McCarthy impressed by new wide boys Conor Grant and Grant Ward, while Lamah is going elsewhere
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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he has been very impressed by the early training performances of new signings Conor Grant and Grant Ward.
Right-winger Grant Ward, 21, arrived in a £600k deal from Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, while left-sided midfielder Conor Grant, also 21, has today been signed on a season-long loan from Everton.
Speaking ahead of his side’s Championship opener against Barnsley at Portman Road, McCarthy said: “Conor Grant had league experience last season (on loan) at Doncaster (in League One). He was flying when we were having him watched. Doncaster’s slide coincided with him going back to Everton through injury.
“He’s a left-sider who will give us a bit of balance. He’s more of a left-midfielder than a tricky, flying winger. He’s very talented and has a wonderful left-foot. He’s impressed everybody this morning with his free-kicks and corners. He’ll be a good signing for us.”
On Grant Ward, the Blues boss added: “I like him even more having watched him in training. He has impressed everybody with his energy and ability.
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“He did well in a Rotherham team that was struggling for a big part of last season. Neil Warnock was glowing in his praise for him and he’s a bit like me in terms of being sparing with his glowing praise!
“He had 50 minutes in pre-season (for Tottenham’s reserves) and has not had as many games as our lads have had and has only just walked in the building. We’ll see for Saturday, but he looks keen and eager.”
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Meanwhile, McCarthy revealed that recent left-wing traillist Roland Lamah, who was offered a deal at Portman Road, has chosen to sign elsewhere, while he refused to comment on Crystal Palace winger Sullay Kaikai – understood to be a player the club is also keen to bring in on loan.
“Roland’s not coming – he had other options to be fair and I think he’s exercising those options,” said the Blues boss. “That’s it for incoming players before Saturday. Let’s see how we start and then we’ll decide (whether to add more before the window shuts at the end of August).
“I’m certainly not as anxious to get anybody now because we’ve just signed two.”
McCarthy says that Brett Pitman (toe) and Dean Gerken (hamstring) have both been passed fit for the weekend, but Luke Hyam (knee) is not quite ready to return to action.
And he added that summer signing Adam Webster could start, having previously suggested he wouldn’t be match fit.
“Two weeks ago I didn’t think he’d be ready after 13 weeks out with a real nasty ankle injury, but he is and that’s thrown a spanner in the works.”
McCarthy went on to say that Cameron Stewart, Piotr Malarczyk and Giles Coke are all heading for the exit door.
“Cameron Stewart is still available for loan or for transfer,” he said. “He’s had a decent pre-season, but he’s in the third year (and last year) of his contract, Conor Grant has come in, Grant Ward can play on that side, so can Freddie (Sears), so he’s down the pecking order. I think it’s better that he moves on.
“That’s the same with Piotr Malarczyk.
“Giles Coke, when he’s fit, can move on because he’s been missing (with a knee injury) and is now behind a few good players.
“If I can get some who don’t look like they are going to play out then that would be great.”