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Mick McCarthy hails ‘big star’ Grant Ward and ‘water carrier’ Cole Skuse

PUBLISHED: 15:47 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:48 20 April 2017

Grant Ward has featured in 44 games for Ipswich Town during his debut season at the club. Photo: Steve Waller

Grant Ward has featured in 44 games for Ipswich Town during his debut season at the club. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has hailed Grant Ward as one of the team’s biggest stars this season.

A £600k signing from Tottenham Hotspur last summer, the 22-year-old memorably scored a hat-trick on his debut after coming on as a half-time substitute in the 4-2 opening day home win over Barnsley.

He’s made 36 starts and a further seven substitute appearances since then, scoring three more times and playing in a variety of positions – from winger, to wing-back, central midfield and, most recently, as a No.10.

“He’s been a really big star for us, I think, not just in the last few games but over the season,” said McCarthy.

“He’s played in a number of positions, but playing in behind Didzy (Dabid McGoldrick) has really suited him.

“I remember Sparky (Mark Kennedy, former Under-23 boss) watched him for Spurs when he played as number 10 and reporting back about how well he played.

“He’s quite versatile and I think he’s really stepped up his game.”

Asked if he had found Ward’s best role in recent weeks, McCarthy replied: “It’s hard to deny that because of the energy that he’s got and the ability too. “It’s nice to be versatile though. When he plays wide he certainly helps the full-back in defensive situations, while he’s got that ability and pace to get by defenders and put crosses in.

“It’s nice to have that variation.”

He added: “I think Emyr (Huws) and Grant Ward would both appreciate the fact that Skusey (Cole Skuse) is sat there doing, as (Eric) Cantona called it, the ‘water carrier’ role. And I don’t know anybody who can do without water!

“They can get forwards knowing full well they have got security there.”

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is hoping that all the trash talk makes for a rip-roaring East Anglian derby at Portman Road on Sunday lunchtime (12pm ko).

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hopeful that Joe Garner and Tom Adeyemi will both be fit to face Norwich City in the East Anglian derby at Portman Road on Sunday lunchtime (12pm k0).

Ipswich Town host rivals Norwich City in the first East Anglian derby of the season this Sunday lunchtime (12pm ko) and you can watch back what Blues boss Mick McCarthy had to say in his pre-match press conference earlier today.

East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town and Norwich City faced each other in a two-legged Championship play-off semi-final back in May 2015 – it may only be little more than two years ago, but can you name the 30 players who featured for both sides in those matches?

Ipswich Town star David McGoldrick says he and his team-mates ‘owe the fans a victory’ over fierce rivals Norwich City, on Sunday.

There’s nothing to beat derby day as Ipswich and Norwich go head-to-head on Sunday. Mike Bacon previews the game.

Ivo Pinto wants Norwich City to do their talking on the pitch against bitter rivals Ipswich Town in Sunday’s Championship derby.

Daniel Farke delivered a double injury boost ahead of Norwich’s City Championship derby at Ipswich.

Daniel Farke has warned Norwich City they will have to fight fire with fire to match ‘aggressive’ Ipswich Town in Sunday’s Championship derby.

Fans have a big role to play in the “massive” East Anglian derby this weekend – and must cheer on the Blues all the way to victory.

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