No hiding place for former Manchester City youngster Alex Henshall at Ipswich Town

Alex Henshall playing for Manchester City. Picture: Dave Evans - Swindon Advertiser

Alex Henshall playing for Manchester City. Picture: Dave Evans - Swindon Advertiser - Credit: Archant

Mick McCarthy has challenged new signing Alex Henshall to step out of his Manchester City comfort zone and make a name for himself at Ipswich Town.

The 20-year-old has penned a two-year deal, with the option of signing for a third, but brings with him limited experience, having never made the breakthrough with the Premier League champions.

The Swindon-born winger has featured for Bristol Rovers and Chesterfield in League Two, during loan spells, but will be faced with a much tougher proposition as part of the squad at Portman Road.

McCarthy appreciates that the youngster has potential but explained he lacked game-time outside of a ‘nice and safe’ environment.

“Manchester City signed him as a young lad who was full of potential but having to get through the array of superstars that they have got is incredibly difficult, probably impossible for some players,” said McCarthy.

“Whether or not Alex can attain that level of Manchester City I don’t know, but he has huge promise and he is now at a club where he is not going to be hiding in the under-21s and not getting in the first team.

“I expect him to push into the first team and we will have to see whether or not he has got that attitude, aptitude and desire to do it.

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“He has got an opportunity now, albeit in the Championship, but that’s better than playing under-21 or reserve-team football.”

McCarthy, who has also snapped up fellow left-sided players Stephen Hunt and Cameron Stewart this summer, added: “Alex has got exceptional pace and a wand of a left foot. He is a clever footballer.

“It’s all about shaking those shackles off now though.

“Sometimes players can be in an environment which is nice and safe, where they are never going to play and where they are not going to be pressurised.

“Playing in the first team (Ipswich) is different to playing under-21s football.”

Town’s match against Bournemouth, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4 has been brought forward to Good Friday, April 3 (3pm KO).

The Blues’ home game with Charlton has also changed, from Sunday, December 28 to Tuesday, December 30 (7.45pm KO).

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