Homegrown defender Chris Smith recalled by Klug ahead of Forest trip
PUBLISHED: 13:26 13 April 2018
Ipswich Town caretaker boss Bryan Klug has recalled young defender Chris Smith from a loan spell at National League South side Chelmsford City to go into the squad for tomorrow’s Championship game at Nottingham Forest.
The Blues are short of central defensive options with Luke Chambers (shoulder/ribs) and Adam Webster (hamstring) both currently sidelined. Full-backs Jordan Spence and Jonas Knudsen played either side of Tottenham loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers during Tuesday night’s 1-0 home win against Barnsley.
Former Kesgrave High School pupil Smith, 20, has made one senior appearance for the Blues thus far as part of a young team which put on a good show in the 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat at Premier League side Crystal Palace last August.
He’s made 28 appearances during his temporary spell in Essex with the Clarets currently occupying a play-off spot with five games to go.
Smith recently signed a new one-year deal at Portman Road with the club having the option to extend that by a further 12 months.
Speaking about the youngster back in January, Mick McCarthy – who left the club this week – said: “He looks like more of a bloke. He’s been playing in that level where you have to stand up for yourself because it’s a physical game and it’s not the Under-23s.
“Chris looks like an accomplished player and I hope he can (have a first team future). Until they’re playing it you will never find out I guess.
Then, earlier this month, he said: “What I like about him is that he’s gone out on loan to Chelmsford and really stood out. For them he’s played well but when he’s come back and trained with us he looks like a bloke now.
“He came back far more assured, far more confident, he looked like a man training, he looked like one of the first-team players, just his size, the physical specimen of him.
“Whether he’s for the first team next year I don’t know. I think he’ll continue to get better. He’s a centre-back, so you always continue to improve.
“I think that’s what will happen and hopefully next year for him, for his development, he can get out and play in the league somewhere, League Two or League One, just make that step up. I think he could be a first-teamer in the making for Ipswich.”