Mick McCarthy admits he will be thin at the back as Jonathan Parr prepares to leave Ipswich Town
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admits he will be short of defensive cover when Jonathan Parr completes a transfer away from the club this week.
The Blues boss confirmed that the versatile Norwegian is close to completing a move to his hometown club of Strømsgodset after being left out of the squad for Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with League Two side Portsmouth in the FA Cup third round.
Parr, 27, was signed as a specialist left-back to replace the out-going Aaron Cresswell in the summer of 2014 but was unable to make the position his own due to the success story of non-league recruit Tyrone Mings.
Instead, the 27-year-old ended up being used in a number of positions throughout his debut season at Portman Road – both full-back positions and further forward on the wings – and never really had a lengthy run of games, despite making 27 starts and eight substitute appearances.
This season, partly due to some early injuries, he has been restricted to just four starts. As a result, he has requested a move back to his native Norway.
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“I think that (Strømsgodset) is his team and he really wants to go back,” explained McCarthy.
“He doesn’t want to be here anymore, he’s got that chance to go back, his contract is up at the end of the season, so it’s better for him that he goes. He’s been a good player for me, he’s come on at Millwall and scored, done lots of jobs, but if that’s what he wants to do I think it’s best for all parties. It does leave me a player down.”
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Parr’s exit will leave McCarthy with just Luke Chambers and Jonas Knudsen as senior full-backs, with cover being provided by academy graduates Josh Emmanuel and Myles Kenlock respectively.
Piotr Malarczyk and Paul Digby are capable of playing at right-back, but neither really staked a claim with their displays in Saturday’s fortunate draw against opponents 46 places below Town in the Football League.
Unlikely to alter a back four that has kept two clean sheets in the last two Championship outings, McCarthy may look to sign an up-and-coming right-back with the short-term aim of providing cover and the long-term aim of eventually allowing Chambers to move back to his favoured central defensive role.
The window for permanent transfers may close at the end of the month, but the loan window then opens after that.