The latest leader in the pack – praise heaped upon Ipswich Town new boy Bradley Orr
BRADLEY Orr has become the latest leader in the Ipswich Town pack.
The 30-year-old right-back has joined on loan from Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers until January 26, having played a big part in QPR’s promotion to the Premier League (2010/11) and been a hugely influential figure in the Bristol City team which narrowly lost to Hull in a Championship Play-Off Final (2007/08).
And former Robins boss Gary Johnson – the man who converted Orr from a midfielder to a full-back – says he is exactly the sort of character the Blues need as they look to claw their way out of the relegation zone.
“Bradley was a very influential figure in my Bristol City dressing room,” said Johnson, now boss at League One side Yeovil. “His competitiveness is second to none and if I was still managing at that level I would take him in a heartbeat.
“He’s a leader in the dressing room and a leader on the pitch. The best thing about him is that he’s got a little bit of humbleness about him too. He’s a top player and a top man.”
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Former Town striker Marcus Stewart, who played with Orr at Ashton Gate, said: “When I first went there he was a central midfielder and, if I’m being honest, his career probably wasn’t really going anywhere. Then Gary Johnson put him at right-back for his first game in charge and he never looked back.
“He’s determined, strong, good on the ball and very vocal on and off the pitch. He was a great trainer too and I think he’ll be a great addition for Ipswich. He’s exactly the sort of character and player you need when you’re down at the bottom.”
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Johsnon added: “Mick McCarthy is an experienced old fox. I know him well and I love him to death. He won’t underestimate the situation he’s inherited and he’ll know he needs people like Bradley around him for the position the club finds itself in.”
Town now have a plethora of leaders within their squad, with the experienced trio of Danny Higginbotham, Luke Chambers and Nigel Reo-Coker having all captained sides in the past. In addition, Tommy Smith skippered the New Zealand national side in a 1-1 friendly draw in China yesterday.
Orr could make his Blues debut when Town travel to Leicester on Saturday.