Christophe Berra not guaranteed a start, says McCarthy

New signing Christophe Berra watches from the stands at Barnet on Saturday
PHOTO: Steve Waller

New signing Christophe Berra watches from the stands at Barnet on Saturday PHOTO: Steve Waller - Credit: Archant

Christophe Berra may be a centre-back with Premier League and international experience, but he’ll have to work hard for his place in the Ipswich Town team.

So says Blues boss Mick McCarthy after becoming reunited with his former Wolves stalwart, the 28-year-old signing a two-year deal at Portman Road.

McCarthy paid Hearts £2.3m for the Scottish international back in 2009 and he quickly became the cornerstone of the Wolves defence as they won the Championship and then stayed in the Premier League for two seasons.

Released this summer following Wolves relegation to League One, there was plenty of interest in the left-footed Berra but he took a significant pay cut to link back up with McCarthy.

It doesn’t guarantee him a start though, with Luke Chambers and Tommy Smith forming an impressive partnership at the back last season.


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“More than two million quid we paid for him and he was worth every penny,” enthused McCarthy, speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 win at Barnet.

“I think there was interest in him from abroad this summer, but I told him that if he wanted to come here – and he could fit in our wage structure – then I’d love to take him.

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“I’m delighted he came to that conclusion because he obviously wants to come and play for me.”

He added: “The best two will play, nobody has a God-given right to play.

“Tommy and Chambo were excellent, it was a good partnership, so Christophe has got a bit to do.”

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