Blues boss backs Ryan Tunnicliffe to show his Manchester United potential at Ipswich Town

Ryan Tunnicliffe

Ryan Tunnicliffe - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has backed loanee midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe to show his Premier League potential in the second half of the campaign.

The 20-year-old was originally due to be at the Blues until the start of 2014, but that deal has now been extended until the end of the season.

Tunnicliffe returned to Old Trafford on Monday to have a chat with Red Devils boss David Moyes about his progress, with the reigning top-flight champions – arguably in need of a central midfielder – keeping close tabs on the youngster.

He’s certainly done his prospects of playing for his boyhood club no harm during his time at Portman Road, starting 19 Championship games and ending up on the losing side on just three occasions.

“I think he brings a bit of added drive, a bit of forward thrust and some craft and guile,” said McCarthy. “Strangely enough he hasn’t scored yet. He’s had his chances though and I think he will.

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“Maybe the fact that there’s none of this ‘will he, won’t he stay’ business will help him now. We know he’s here until May the fourth and hopefully beyond.”

The Blues extended their unbeaten run to eight matches with Wednesday’s 1-1 home draw with Charlton, the draw enough to keep them sixth in the Championship table.

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Tomorrow sees the visit of League One side Preston North End in the FA Cup third round, with Tunnicliffe eligible to play in the competition.

“I like the fact he went and played on the left and had no complaints about that, but now he’s in the middle I think he’s been better still,” said McCarthy.

“I think there’s more to come from him.

“He now knows he’s not going back to play for Man United this season, but if he keeps playing the way he has been then that might change for next season.”

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