fulham prior to last weekend’s international break.
“They were all playing well and it was suiting us because we looked like we were going to score goals,” said McCarthy, speaking ahead of Saturday’s game at QPR. “It was working for us, but I’m not so sure it can work over 46 games – in fact I’m damn certain it won’t.”
The Blues boss does have more options at Loftus Road with midfielder Tom Adeyemi finally fit and versatile teenage defender Callum Connolly having joined on loan from Everton.
McCarthy is confident that centre-backs Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith and Adam Webster will all be back in action come the start of October, with skipper Chambers ‘making noises he’ll be ready pretty soon’.
And it’s been decided that midfielder Emyr Huws – the £1m summer signing from Cardiff – does not require surgery on his Achilles.
Town had been due to travel to Derby next Tuesday night, but that game has been postponed due to the Rams’ need to play a Carabao Cup game that night taking precedence.
“Honestly, I was kind of pleased about that,” admitted McCarthy. “That doesn’t break my heart because it takes another game out of the equation that Tommy, Chambo and Webbo, maybe even Emyr Huws, could be back for.
“I feel for sorry for the fans who have paid for travel, but if we were to go to QPR and get two or three injuries we’d have been going there on a Tuesday night with 12/13 players which would be bonkers.”
Reflecting on defeat to Fulham, he said: “We weren’t as aggressive as we could have been. I’m not talking about kicking people, I’m talking about closing down and pressing in the right areas. We had players in positions that they are not used to. You can get away with it sometimes, but they picked us off.
“We kind of made them look better than they were by not being as competitive as we have been.”