Despite Swedish scouting mission, Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy still prefers to shop at home

Ipswich Town signed Danish defender Jonas Knudsen from Esbjerg in 2015. Mick McCarthy's signings hav

Ipswich Town signed Danish defender Jonas Knudsen from Esbjerg in 2015. Mick McCarthy's signings have generally been British though. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy may have been on a recent European scouting mission, but he says his preference will always be to sign British players with Championship experience.

The Blues boss is keen to add a centre-back to his injury-hit squad before next Thursday’s 11pm deadline and was spotted watching a game between Swedish top-flight sides Djurgarden and Halmstads last weekend.

During his near five years in charge at Portman Road, McCarthy has made more than 80 signings – the vast majority of which have been British.

“I’d say that’s my preference because I think players can take a long time to settle when they come from abroad and we just don’t have the time to bring them in and develop them,” said the Blues boss.

“I’m not knocking lads from Europe or any country, because some do very well, but if you’re looking at frees and Bosmans I’d rather get ones that have played in this league.


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“Kevin Bru was a good one for us, while Jonas (Knudsen) has done well and got better. We’ve been delighted with him and if we could get any more like him I’d be thrilled. I’d still take players with league experience over and above anyone else though.”

Asked if you got better value for money when shopping abroad, McCarthy replied: “I’m sure you do, but we’ve got six to eight scouts. We don’t have anybody in Europe as such. We’re not a team that’s got a scout in France and a scout in Holland and a scout in Germany.

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“We’ve got good contacts and we’ve got ‘Wyscout’ (computer software). You can put data in and that will throw up all the players that will cost nowt and don’t want paying! I’m joking. If there’s somebody we like the look of on there then we’ll send somebody to watch, but I’ve always preferred to sign people I know.”

McCarthy added: “I have to say, if you look at the ones we’ve spent a reasonable sum of money on – Wardy (Grant Ward), Webbo (Adam Webster), Garns (Joe Garner) and Waggy (Martyn Waghorn) – they have all been really successful.

“You know a bit more about players when you’re spending money, rather then when you’re taking them on Bosmans and frees.”

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