New Town Keeper Alex McCarthy backed by fans

New Ipswich Town loan signing Alex McCarthy has been described as “something very special” as the goalkeeper prepares for his first Blues start against Birmingham City tomorrow.

Town completed the loan transfer of the England U-21 and Reading keeper on Monday for three months, keeping him at Portman Road up until the home game against Leicester on April 9.

Reading boast a strong stable of goalkeepers, with the in-form number one Adam Federici and back-up Mikkell Anderson keeping the 22-year-old McCarthy – who has just signed a five-year deal with the Madejski Stadium club – out of goal.

However, despite conceding on four occasions during his six-game spell at Leeds United shortly before Christmas, there are glowing reports coming out of Elland Road, with fans disappointed to see the back of him.

Jon McGonigle, of the Stockport Whites Leeds United Supporters Club, said: “He is fantastic. He is a superb shot-stopper and is as good as any at this level. He could be something very special.

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“He is too good to be a number two. He is a big guy, confident, and commands his box with his physical presence. We were very sorry to see him go.

“If I was being harsh he is not always brilliant with his kicks from back-passes, but I can’t really find fault with him.

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“He is definitely good enough to become a Premier League goalkeeper, and could even play for England. He is one for the future.”

McCarthy is expected to retain his number one spot under Paul Jewell’s leadership, which would see him play against his former club Leeds a week on Saturday – something that causes a concern for the Yorkshire outfit.

Kev Gaught, of the East Anglian branch of the Leeds United Supporters Club, said: “I think he is really good. I wish we still had him rather than Ipswich.

“We were all really disappointed that we couldn’t keep hold of him. He is a bit of a flapper at crosses but is a good shot-stopper. He will provide a solid foundation for the defence.

“He is the type of keeper that will turn a draw into a win. He is very consistent.

“I didn’t realise he was so young. But Brian Clough always used to say ‘if he’s good enough, he’s old enough’. It is a good move for Ipswich.”

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