Ipswich Town and England hero Terry Butcher praises Christophe Berra’s bravery at the back
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Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher possessed a warrior-like spirit during his playing career and believes current Blues favourite, Christophe Berra, possesses similar attributes.
Bandaged-up Berra was in the wars again at the weekend when he landed heavily on his side and was the recipient of some lengthy treatment from Town’s medical team, following an aerial challenge with Burnley’s Sam Vokes.
That came after the battle-hardened Scot suffered a gashed head in the Boxing Day victory over QPR, having lost a tooth in the away win at Charlton, earlier in the season.
Butcher himself endured his fair share of bumps and bruises during his illustrious career, and the image of him leaving the field of play with a severely bloodied head in Sweden, after an England World Cup qualifier in 1989, remains one of the most iconic football pictures ever.
The former Rangers captain, who regularly watches the Blues at Portman Road, having left his managerial role at League Two Newport County in October, said: “It must be something to do with wearing the blue number six shirt at Ipswich that attracts elbows and boots.
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“Christophe is not afraid to take a knock and will play through everything.
“It reminds me of myself and Russell Osman when we played and he has that strength at the back which will also inspire his team-mates.”
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Berra has been a consistent performer for Mick McCarthy since signing for the Blues in the summer of 2013, on a free transfer from Wolves, and kept his place during some tough times at the start of this season, when his and a number of other players’ form came under scrutiny.
“The manager has been very loyal to the back five and they are repaying his faith,” added Butcher.
“But I also like Cole Skuse and Jonathan Douglas in front of the defence. Douglas has scored a few goals and Skuse screens the back four like John Wark would have done, although Warky scored a lot more goals.”
He added: “Town are solid throughout, hard to break down and have that resilience that saw them win at MK Dons when they were under pressure for the last 20 minutes, and get the win against QPR, in a game that wasn’t the best.
“They have good attacking players, a good team format and must be horrible to play against.”