Alex McCarthy out to heap more pressure on old club Leeds
NEW Town keeper Alex McCarthy will be looking to get one over his old team mates at Leeds tomorrow after fulfilling a similar loan role at Elland Road this season.
Unable to wrestle the shirt from Adam Federici at parent club Reading, the England Under-21s keeper has had no choice but to look at loan deals as a way of playing regular football.
First Leeds and now Ipswich have been happy to help with Paul Jewell signing McCarthy on a three-month loan deal on the same day he committed his long-term future to the Royals.
And after being something of a lucky omen for Leeds – losing just once in six matches during a two-month spell – Town fans will be hoping for something similar from the 6ft 4ins stopper.
But despite the temporary nature of the deals, there will be no split loyalty for the 22-year-old.
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He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “There are so many good players here (at Ipswich). I look at the squad and think ‘surely this is going to change’.
“I don’t think Ipswich are in a relegation battle. It doesn’t feel like one to me. You have to earn your points and results, but we’ll get it right. And we’ll go to Elland Road thinking we can win.”
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Despite being eight places and 11 points above tomorrow’s opponents, Leeds are in a little disarray with the pressure on boss Simon Grayson intensifying.
Supporters staged a protest last night following the sale of Jonny Howson to Norwich City, the latest in a long line of Leeds’ departures, although the return of old favourite Fabian Delph on a month’s loan might go someway to appeasing them.
McCarthy will go head-to-head tomorrow with Andy Lonergan, the Leeds keeper who was again installed as the club number one after recovering from a broken finger.
The Town keeper said: “I loved every minute at Leeds. I said at the time that they’re the biggest club I’ve played for and I meant it.
“You can sense the expectation of the supporters but it’s not something that plays on your mind. I don’t think the players there suffer from that or find it hard to deal with.
“I’m a lad from the south who’d never played for a club up north before, but I really took to the place – the club, the city, the people.
“If I was looking for another move in the future then I could see myself trying to find another club up there. “To be honest, if there was every an opportunity to go back to Leeds and the circumstances were right then I’d be back like a shot.”