‘I’d hate to think there’s any doubt’: McCarthy expects options to be taken on stars

Ipswich Town have the option to extend Bartosz Bialkowski and Cole Skuse's contracts. Picture PAGEPI

Ipswich Town have the option to extend Bartosz Bialkowski and Cole Skuse's contracts. Picture PAGEPIX/STEVE WALLER - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy fully expects the club to take up contract options on his leading players as they enter the final six months of their current deals.

Bartosz Bialkowski gathers under pressure from Jordan Cousins. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEP

Bartosz Bialkowski gathers under pressure from Jordan Cousins. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Jonas Knudsen was the first to have the option taken on his contract when it was extended before Christmas, but the likes of Cole Skuse, Bartosz Bialkowski, Teddy Bishop and Luke Hyam are all out of contract in the summer but all have options which do not need to be taken up until May. Adam McDonnell, Kieffer Moore and Kevin Bru also have options as part of their deals, but there is no option on David McGoldrick’s expiring contract.

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McCarthy, who is also in the final year of his contract, with the club holding an option to extend his deal for two years, believes the options will be taken and has challenged his players to try and put any concerns over their futures to one side.

“The job for them is to keep doing what they do,” he said. “Likewise myself.

Cole Skuse celebrates after scoring to give Town a 1-0 lead against Bolton

Cole Skuse celebrates after scoring to give Town a 1-0 lead against Bolton - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

“I’d hate to think there’s any doubt, not in my mind, that the players who we’ve got options on we won’t be taking those options up. But that might not be my job, who knows.

“I would hope and I would think that would be the case because the players are good, but (they need to) keep playing.

“But if the options are not taken up or whatever happens then keep playing and do the best they can for themselves.”

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Town manager Mick McCarthy commiserates with Teddy Bishop after he was forced off with a hamstring p

Town manager Mick McCarthy commiserates with Teddy Bishop after he was forced off with a hamstring problem. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The presence of options in his players’ contracts means McCarthy has no concerns over other clubs ‘sniffing around’ his players once the transfer window opens on New Year’s Day.

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“They can speak to them but they’re under contract, so if anyone is sniffing around and wants to talk to them there is nothing they can do because they’ve all got options,” McCarthy said.

“They’ve all got 18 months to run, effectively, so that’s a safeguard.

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There is no options, though, on David McGoldrick's contract. Picture: STEVE WALLER

There is no options, though, on David McGoldrick's contract. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

“Some people look at it and say ‘well that’s a bit unfair’ but the reason why it’s done is so that if there ever is a relegation battle, Marcus (Evans, owner) has an option on them, probably for 30 or 50 per cent less wages, and they know if that option is taken up and they get relegated that they can’t just walk out the club.

“I think it’s brilliant – a good mechanism. How many times do you see it when the team gets relegated and they say ‘see ya, I’m off’.

“That can’t happen. It’s a shrewd move by Marcus.”

Town will be hoping Jonas Knudsen is able to return from illness to face QPR. Picture: STEVE WALL

Town will be hoping Jonas Knudsen is able to return from illness to face QPR. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller