Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy suspects that Jonny Williams will be going back to Crystal Palace

Goodbye? Jonny Williams hugs Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers at the end of the 1-1 home draw with

Goodbye? Jonny Williams hugs Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers at the end of the 1-1 home draw with Nottingham Forest. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy suspects that Jonny Williams has played his last game for the club following this afternoon’s 1-1 home draw with Nottingham Forest.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has played a starring role during his one-month loan spell from Crystal Palace, catching the imagination with performances full of skill and tenacity against Yeovil, Wigan, Brighton, Derby and Forest.

When he was substituted in the 85th minute this afternoon, the home fans inside Portman Road gave him a standing ovation before chanting ‘we want him to stay’. Williams – who has said he feels ‘part of something special’ at Ipswich – came back onto the field at the end and made a point of going over the Sir Bobby Stand to applaud the supporters.

His temporary switch expires on Monday though and Eagles boss Tony Pulis – who witnessed Williams’ goal against Derby in midweek – has refused to comment on whether he will allow the deal to be extended or whether he wants the Welsh international back as the South London club battle Premier League relegation.

“I thought it would be a cert that they’d take him back the way he’s played to be honest with you,” said McCarthy. “I’ve been worried that would be the case. But maybe them beaten Chelsea today (1-0)... Maybe Tony (Pulis) will want to play the same team. I’ll certainly be having a chat with him. I don’t know.

“I thought he’d be going. I thought that was a knock-on certainty. The only chance that he doesn’t go back is that the result today has made everybody think differently.”

He continued: “Jonny’s been terrific. It’s much maligned the loan window, but why would you deprive a player like him from playing? He comes out and plays for a Championship side and he rips it up. He’s inspired us, he’s inspired himself. If he does go back he’ll be enthused by it and he’ll do exactly the same in the Premier League by the way, I’ve no doubt.

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“As much as the loan system is much maligned, I think it’s great for young players like him to come out and play at a competitive level rather than the meaningless Under-21 league. You know my feelings on that.

“Jonny can be anything he wants to be. He’s got terrific ability. He gets kicked off the pitch and gets a few bumps, but he’ll be a top player because he has the right attitude. He plays with a smile on his face. He’s brave with the ball, he’s brave without the ball. It’s been lovely to have him around, hopefully we’ll keep him but I suspect we might not.” Meanwhile, McCarthy revealed that Anthony Wordsworth – who impressed as a starting player against Brighton and Derby – was left out of the squad trough choice, not because of injury today.

“Yes, he was fit,” said the Blues boss. “That was a real difficult one for me. You could argue that Skusey (Cole Skuse) is our player of the year and, as well as Woody (Wordsworth) had played, I was putting Skusey back in because he’s been a top man.

“It was a hard one. He’d had two games Woody, he’d run as far as anybody on Tuesday and he’ll be back. I suppose the next question will be ‘why wasn’t he on the bench?’ Well, I left him out really because I had fresh legs coming back. I wonder how he would feel as well coming off the bench? I’ve got Greeny (Paul Green) and I’ve got Tabby (Jay Tabb) who haven’t played and who are fresh so they might have been a bit more lively if called upon. It was a tough one, but it happens.”

– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match comment and reaction.