It’s time for Paul Taylor to show he is still the player Ipswich Town paid £1.5m for, says Mick McCarthy

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Ipswich Town v Birmingham City - Portman Road, Ipswich - 1 Mar 2014
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Sky Bet Championship Ipswich Town v Birmingham City - Portman Road, Ipswich - 1 Mar 2014 Ipswich Town's Paul Taylor chases down the ball - Credit: Ashley Pickering

It’s time Paul Taylor started to show he is still the player that Ipswich Town paid £1.5m for less than two years ago.

So says Mick McCarthy ahead of tomorrow’s game at Middlesbrough, the Blues boss confirming that the livewire striker will retain his place in the starting XI following a man-of-the-match display in last weekend’s 1-0 home win over Birmingham.

Taylor was a big money addition from Peterborough on summer transfer deadline day in 2012 and he immediately caught the eye with his close control and direct-running,

A foot injury sustained in only his third appearance for the club sidelined him for the remainder of his debut campaign at Portman Road though.

This season he’s found his chances few and far between, but an unexpected start last weekend – new loan signing Jonny Williams had been pencilled in until sustaining an injury the day before the game – was taken with both hands.

“I’m not leaving Tayls out, he’s playing,” said McCarthy.

“He played very well last weekend and I was delighted with him.

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“He did all the other things that I’ve been banging on at him to do. Play as well as that and you keep your place.

“He had a long injury, that took him a while to recover from. I think it is now time for him, for his career, to start ripping up trees – if that’s the correct terminology.

“He’s starting to play well and play like the player that Ipswich bought.

“Tayls wants to play. He loves his football, that’s for sure. It was great to see him get such a good reception last weekend. Let’s hope he’s applauding our crowd again on Saturday.”

With Frank Nouble having recovered from the tight hamstring which ended his involvement in last weekend’s win early in the second half, it looks as though Sylvan Ebanks-Blake will be on the bench at the Riverside.

The former Wolves striker is well on the road to recovery following his own long-term lay-off and subsequent set-back, playing 90 minutes and scoring a stunning winner for the Under-21s on Monday.

Asked if Blues fans are likely to see the best of the prolific marksman before his short-term deal expires in the summer, McCarthy said: “I hope so. He’s got fitter and fitter. He needed those 90 minutes.”

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