Mick McCarthy praises his loan stars – and refuses to rule out adding more

HE might not be happy with inheriting a squad with eight loan players.

But that hasn’t stopped Mick McCarthy from using them to form the backbone of his fledgling Ipswich Town side – and he has not ruled out recruiting more.

McCarthy started with six loan players – and Bilel Moshni on the bench – as the Blues ended their 12-game winless slump with a 1-0 victory at Birmingham.

The new Town boss opted for “hard-nosed professionals” over Luke Hyam and Josh Carson and is set to continue with that trend until he can bring his own permanent signings in January.

But coming a week after one of his loan players, Richie Wellens, questioned the commitment and desire within the dressing room, McCarthy is today full of praise for his temporary stars.

He said: “I think those players have all shown a real commitment to playing here. I was delighted with them on Saturday, the ones that played and Bilel Mohsni who went on.

“I like their attitude towards it. Despite being on loan, they don’t look to me like they are just here to get fit and are not bothered. They look like they care, certainly on Saturday when I thought they were terrific.”

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The fact that McCarthy already has six home-based loan players and can only name five in his 18-man squad might hinder his hopes of adding new personnel before the New Year.

McCarthy explained: “I can only have five on the team sheet and the four that started played really well. That makes life complicated a little bit.

“Will I be able to get any more? We’ll see, that’s all in the mix. I will be looking for players, of course I will.”

Of the current loan players, McCarthy repeated his desire to keep Wellens – but Leicester boss Nigel Pearson might stand in the way of that as he looks to bring some experience back to his midfield. And looking long-term, McCarthy added: “Do you think I don’t know about DJ Campbell, Stephen Henderson, Danny Higginbotham, Daryl Murphy? I knew before they came. I know now (who I want to keep).”