Tommy Smith prepared to fill left-back spot for Ipswich Town
- Credit: Archant
Tommy Smith will answer Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy’s SOS in the Capital One Cup at Stevenage tonight, with the Blues’ selection worries mounting.
Injuries to Aaron Cresswell and Tyrone Mings could see McCarthy throw in rookie defender David October for his professional debut, but with new signing Christoph Berra set to start at centre-half, Smith may well be utilised as an emergency left-back.
Cresswell (thigh) could return for Saturday’s Championship clash with Millwall at Portman Road, while Mings is expected to be out for around two weeks after suffering a medial ligament injury in the opening day defeat at Reading.
Smith has experience of playing at left-back for the Blues and while it is not his preferred position, the Town academy product will have no qualms if he has to change positions.
“I have played there quite a bit for Ipswich and if the gaffer wants me to play there I will,” said Smith, who spent time on loan at Stevenage in 2008.
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“Obviously in an ideal world I would like to stay in the centre of defence and keep my partnership going with Luke Chambers because it has been going well, but if I have to play on the left, then that’s no problem.”
Tonight’s game could potentially go to extra-time and penalties and McCarthy is likely to make several changes, with goalkeeper Dean Gerken poised for his Blues debut.
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Anthony Wordsworth continues to be sidelined with a calf problem, while on-loan Manchester United midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe is ineligible.
Despite a threadbare squad, Smith is keen to avenge last season’s second round humbling by Carlisle and is fully prepared for the rigours of the competition.
“The manager told us after the game that we ran six kilometres more on the opening day against Reading, than we did on the opening day last season,” added Smith.
“We have a good fitness coach in Andy Liddell who has known when to tone down the training in the hot weather this pre-season, and then when to step it up.
“All the players had their own personal fitness plans, which involved a lot of treadmill work and opening the lungs up and I think we are as sharp as we ever will be right now.”
He added: “We want to go further than we did last season. I think the Carlisle game came after the 6-0 defeat at Blackpool so that was a horrible few days for everyone.”