Balint Bajner and Kevin Bru need time to adapt to English football, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 August 2014
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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has high hopes for summer signings Balint Bajner and Kevin Bru, but believes it will take time for them to adapt to English football.
Towering striker Bajner, 23, has played in his native Hungary, as well as Romania, Italy and Germany – most recently for the ‘B’ side of Borussia Dortmund.
Creative central midfielder Bru – a Mauritian international – played for a string of lower league French clubs before spending last season at Bulgarian outfit Levski Sofia, playing for them in the Europa League.
Both were offered one-year contracts at Portman Road after impressing on trial over the summer.
Bajner – who scored twice in pre-season – was subbed just 44 minutes into his debut last weekend, McCarthy explaining that the 6ft 5in front man had run out of steam and that it was a case of ‘welcome to the Championship’.
Bru made his full debut in Tuesday night’s 1-0 extra-time defeat to Crawley Town in the Capital One Cup and, despite looking shy of match fitness, there were encouraging signs that he could add some much-needed creativity and guile to the Blues midfield.
Asked if it had been a bit of a wake-up call for the pair, McCarthy – whose side travel to Reading tomorrow – replied: “Oh yeah. In Germany Balint says he wins every header. And he says in Germany if he doesn’t go down when he’s touched he’s in trouble. I said ‘if you do that here you’ll be in even bigger trouble!’
“I’ve told him ‘stand up’ and don’t go looking for things. We saw in pre-season what he’s capable of. He’ll be an asset to us, they both will.”
On Bru, the Blues boss said: “He’ll bring a bit of subtlety, he can find a pass. I would hope he’ll get a few goals too because of his technical ability.
“I think he’ll find it, like Balint has, totally alien to him this league. This isn’t like playing in Bulgaria, France, even Germany. It’s completely different, but I think they’re both doing okay. I’m really pleased with them. They’ll both give us something different this year.”
Having made eight, largely enforced changes to his starting line-up in midweek, McCarthy has at least seven first team players fit-again for tomorrow’s match at The Madjkeski Stadium. Tyrone Mings, Jonathan Parr, Tommy Smith, Paul Anderson, Luke Hyam, Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick have all returned to training, with the latter likely to make his first competitive start since undergoing knee surgery six months ago. Cole Skuse (foot) is a doubt, with Cameron Stewart (jaw) and Stephen Hunt still sidelined.
Reading – who drew 2-2 at home to Wigan before beating Newport County 3-1 in the Cup – have several key players out. Centre-back Sean Morrison has been given permission to speak to Cardiff, Jem Karacan, Hal Robson-Kanu, Garath McCleary, Stephen Kelly and Danny Williams are all still in the treatment room, while this game has come too soon for new signings Anton Ferdinand and Jamie Mackie.
Striker Simon Cox – like Mackie recruited from Nottingham Forest last week – could make his full debut for Nigel Adkins’ side.