Jonathan Parr hopes to fill Aaron Cresswell’s shoes at Ipswich Town – but Mick McCarthy warns him that he will have to compete with Tyrone Mings

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy watches new signing Jonathan Parr during a training drill in Ireland

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy watches new signing Jonathan Parr during a training drill in Ireland last week - Credit: Archant

Jonathan Parr hopes he can fill Aaron Cresswell’s shoes at Ipswich Town – but manager Mick McCarthy has warned him that he faces stiff competition for the left-back slot from Tyrone Mings.

Ipswich Town's Tyrone Mings

Ipswich Town's Tyrone Mings - Credit: Archant

Cresswell – who was sold to West Ham for £3.75m after being named in the Championship Team of the Year – returns to Portman Road tonight for a pre-season friendly.

Norwegian international Parr, 25, who was quickly snapped up on a free transfer following his release by Crystal Palace, said: “I know that Aaron did a great job last season so hopefully I can do as good a job as he did.

“I like going forwards, I like getting the crosses in and I pride myself on being able to run all day.”

The 25-year-old – who made more than 100 appearances for the Eagles during his three years at Selhurst Park, playing a key role in their promotion and then making seven starts in an injury-hit year in the top-flight – continued: “I had a few offers, but I got a really good impression of this club very early on. I’d only heard good things about the gaffer, the ambition was clear and I immediately wanted to be part of it.

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“I’ve only been here a few days but it already feels like a very good decision. I did my initiation song in Norwegian and made a bit of a fool of myself! You can really feel that team spirit around the place. It’s obvious that the gaffer is getting everyone to pull in the same direction.”

McCarthy heaped praise on young left-back Tyrone Mings last season, insisting that the 21-year-old – who was signed from lowly non-league club Chippenham Town – deserved his chance if Cresswell were to move on.

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Asked if the message to Mings was to compete with Parr for the left-back slot, he replied: “The message to Jonny Parr is that he’s got to compete with Tyrone for that place in the team. That’s what I said to him when I signed him.

“He can play both sides Jonny, which is great. He can be a bit of a utility man for us. They’re all competing for starting places, it’s a clean sheet for everyone.”

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Ipswich Town new boy Jonathan Parr says he will keep on trying to convince Jonny Williams to join him at Portman Road.

Attacking midfielder Williams was a big hit with the Blues fans during his 13 appearances on loan from Crystal Palace last season.

Town have since signed left-back Parr on a free transfer, following his release by the Eagles, and the Norwegian is doing his best to quickly be reunited with his former team mate.

“Jonny was one of my best friends while I was at Crystal Palace,” said the 25-year-old.

“I’ve heard that everyone here loved him and I can understand why because he’s a great footballer and a great guy as well.

“I spoke to him before I signed and I’ve spoken to him since.

“I don’t know what he’s going to do this season, but I’ll do my best to try and convince him to come here if he’s not going to be involved at Crystal Palace.”

Parr – who will compete with Tyrone Mings for the left-back slot following Aaron Cresswell’s move to West Ham – admits there is a certain irony that he has ended up at Ipswich given it was an incident at Portman Road which put his career off track for a while.

Reflecting on the firm-but-fair slide tackle from Town loanee Richard Stearman that left him with an ankle injury in April 2013, Ipswich winning 3-0 that day, Parr said: “It was the right-back wasn’t it? I don’t think he’s here now.

“That was a bad moment for me because I had some trouble with my ligaments after that. It put me out of the play-offs (Palace winning them to go up) and ruined the start of the Premier League season for me too. It took me a while to get back in the team after that.

“I still got some good games, some fun games, in the Premier League against good opposition though.

“It was a great experience and hopefully I’ll be back there next season with Ipswich.”

– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates tonight.

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