Cole Skuse and Luke Hyam can build an enduring midfield partnership

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. PHOTO: Sarah Lucy Brown

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. PHOTO: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Cole Skuse believes he can build an enduring midfield partnership with Luke Hyam at Ipswich Town.

Ipswich-born academy graduate Hyam extended his contract until 2016 yesterday, the 21-year-old having started the last 25 games in succession for his hometown club.

Skuse – who has been one of Town’s stand-out performers at the start of the season following his summer switch from Bristol City – is also contracted to the Blues for the next three years.

“He’s a top lad,” said the 27-year-old, when asked about Hyam, who hasn’t quite hit the same heights after raising the bar for himself at the back end of last season. “I know he’s got a lot of admirers within the game – not just at Ipswich, but outside of this club as well.

“He’s quiet, but with a bit of devilment about him as well, which I like. He’s not one to avoid a challenge or bit of confrontation and that’s fine with me – I’ll leave that bit to him I think!”

Elegant playmaker Skuse has tended to operate in a deeper role during the opening four matches, with the tenacious Hyam having been encouraged to continue developing the attacking game he came on with leaps and bounds last season.

Energetic box-to-box player Ryan Tunnicliffe and creative left-footer Anthony Wordsworth wait in the wings.

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“You suss each others’ games out and from the very start Luke and I have struck up a good balance,” said Skuse, who hopes to recover from an Achilles injury in time for Saturday’s visit of Leeds.

“Training with Luke and seeing the way he can strike a ball and finish, I see no reason why he can’t do it in games.”

Hyam said: “I’m delighted (to sign a new deal). Everyone knows this is my hometown club and I want to stay here as long as possible. I’m really enjoying my football at the moment and I feel like I am progressing as a player, although I know I have a long, long way to go yet.”

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