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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.”

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of Marcus Evans completing his takeover of Ipswich Town Football Club. Blues manager Mick McCarthy has today spoken openly about his working relationship with the owner.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hoping that Teddy Bishop can fill the shoes of injured Emyr Huws during the second half of the season.

Ipswich Town winger Danny Rowe will be joining League Two side Lincoln City on loan for the second half of the season when the January transfer window opens.

Ipswich Town host Reading in a Championship match tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

Ipswich Town midfielder Emyr Huws has thanked Ipswich Town fans for their kind messages after the news that knee surgery has ended his season.

Ipswich Town host Jaap Stam’s Reading in a Championship match at Portman Road tomorrow (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the action.

Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse says a top-six finish is very much in the players’ sights heading into the busy festive period.

Ipswich Town have been dealt a major blow with the news that midfielder Emyr Huws has been ruled out for the rest of the season following knee surgery.

‘The Interceptor’ – it’s a nickname Cole Skuse will happily take.

Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse is the latest person to pay a glowing tribute to much-loved club stalwart Dick Parker.

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