Aston Villa v Ipswich: IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy has confirmed he will make sweeping changes to his tiring side for Saturday’s trip to struggling Premier League side Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round.

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Having secured superb back-to-back away wins against Charlton and Wolves over the festive period, the Blues boss admitted Tuesday’s 3-0 home defeat to Brighton – their fourth match in 11 days – was ‘one game too many’ for his largely unchanged side.

A number of changes will be enforced, with Stephen Henderson and Bradley Orr unavailable under the terms of their loan deals, Andy Drury still out with a virus, Tyrone Mings cup-tied (having played for Yate Town in the competition last August) and well as Danny Higginbotham and DJ Campbell having exited following loan spells.

In addition, Luke Chambers is a doubt after he broke his nose in training this morning, with new signing Patrick Kisnorbo – on loan from Leeds for a month – eligible to play.

McCarthy has confirmed that Scott Loach, Elliott Hewitt and Michael Chopra will all start, while he may freshen his team up in other areas too.

“I love the FA Cup, but if I was without the players we are without for a league game I would be a bit more unhappy,” said McCarthy

“I’m quite happy to have a break from the league. This gives me a chance to give a few players a rest after playing five games in two weeks. They’ve put a right shift in for me.

“I’d like to beat Villa, but there will be a lot of changes – some through necessity, some through me wanting to have a look at some. Of course, some of them will have to play, but I want to give some a break.” He continued: “Scott Loach, Elliott Hewitt and Michael Chopra will all play.

“I’ve liked what I’ve seen in Elliott. I want to see how he does. He trains well, he trains with the first team, he’s got a lot of ability – what he hasn’t got is experience and know-how and knowledge.

“DJ (Campbell) has been excellent, he’s been getting all the goals (10 in 17), so Michael (Chopra) won’t be wondering why he’s not been playing. He’s willing, able and ready to go – it’s up to him to step up now we’ve lost DJ.

“He’s got a good track record, but he’s got to come in firing and do the business.”

He added: “Loach is a great kid. Whether I’d got permission or not to play Stephen Henderson, I would have played Loach anyway because I need to see him – I haven’t seen him in a competitive game yet.

“He’s been great in training, he’s a lovely fella and has been a pleasure to be around; but I’m not really interested in that – I want him to play well. I hope he takes his opportunity on Saturday.”

– See tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for all the latest Blues news.

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