POLL: Tommy Smith still has plenty to contribute at Ipswich Town, says Mick McCarthy
Mick McCarthy has assured Ipswich Town supporters that they have not seen the last of fans’ favourite Tommy Smith.
The defender has been on the bench for the 2-0 home victories over Millwall and Brighton, and looks set to continue in that role at Wigan on Monday night.
Smith has scored 16 goals in 165 games for the Blues and has been a stalwart of the team since McCarthy’s arrival.
However, the Blues boss’ preference to play attacking full-backs Tyrone Mings, and Jonathan Parr has seen captain Luke Chambers move from right-back into his preferred role at centre-back, alongside Christophe Berra.
Smith has hardly put a foot wrong under McCarthy and the Blues boss is confident his time will come again, as it will for fellow academy star, Luke Hyam.
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“They are top professionals and have been stalwarts of the team,” said McCarthy.
“At some stage you have to change things, I did, and it worked. If it doesn’t work, they will be knocking on my door, but as it happens, we won (on Saturday and Tuesday).
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“They both contributed (off the bench) on Saturday and they will contribute again
“Of course, the longer it goes on, that’s when it will start to tell. They will still be glad for the team, for me and the players, but they want to play and there comes a time when there is a breaking point, but we are nowhere near that yet.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy has heaped praise on Chambers.
“He has been the consummate professional in terms of application at right-back,” he said.
“We had such a good defensive record last season with Chambo, Christophe, Tommy and Cressy (Aaron Cresswell) and that was a difficult one to upset.
“But yes, Chambo prefers it at centre-half.”