TRANSFER NEWS: Danny Higginbotham to extend loan, but Bilel Mohsni is going back to Southend United
IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy has addressed the situation facing the two loanees closest to the end of their spells at the club, extending Danny Higginbotham’s stay and deciding that Bilel Mohsni will return to Southend United.
Both players’ initial loan deals expire on December 31.
Stoke City centre-back Higginbotham has made 12 appearances during his time with the Blues, but he has been on the bench for the last six games due to the blossoming central defensive partnership between Luke Chambers and Tommy Smith.
McCarthy has decided that the experienced 33-year-old will be a useful asset to keep in his thin squad for the remainder of what he insists is still very much a Championship relegation battle.
“Danny started well against Birmingham and, by his own admission, didn’t play as well in a couple of the other games,” said the Blues boss. “I made a change and unfortunately for Danny the two that have gone in – Chambo (Luke Chambers) and Tommy (Smith) – have been excellent.
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“He’s been pushed down the pecking order, but he’s alright, he wants to fight for his place and we’ll be keeping him for the rest of the season.
“I’ve spoken to Tony (Pulis, Stoke manager) and he’s happy to do that and so is Danny.”
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Versatile Frenchman Mohsni has made just five brief appearances as a substitute during his three-month loan from League Two side Southend United, often not named on the bench due to the fact that Town had six domestic loanees at one stage.
“He’s been on the bench and been involved, but I haven’t picked him and he wasn’t going to get picked,” said McCarthy. “I want to do something different in the loan window.
“I’ve spoken to loads of managers, but nothing is going to happen immediately. Everybody would like to be settled for January 1st but that’s not going to happen. Other teams always want to wait and see how their business goes before they let people out.” Ipswich travel to McCarthy’s former club Wolves tomorrow looking to build on a gritty 2-1 win at Charlton. The Midlands side come into the match off the back of a 3-0 home defeat to a resurgent Peterborough.
“I think everybody is fine – touch wood,” said McCarthy, when asked if there were any injury doubts. “I’ll see how they are all are today. They’ve had their recovery in the gym and the pool. They played ever so well on Boxing Day and they’ll full of running – they’re all fit guys.”
– For a full preview, see tomorrow’s EADT.