‘It’s like my lad asking for a Maserati as his first car!’ – McCarthy on not signing Lawrence

Derby County's Tom Lawrence. Photo: PA

Derby County's Tom Lawrence. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he was ‘never, ever’ going to be able to sign Tom Lawrence back in the summer.

The direct-running forward scored 11 goals for the Blues during his season-long loan from Leicester City, many of them spectacular, before moving to Championship rivals Derby County in a £5m deal.

Town are now set to face Lawrence for the first time since that move when they take on Gary Rowett’s in-form side at Pride Park tomorrow night (7.45pm).

“He was our player of the year last year and I wouldn’t have any arguments with that, he was outstanding,” said McCarthy.

“When he came here he had belief in his own ability, that was never in question with Tom, but it was about convincing everybody else.

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“Some looked at him and quite liked him and others were not so sure because he’d had spells at Yeovil, Blackburn and Cardiff. I think this was his best spell and I think he convinced everybody what a good player he is.

“He got a great move to Derby and he seems to be doing exactly the same there as he did for us.”

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Lawrence recently opened his goalscoring account for the in-form Rams and is their leading goal creator.

Asked if he was frustrated at not being able to sign the Welsh international on a permanent basis, the Blues boss replied: “It was never on. Five million quid – I’ve not spent that in five years of being here! So that was never going to happen.

“So no, I’m not frustrated. I’m delighted he helped us last season because he was a star for us and if we’ve helped him get his move then so-be-it because I wasn’t in a position to sign him.

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“It’s like my lad coming and asking me for a Maserati as his first car – it’s not going to happen!

“I don’t even get into that because it was never, ever going to happen because we don’t do it. And I don’t have a problem with that because I’ve said before ‘this is my gig and this is how I’m going to do it’. So £5m for one player was never going to happen.

“And if I did get £5m I think I would probably split it and try and get more than just that one player, because it’s no good having that one player in the team if the rest isn’t functioning properly.

“Tom wanted to move anyway and have a fresh start at a fresh club so good luck to him.”

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