Ipswich Town summer signing is not the finished article, says Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town's Adam Webster (left).

Ipswich Town's Adam Webster (left). - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says summer signing Adam Webster is not the finished article, following the defender’s step up to Championship football.

The 21-year-old who signed for the Blues from Portsmouth in the summer, in a deal believed to be worth around £750,000 plus Matthew Clarke, has experienced a challenging start to life in England’s second-tier.

Webster was at fault for Brentford’s first goal in the Bees’ 2-0 win at Griffin Park 10 days ago, and also gave away a penalty, which was saved by Bartosz Bialkowski, in the 0-0 draw at Wolves last Tuesday.

In Sunday’s East Anglian derby with Norwich, he cleared Steven Whittaker’s shot off the goal-line, making amends for the rash clearance that handed the Canaries’ substitute the original opportunity, but performed well after that.

On Webster’s reaction to giving the penalty away at Wolves, McCarthy said: “It was his response that impressed me.

“Giving the penalty away is not the cardinal sin for me.

“A defender who has slid in the box and thought he could win the ball, but has made a fool of himself, we have all done that, me included.

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“But he reacted after that and played well.”

Webster initially impressed McCarthy and several of Town’s first team during the 1-1 draw between the Blues and League Two Portsmouth, in the teams’ FA Cup Third Round Tie at Portman Road, last January.

McCarthy got his man in the summer but was under no illusions that making the move would represent a step up for the youngster.

“I am delighted with him,” McCarthy said of Webster, whose partnership with Christophe Berra is keeping Tommy Smith out of the team.

“He has had to step up a notch, coming from League Two, and he’s finding it different, harder, quicker.

“When I did it a million years ago, I stepped up a division every year, from fourth, third to second.”

He added: “He’s a real willing learner, he’s coping well, and there is real improvement in him. He will get much better.”

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