Jack Collison set to go elsewhere as Mick McCarthy weighs up his increased midfield options

Jack Collison in action for Ipswich's Under-21 side

Jack Collison in action for Ipswich's Under-21 side - Credit: James Ager

What a difference a fortnight makes.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy was down to the proverbial bare bones heading into the 1-1 draw at Derby County. Now he’s got a cliched ‘selection headache’.

Academy graduate Teddy Bishop added some vision to the centre of midfield at the iPro Stadium, Frenchman Bru impressed playing just behind the front man, while flying winger Alex Henshall added zip off the bench.

So what does the Blues boss do with his midfield today? Cole Skuse – a virtual ever-present last season – is available again following illness.

Darren Ambrose has been rolling back the years in training, earning himself a short-term deal this week, while teenage midfielder Adam McDonnell – recently recruited from Irish side Shelbourne – has also caught the eye at Playford Road.


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That’s not even taking into account that wingers Cameron Stewart and Stephen Hunt are nearing a return to full fitness too.

“I’ve got some tough decisions to make,” admitted McCarthy. “At Derby, Teddy was the star man for me, by a street. I thought Kevin (Bru) was excellent as that number 10 too, he played really well. They’ve got real good quality, the pair of them.

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“We’ve signed Adam McDonnell from Shelbourne who I have to say looks terrific. Technically he’s very, very good. He’s 17 but he trained with the first team this week and caught the eye. You know when the players take to somebody and they’ve certainly done that.

“Then there’s Darren Ambrose. His technical ability is of no surprise to me or any Ipswich fan who has seen him. They probably know him far better than I do.

“I did ask him the question ‘you’ve got such good ability, you’re only 30, why are you trialling with us?’ He’s looked as good as anybody else out there and I’m thinking ‘why wouldn’t I sign him?’”

Indeed, such are McCarthy’s options that he is happy to potentially pass up the opportunity of signing Jack Collison.

On the former West Ham player and Welsh international, he said: “He has still been training with us, but I think he’s got other options and he’s going to have a look elsewhere. I said I was cool with that, whatever he wants to go and do. If it works out for him, great, if it doesn’t then we can still have a look at him.”

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