Hard-working and versatile – new boys are the perfect fit for Mick

Ipswich Town new boys Paul Anderson and Cole Skuse.

Ipswich Town new boys Paul Anderson and Cole Skuse. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town new boys Cole Skuse and Paul Anderson have made a pledge to Blues fans ahead of their first appearances for the club on home soil tonight – they will run themselves into the ground.

Any interview with Town boss Mick McCarthy usually contains a reference to ‘putting in a shift’ or being ‘hard to beat’. And the newest arrivals at Portman Road certainly fit into that philosophy.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s pre-season friendly at League One side Crawley Town (7.45pm), Skuse – who became a leader and integral character in the Bristol City dressing room during a decade at his boyhood club – said: “All I can tell the fans is that I’m 100% committed, honest and I’ll try my upmost to do what I can for this club.”

And it was a similar answer from Anderson when asked what supporters could expect from him.

The 24-year-old, who was swapped for the talented but wildly inconsistent Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, said: “Just expect hard work from me. I’m a very hard worker and will give everything I’ve got.”

While a strong work ethic and good attitude may top McCarthy’s list of attributes when searching for players, versatility is also important to him. Again, Skuse and Anderson tick that box.

“I’ve played every position other than goalkeeper I think!” laughed Skuse, who turned 27 back in March. “I’m predominantly a central midfielder, but I played a few games at right-back last season and the season before.

Most Read

“I don’t want to pigeon hole myself as certain type of player. I’m not just a defensive-minded player, I like to think I can adjust to whatever the manager wants.”

Anderson said: “I prefer the left (wing), I don’t know why, I just find it a little bit easier out there. I can play either side though.

“I’ve been trying to learn how to play in that little pocket (behind the strikers) in the last few years too.

“I’ll play wherever the manager wants me to play.”

Both players are set to play some part in tonight’s match at Broadfield Stadium, with McCarthy having fielded two entirely different teams for each half of last Saturday’s 2-0 win at Irish side Shelbourne – Daryl Murphy scoring both goals.

Trialists Dean Gerken and Dan Seaborne are also set to be involved again following their appearances in Dublin. The Blues are understood to be in discussions with the keeper and left-sided centre-back about permanent deals following their release from Bristol City and Southampton respectively.

There will be a familiar face in the Crawley ranks in the form of Andy Drury, the midfielder having been released by the Blues this summer following two and a half seasons at Portman Road.

The 29-year-old was quickly snapped up by the Red Devils last month having scored four goals during a productive loan spell at the West Sussex side in 2010/11.

A Town XI will then travel to Wiltshire non-league side Chippenham Town on Saturday as part of the deal which saw Tyrone Mings arrive at the club, with an away game at Gillingham following next Tuesday.

– For live match updates, follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter.