‘Skusey is as good as anybody’: McCarthy and Connolly lavish praise on midfielder
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Mick McCarthy and Callum Connolly have both lavished praise on Blues midfielder Cole Skuse, with the Ipswich Town boss insisting the consistent performer is ‘as good as anybody’.
Skuse has been a mainstay of McCarthy’s side since arriving from Bristol City in the summer of 2013, making 185 appearances, but has split opinion among the Blues supporters as Town’s midfield options have increased.
But the Blues boss believes his player’s ability as a holding midfielder is a match for anyone in the division, insisting the 31-year-old could play for ‘four or five more years’ as a holding player.
“Skusey is as good as anybody as a holding midfielder,” McCarthy said, ahead of the clash with Sheffield Wednesday.
“Forgetting the position he plays for us, as a holding midfield player he’s as good as anybody and probably could play for another four or five years doing that.
“He’s terrific and without him we would certainly be a far weaker team. Thankfully during his four years here we’ve not had to play too many without him because he’s been great.”
Skuse’s midfield partner in the last two games has been Everton loanee Callum Connolly, with the youngster insisting his team-mate’s ability is underrated.
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“He’s a top lad and he’s been great for me since I’ve come to the club,” he said.
“He speaks to me a lot and it’s only a good thing for the team.
“I think he is (underrated). We rate him highly here but I don’t think he gets the recognition from other teams.
“He’s been here a long time, I’m not sure how many appearances he’s made in the Championship but you can’t get enough players like that.”
Connolly was brought to Portman Road primarily as a defensive option, but has enjoyed playing as a midfielder after being pressed into action due to Town’s lengthy injury list.
“I’m enjoying myself, I didn’t expect to be playing in midfield when I came here but the gaffer has seen me in training and thought I could do a job, so I’m happy,” Connolly said.
“I see myself as a versatile player so I’m happy to slot in there whenever.
“I think I have (a scoring threat) and hopefully we can see that soon.
“I’m happy just playing wherever as long as I’m in the team.”