I value Mick McCarthy’s honesty, says Stephen Hunt

Stephen Hunt, pictured on his debut at Blackpool

Stephen Hunt, pictured on his debut at Blackpool - Credit: Archant

Stephen Hunt says he jumped at the chance to work with boss Mick McCarthy again.

The 32-year-old played under the Blues manager at former club Wolves, with the duo reunited after Hunt signed a ‘pay as you play’ deal at Portman Road recently.

It’s a contract which expires in January and Hunt – despite having 39 caps for Ireland and five seasons’ experience in the Premier League to his name – knows he’ll have to prove his worth over the coming weeks.

“I know with Mick that if you play and train well then you’re in the team, if don’t then you’re out the team,” said the left-winger, who was originally told by McCarthy that he wasn’t needed at the Suffolk club earlier in the summer.

“I’ve never been messed about by him, he was up front with me in the summer when others weren’t and that has made me value honesty in managers more.

“Circumstances changed, I’m here now and I know I have to prove myself.”

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He continued: “Fitness wise I shouldn’t be too far behind. It’s not like I’ve been injured for six months.

“I had 20 minutes at left-back (at Blackpool) and then I played in the reserve game at left-wing where I actually surprised myself at how fit I was.

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“I feel like I’m ready if called upon, but I know there are some good left-sided players here.”

Asked what his long-term plans were, he said: “It has to be baby steps at the moment. I’m just happy to be back playing.

“If January comes around and I’m offered something then I’d be happy to stay here, but I’ve got to work hard on getting in the team first and then we’ll go from there.

“It’s the same with Ireland. I’d love to work with Martin (O’Neill) and Roy (Keane), but there’s a long way to go before I can start thinking about that.”

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