Mick McCarthy is ‘fairly close’ to finalising Ipswich Town squad

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is targeting an improvement on last season’s sixth-placed finish after confessing his squad for the new campaign is close to completion.

Town missed out at the semi-final stage of the play-offs in May, their first tilt at the Championship’s end-of-season lottery in a decade.

“We try and do as well as we can every season and if ‘as well as we can’ is winning the division, then great,” said McCarthy, who is believed to be still chasing an established right-back.

“We have finished 14th, ninth and sixth in our three seasons and I would like to think we can finish above that next season.

“That’s going to be tough as there are two of the three that came down from the Premier League the season before, plus the three that came down last season with chunks of money.

“It already appears that there are clubs throwing it (money) around this pre-season but we finished above a load of teams that spent shed loads last season.”

The Blues boss has added Brett Pitman and Josh Yorwerth (permanent) and Ryan Fraser and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on season-long loan deals, while only Tyrone Mings has moved on while under contract.

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“I think we are fairly close,” he added.

“We have got the two keepers from last season, the back four, barring Tyrone Mings and we have Josh Yorwerth from Cardiff.

“There are the two young full-backs, Josh Emmanuel and Miles Kenlock, that I have really high hopes for, while in midfield there’s Cole Skuse, Kevin Bru, Teddy Bishop, Jay Tabb and Luke Hyam.

“Ainsley Maitland-Niles can play anywhere across midfield then there are the strikers.

“I only really want 22 players. I don’t want 28, 29, 30 (players) because you can’t use them all and those that are not involved end up getting disaffected and being a pain in the rear.”

Meanwhile, the Blues’ development squad will face Leiston and Bury this month.

Town will travel to Leiston on Saturday, July 11, with a 3pm kick-off, before taking on Bury Town at the Ram Meadow on Wednesday, July 29, 7.30pm kick-off.