Anthony Wordsworth happy to play his part, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy insists Anthony Wordsworth is happy to play his part within a squad all pulling in the same direction.
The former Colchester United midfielder was very much on the fringes throughout the opening months of his first full season at the club, but was suddenly promoted to the starting line-up in March and appeared to take his opportunity with both hands with impressive performances in the back-to-back wins against Brighton and Derby.
He was dropped from the match-day squad for the 1-1 home draw with Nottingham Forest though, replaced by the fit-again Cole Skuse, and when he returned to the starting XI it was on the right of midfield in the 2-0 defeat at Blackburn.
After that match the 24-year-old gave a candid interview in which he admitted he was ‘deeply upset’ at McCarthy’s decision to leave him out for the Forest match, insisted his best position was central midfield, that he works as hard as anyone else in the team and declared he was desperate to prove his manager wrong.
He has not started since, being used as a 74th minute substitute in the 2-0 win at Huddersfield, while he was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Doncaster.
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“He played really well in those (first) two games,” said McCarthy. “And I don’t think he played badly at Blackburn either, I thought he played well, but I just wanted to go with the two wingers (Paul Anderson and Stephen Hunt) after they had been rested, left out, whatever way anyone wants to put it.
“I changed the team and it worked well. I thought Hunty and Ando were excellent (against Huddersfield). On Saturday I brought on Frank Nouble and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake at half-time because I thought that was the best thing for the team.
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“Woody is happy in the knowledge that he’s part of it all and that he can compete for a central role in that team. If Luke Hyam or Skusey are below-par or injured, he can play. I think it’s great. He is a central midfield player but I think he’s a good footballer and he can play a number of positions.
“If Jonny Williams wasn’t here he could maybe play in that role (just behind the striker), but I’m afraid Jonny’s took that position for himself and nobody’s likely to get that off him the way he’s playing.”
McCarthy continued: “Greeny (Paul Green) is another one who has just had to get his head down. They certainly get coached and managed correctly – they’re not just left to stew in their juices, I speak to them and TC (assistant manager Terry Connor) speaks to them and makes sure they are feeling all right about it.
“Frazer Richardson (just four substitute appearances since arriving on loan from Middlesbrough) is the same. I explained to Frazer when he came that it was as back-up. I’ve had that discussion since, which he understands, and that’s great because it’s not always the case.”
“It’s vital that everyone’s pulling in the right direction. You have to have a squad which is supportive of each other whether they’re in the team or out of the team. They can be disappointed, they can be upset, they can be angry but they support the guys who are in the team.”