McCarthy will allow ‘maverick’ Paul Taylor to express himself

Paul Taylor tries a second half shot after coming on as a sub at Wigan

Paul Taylor tries a second half shot after coming on as a sub at Wigan - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes ‘maverick’ front man Paul Taylor can add some spark to his well-drilled outfit.

Taylor arrived at Portman Road with a hefty £1.5m price tag in August last year, but an ankle injury sustained in only his third match ruled him out for the rest of his debut campaign in Suffolk.

Sent back to his former club Peterborough United to regain his match fitness over the last month, the 26-year-old was recalled prematurely this week and goes straight into the squad for tonight’s televised home clash with Barnsley.

The buzz phrases under McCarthy’s management have always been ‘organisation’ and ‘hard work’ with there having been little room for flair players, the sale of the enigmatic Jay Emmanuel-Thomas in the summer a prime example.

However, McCarthy is ready to give Taylor – a livewire player who loves to dribble and shoot – the freedom to express himself.

“The players we’ve got are a little bit more structured,” admitted the Blues boss. “He (Taylor) can be a bit of a maverick, there’s no question of that. You might ask him to do something within the confines of our shape, but he’ll then beat two or three players and make something happen.

“You be saying ‘hold it, stick it, lay it off’ and he’ll go and smack it in the top corner. If he does that he’ll be fine with me.”

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Asked if he’s ready to find room in his team for such a player, the Blues boss said: “It’s risk and reward isn’t it? If you get the rewards through goals, through setting up goals and through winning then the risk is worth it. If you don’t then it goes the other way and the risk is not worth it. It’s the same with every player.”

Taylor has played in 4-2-3-1 or diamond formations throughout his career, so where does McCarthy plan on using him in his favoured 4-4-2 system?

“That’s up to him really,” said the Blues boss, who has been favouring industrious wingers such as Ryan Tunnciliffe and Paul Anderson and who already has a striker that likes to drop deep in David McGoldrick.

“Where was he bought to play – was it centre-forward or wide areas? Do you know what, other people have seen more of him than I have.

“I don’t really have an answer until I see him play in my team; not the Under-21s, not at Peterborough, in my team.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.