Alex Henshall, Paul Anderson and Elliott Hewitt catch Mick McCarthy’s eye, while Blues boss says he considers Jack Marriott a first team player

Frank Nouble scores the opener at Colchester

Frank Nouble scores the opener at Colchester - Credit: Su Anderson

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy reserved special praise for wing duo Alex Henshall and Paul Anderson following last night’s 3-0 pre-season win at Colchester United.

For all their organisation and hard work last season, the Blues lacked a creative spark and turn of pace in midfield.

Anderson has been much more on the front foot in recent friendlies though, while Henshall – signed from Manchester City – has caught the eye with his direct running.

With Frank Nouble’s quickfire double and Jack Marriott’s fine strike sealing victory at The Weston Homes Community Stadium following a goalless first half, McCarthy said: “I thought Elliott Hewitt had a good game tonight, I thought Ando was different class and I thought Alex Henshall played very well. They were the ones that stood out.

“Alex has got good skills, he’s quick and he can go past people. We’re encouraging him to do that because that’s something we’ve lacked a little bit.

“Listen, he’s got lots of other things to do as well. He’s got to do all the hard work that all the others do, but he’s a constant threat that’s for sure.

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“I thought Ando was great today. He’s really trying and I thought his all-round performance was good.”

On Marriott’s fine 20-yard strike, McCarthy said: “I know he can put the ball in the back of the net, but he’s got to do all the other stuff. When we put the ball up top he’s got to stick it and do that sort of stuff.

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“Jack needs to get better at holding the ball up as well as continuing what he’s doing because that’s a nasty habit that, putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Marriott said recently that he doesn’t yet consider himself a fully fledged first team member. Asked if he saw the academy graduate as part of his first team squad, McCarthy – who praised Marriott after last week’s goalless draw with West Ham – replied: “He’s first team squad member without a doubt, yeah.

“He’s in there competing. If he’s better than the others he’ll play. It’s a real physical league the Championship and he’s improved on that. Who knows? He might get that sub spot and might end up our Jonny on the spot because he gets in good positions.” He added: “I kind of know my team already. We’ve only been away for 12 weeks and there are no great shocks. They don’t all go away and have football lessons and come back loads better or loads worse. The nucleus of the team is solid, I’m just looking for someone to shake it up and say ‘I want to be in this team’.”

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