TEAM NEWS: Edwards and Murphy have recovered from illness and injury, while Nouble’s pushing for his first start
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich v Leicester: CARLOS Edwards and Daryl Murphy are both expected to be fit for tomorrow’s visit of Leicester City following illness and injury respectively this week.
With the relegation battling Blues hosting a Foxes side who are just five points short of the automatic promotion spots, McCarthy – whose side travel to Nottingham Forest next Tuesday and then Peterborough next weekend – said: “Everybody is alright.
“Arran Lee-Barrett (third choice keeper) has got a cut on his knee so won’t be available, but he’s the only one.
“Carlos (Edwards) was ill during the week, Murph (Daryl Murphy) had a swollen knee and missed training yesterday – but they’re alright.”
Town have scored just one goal in their last four games and come up against a Leicester side who have the meanest away defence in the Championship this season (14 goals conceded in 16 games).
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Michael Chopra and David McGoldrick have been the strike pairing for the last two games (2-0 home defeat to Watford and goalless draw at Huddersfield), but McCarthy admits that Frank Nouble is pushing for his first start following a hat-trick in Monday night’s 4-3 win over Colchester in an Under-21 fixture.
“I thought he did very well,” said the Blues boss, speaking of his January signing from Wolves, who has so far come off the bench six times. “It’s nice when strikers are scoring, whatever level it’s at.
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“Is he closer to starting? Yeah, of course, when he does as well as he did on Monday night. He’s training really well and that’s pleasing.
“We’ve got three games in a week coming up and we may need everybody.
“I thought Big Frank played well and I thought (Jay) Emmanuel-Thomas played well too. That was good to see.”
Andy Drury was part of the Town midfield during an impressive Christmas period, but he lost his place due to injury and now finds himself behind Guirane N’daw and Luke Hyam in the pecking order.
Asked if the former Luton man – who came off the bench last weekend – might get a game over the coming few days, McCarthy said: “There’s every chance. He needed a game though (on Monday). There were one or two of them who looked completely knackered through not playing any level of competitive football.
“Tyrone Mings was another one who needed a game. Big Frank (Nouble) and Andy (Drury) were the same. You need 90 minutes under your belt to get game hardened. That’s done them all a power of good.
“Andy’s got to be better than the other two. Big G (N’Daw) and Luke Hyam are doing really well. Had Andy not have got injured he might still be in the team, but those two have formed a good partnership.
“We have got Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday and there’s a chance I might have to make a few changes at some stage.”
– See tomorrow’s EADT for full match preview.