Josh Emmanuel is ready for Ipswich Town first team at Brentford - McCarthy

Josh Emmanuel

Josh Emmanuel - Credit: Gregg Brown

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy will have no hesitation throwing rookie full-back Josh Emmanuel in at the deep end for this Saturday’s Championship opener at Brentford.

The teenager, who turns 18 later this month, didn’t look overawed by the occasion as Town drew 1-1 with Dutch Eredivisie side Utrecht in their final warm-up game, at Portman Road, on Saturday.

McCarthy, who has signed trialists Giles Coke and Larsen Toure on permanent deals, admitted that the youngster could have defended better for the visitors’ goal, scored by Sebastien Haller, but with Jonny Parr facing a race against time to be fit for Griffin Park and centre-back Christophe Berra being suspended, the London-born starlet could be handed his senior debut against the Bees.

Asked if he had any reservations over playing Emmanuel, McCarthy said: “None at all, that’s why I played him. He will play if he needs to play.

“He is not built like an 18-year-old stripling of a kid, he is built like a bloke, he’s got some shoulders on him.

“No-one will do him for pace and no-one will do him for physical strength.

“He is a young lad and he should have done better for their goal, but isn’t it better for that to happen in a pre-season?

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“He can learn from it, which is brilliant, then he won’t let it happen again.

“But listen, their big striker (Haller) is a good player and we are comparing apples and pears with Josh having come out of our youth team.

“I am delighted with him though, I have been all pre-season and he is going to be a good player for us.”

Meanwhile McCarthy, who saw new Danish defender Jonas Knudsen make his second half bow at left-back, gave the latest on Parr’s fitness situation.

“He’s had a tight thigh and not had a great pre-season in terms of minutes and training,” explained the Blues boss.

“Having played bit parts in the last two games he did not feel up to it, but I am sure he might feel better now he has seen Jonas make his debut at left-back. I thought he was excellent.

“He’s a possible doubt for the weekend, I’ll have to wait and see.”

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