Luke Hyam has Ipswich Town in his heart, says Mick McCarthy
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes Luke Hyam can add some bite to his midfield over a trio of tricky festive games.
Hyam had been due to be on loan at fellow Championship club Rotherham until January 23, but McCarthy has taken his first available opportunity to trigger a recall clause.
And the 24-year-old will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s home game against a rejuvenated QPR, with tough away games against high-flying duo Brighton and Burnley following.
“If I had no ideas or thoughts of him being involved I wouldn’t have brought him back,” said McCarthy.
“He’ll be involved in the squad on Saturday. It may well be that he’s on the bench for us because we’ve been going well ourselves.
“But we’ve got three big games coming up and I probably need all the help I can get.”
Hyam was a regular starter during McCarthy’s first three years in charge but he’s not featured for his hometown club since suffering a knee injury in the FA Cup defeat to Southampton back on January 14.
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He was sent to Rotherham in order to gain match fitness and earned plenty of praise during his two starts and three substitute appearances, the last of which saw the Millers beat Hull 2-0 at home.
“He’s come through the club and he’s got the club in his heart, definitely. I think all the other players do as well, but maybe he just has that little percentage more of a feeling for it because he’s from the town and he’s come through the academy,” said McCarthy.
“He’s just such an all-round combative player that puts his foot in. I’m looking at Brighton away and Burnley away and thinking we might need all his qualities.
“He’s a different player to what we’ve got. He doesn’t have (Kevin) Bru’s ability on the ball or his passing range, but Bru doesn’t have Luke’s all-round tenacity, defending, tackling and the way he drives people on. If we could put them both together we’d have a good Premier League player wouldn’t we?”
On Hyam’s spell at Rotherham, McCarthy said: “They were delighted with him. I did see his own goal on television (against Blackburn) and that’s the only thing I’ve seen of him, which is sad really. I don’t need to see him though, all I need to know is that he’s fit.
“I know all about his ability, what he’s good at and what he’s not so good at. What I wanted to see was whether he could compete for 90 minutes and he can.”