Don’t expect a flurry of January signings, warns Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

MICK McCarthy has warned Ipswich Town supporters not to expect a flurry of signings in the January transfer window.

Six of the Blues current squad (Stephen Henderson, Danny Higginbotham, Bilel Mohsni, Bradley Orr, Nigel Reo-Coker and DJ Campbell) are set to exit the club at various stages in the opening month of the New Year.

McCarthy hopes to either extend those loans/contracts or permanently sign the vast majority of the aforementioned, following his impressive return of 16 points from a possible 24.

However, any business beyond that looks set to be limited – with next summer being the first real opportunity the Blues boss will have to seriously start building his own squad.

“There’s no chance of a complete overhaul next month,” said McCarthy. “There’s not suddenly going to be seven or eight signings arriving in January.


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“It’s difficult to do business in this window. The players who sign permanently in January tend to go for a considerable amount more than they would in the close-season. Everybody knows that clubs get desperate for players in the New Year and the cost goes up accordingly.

He added: “Utopians think that on January 1st everything will be sorted out. The reality is that clubs tend to wait and see if they get anybody else in before they decide whether to sell or extend loans.

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“As usual, we’ll all be scrabbling around right through January – right to the very end, no doubt.”

He continued: “Ultimately, players want to come to teams doing well. They want to get promoted, but I wonder how many teams they look at in the Championship and think ‘they are definitely going up’?

“Once you take the likes of Cardiff and Palace out of the equation, it’s then a case of ‘who do you want to play for’? There are a number of areas that come into consideration. The crowd, the type of football, the manager – we’ve got lots of components that players would fancy I think.”

With loan striker Tyrone Barnett having returned to parent club Peterborough following a knee injury sustained in reserve team action, Southend loanee Bilel Mohsni is set to return to the bench for tomorrow’s trip to Leeds. The versatile Frenchman has been left out of late by virtue of the fact that clubs can only name six domestic loanees in the squad.

“I don’t really see him as a centre-forward – I see him more as a centre-half,” said McCarthy. “Last knockings in a game, he’s a useful asset to have as someone to throw balls in the box towards – he’s certainly got a goal in him. He scored a great headed goal from a corner at Tottenham (5-1 reserve team win) the other week.”

Nigel Reo-Coker is available again after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury, but fellow midfielder Luke Hyam – having recovered from a calf problem – is a big doubt due to illness. Bradley Orr (stiff neck), Elliott Hewitt (tight hamstring) and DJ Campbell (tight hamstring) are all expected to overcome minor problems.

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