Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy left frustrated in his search for a centre-back

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers is out for a month with an ankle injury. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers is out for a month with an ankle injury. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy will have to name a patched-up defence for tomorrow’s Championship visit of Brentford after failing to add a centre-back to his increasingly injury-hit squad before today’s 12pm deadline.

Luke Chambers sustained ankle ligament damage during Tuesday night’s 4-3 win at Millwall and will be sidelined for a month, joining Adam Webster (ankle) and Tommy Smith (hamstring) – both out until October – on the sidelines.

That leaves Dominic Iorfa, Jordan Spence and Jonas Knudsen, all of whom are primarily full-backs, as the central defensive options.

McCarthy, who has been trying to sign a defender for a week now, said: “We’ve not exhausted all avenues yet, but we’ve pretty much driven up them all! There are quite a few that are all dependent on something else. In the meantime we’ll keep cracking on with what we’ve got.

“We’ll keep trying. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people I’ve looked at. I’ll continue to do so until we get somebody. There will be somebody who wants it.”

Asked if he regretted not going into the season with four centre-backs, following the departures of Christophe Berra and Steven Taylor, McCarthy replied:

“Not at all. Come on, since when have we stock-piled players just in case?”

Most Read

Asked if he was able to recall right-back Josh Emmanuel from his loan spell at League One side Rotherham United, he said: “I don’t want to take Josh back. He’s having a good time and enjoying it there, as is Kieffer (Moore). That’s the reason why we sent them out. It would be a case of him coming back for two or three games. We can’t do it anyway.”

Academy graduate Luke Woolfenden recently made his senior debut in the Carabao Cup win at Luton.

“I’d love to see him come in, but I don’t see any team in the league with an 18-year-old centre-half playing,” said McCarthy. “Most of them are tough, hairy-arsed, experienced, professional footballers. That’s pretty much what you need.”

On Chambers being sidelined, he said: “It’s a real blow. He rocked his ankle in the first half and I thought he was coming off because he was banging his hand on the ground in pain. It’s remarkable that he played on and got through 90 minutes. He played every minute of every (league) game last year and is really tough.

“It looks like he’ll be out for the guts of a month. I guess the good thing is we’ve got the international break coming up. He’ll miss three games instead of maybe six. I’m hoping he’ll be alright after the break.

“It’s his personality that we’ll miss as much as anything. I’ll still have him in the dressing room. Somebody has got to step up and be that voice in the back four now. When it’s going a little bit pear shaped, someone will need to be an organiser, be a cajoler and be an encourager.”

Dean Gerken (illness), Bersant Celina (illness) and Flynn Downes (calf) are all available again tomorrow, but Webster, Smith, Tom Adeyemi (calf), Teddy Bishop (groin), Andre Dozzell (knee), Luke Hyam (ankle), Emyr Huws (Achilles) are all still out.

Hyam will make another Under-23s outing on Monday (at Burnley), Huws is set to make his return in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup game at Crystal Palace, while Adeyemi is further behind in his recovery.

Bishop and Dozzell have both had surgery this week and will be long-term absentees.