Will Mick McCarthy rest flying full-backs Josh Emmanuel and Myles Kenlock for Leeds United test?
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy could take his young full-backs out of the firing line for today’s Championship clash with Leeds United, at Portman Road, following a busy seven days for the duo.
Right wing-back Josh Emmanuel (19), lasted the duration at Aston Villa and Brighton, while Myles Kenlock (20) – on the other side – completed 90 minutes at the latter and was an early substitute in the game at Villa Park.
McCarthy has centre-backs Christophe Berra (fit after concussion) and Paul Digby available, although skipper Luke Chambers is struggling with a cracked rib.
Jordan Spence and Jonas Knudsen meanwhile, who have been playing in Town’s central back-three, in the absence of Berra and Steven Taylor, are orthodox right and left-backs respectively.
“I think people underestimate the level of fitness that footballers are at when they play Saturday and Tuesday,” said McCarthy, who could revert from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2 formation.
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“Saturday was a real tough game and then they (Emmanuel and Kenlock) had to go again on Tuesday.
“It takes time, When you are 26 or 27, or even Dougie (Jonathan Douglas) at 33-34 – he has got that battle hardness, he can do it.
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“The lads who have come in, they have to put so much effort into it on a Saturday, then Tuesday comes around and it’s a big ask to go again.
“They were knackered but I thought they were great. It got tough for them near the end when they (Brighton) were putting subs on. Fair play to them, they showed a bit of mettle.”
The pair received early bookings at Brighton, Kenlock within two minutes, and were tormented by Albion’s flying wingers.
“It certainly was a big test, playing against Solly March on one side and (Anthony Knockaert) on the other and both having been booked early on,” McCarthy explained.
“To then get through the game and not get another booking, with Knockaert running at you and twisting your blood, is pretty good.
“They will have learned massively from that.”
Elsewhere, the fit-again Cole Skuse is likely to replace the ineligible Toumani Diagouraga, while Freddie Sears could replace the suspended Tom Lawrence.