Joe Robinson’s rise to the first team bench should act as inspiration to academy youngsters, says Mick McCarthy
PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 December 2015
Sarah Lucy brown
Hard-work, a positive attitude and consistency goes a long way at Ipswich Town.
The recent naming of teenage centre-back Joe Robinson on the first-team bench should act as a message to all young players at Ipswich Town, says manager Mick McCarthy.
It was a seemingly left-field decision to have the 19-year-old centre-back among the subs for the 3-0 win at Charlton last month.
That’s because several other academy and fringe players had seemed ahead of him in the pecking order going on the squads used in the League Cup earlier in the season.
Robinson, who has been captain at Under-18 and Under-21 level, has caught his manager’s eye of late though – not just with his on-field ability, but also with his general approach to training.
“Joe got a contract because of his attitude and the way he goes about his job and his professionalism,” said McCarthy, explaining why the Haverhill youngster was offered a one-year professional deal back in May.
“I’ll say to you guys what I said to him. Did I ever think he was going to play in the first team this year? No. Did I think he’d get on the first-team bench? No.
“But I thought he’d be brilliant for the 21s. He’s only just 19, he’s one of the younger ones, but his attitude is just brilliant.
“He’s stuck at it and got better, and better, and better. Every game in the 21s he’s a seven out of 10. He might never be a nine of 10, but you just get that consistent performance and consistent personality all the time.
“He trains every day well and deserved to be there at Charlton.
“Alright, so I was short of numbers because I’d lost Kevin Bru and I’d lost Larsen Toure (to injuries), but I could have put Adam McDonnell on the bench, I could have put Myles Kenlock on the bench, but I put Joe on it because he deserved it due to the way he trains every day.
“That’s a lesson to all the youngsters. If they think I’m not watching training and how they conduct themselves, then they are much mistaken.”
Left-back Kenlock hasn’t been in a first-team squad since he was an unused sub at Manchester United in the League Cup, while defenders Josh Yorwerth, Josh Emmanuel (both Crawley), ‘keeper Michael Crowe (Stevenage) and James Alabi (Grimsby) have all been loaned out.
Midfielder Adam McDonnell was on the bench for last Friday’s 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough, while young wingers Dylan Connolly and Alex Henshall have dropped right down the pecking order.