Out-of-favour wingers are not the answer, says Ipswich Town boss

Cameron Stewart

Cameron Stewart - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town’s midfield may have only netted six league goals this season, but Mick McCarthy insists wingers Alex Henshall and Cameron Stewart are not the solution.

Alex Henshall

Alex Henshall - Credit: James Ager

Seventh-placed Blues host much-improved Bolton Wanderers tonight, having won just one of their previous six games and conceded on average, two goals a game during that spell.

While Town’s defence has come in for criticism, further forward the Blues have tended to rely on 23-goal Daryl Murphy and often lacked flair out wide.

Wingers Stephen Hunt and Paul Anderson have been in and out of the team, while Jay Tabb and Teddy Bishop are more suited to central roles.

As for summer signings Henshall and Stewart, they haven’t made a league start between them, despite being heralded as pacy, creative additions.

Last week, in an EADT survey, 68% of fans selected ex-Leeds winger Stewart as the fringe player they would most like to see given a start, but McCarthy was as bullish as ever yesterday.

“At times like these, every other player is better than the one I am picking, people tell me, “ said McCarthy.

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“There are always seven players behind me and probably three in the stand that are better than the ones I have selected, but generally that’s not the case and I have a fair insight into who are the best players and what is my best team.

“You have to earn your place. I signed Alex Henshall and Cameron Stewart to compete with Jay Tabb, Stephen Hunt and Paul Anderson and if you know me by now, do you think if they had done enough to compete and played better, they would have played?

“Quite clearly they haven’t.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy has backed his defence ahead of the Trotters’ visit.

“Our back four have been brilliant and don’t deserve too much derision from anyone,” he said.

“They’re part of the reason we’ve done so well this season.”

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