Mick McCarthy is loving his left-back options
- Credit: Archant
Charlton v Ipswich: Blues bossr Mick McCarthy is delighted to have Aaron Cresswell available again, but was quick to heap praise on his stand-in Tyrone Mings.
Cresswell leads the way in terms of Championship assists having set-up seven of his side’s 20 goals in the opening 14 league games of the season.
The 23-year-old was handed a two-game suspension after being dismissed late on in the 1-1 home draw with Barnsley for a foul and abusive language though. It meant he missed the 3-2 win at Blackpool and 2-1 home defeat to Leicester, the latter amazingly the first game he has missed at Portman Road since signing from Tranmere in 2011.
Mings – plucked from non-league club Chippenham Town last December – deputised in his absence, the 20-year-old again not looking out of place at Championship level having also performed well in away games against Burnley and Reading.
“I think Ty’s been excellent in all the games he has played,” said McCarthy. “But Cressie is the best in the league in my opinion.
“Everybody asked me in the summer ‘is Cressie going anywhere?’ Well he’s not, but if he did I wouldn’t be looking for another first team left-back. Tyrone would be in and I’d be looking for another back-up. That’s how much I rate him.
“I’ve waxed lyrical about him before. He’s a fine young fella and I think he was excellent in both games recently.
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“He was up against a tough opponent in (Jamie) Vardy last weekend, but I thought he handled him really well. I can’t give him any higher praise.
“I’ve said before that if Cresswell isn’t playing then Mings plays. I’d never look for a loan player to fill in at left-back because Ty has been different class.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy says he is not sure why the clean sheets have dried up this season. There were 13 shut-outs in the final 27 league games of last season, but has been just two in 17 matches so far this campaign.
“The answer to that is ‘I don’t know’,” said the Blues boss. “We’ve scored more goals this season, why’s that?
“There’s a stat about how we’ve lost more points from a winning position (17) than anyone else in the league, yet gained more from losing positions (10, equal with Leicester). You can throw all the stats you like at me, but all I know is we’ve been trying to do the same things.
“Is it because (Richard) Stearman (former Wolves loanee) was such a good full-back last season? I don’t think so. He was excellent, but Chambo (Luke Chambers) has been too.
“I haven’t got a cut and dried answer for that. All I know is we’re doing okay, while I think we could do better.
“It’s something that we’ve looked at, the goals conceded, of course it is.
“I just thought the two goals we conceded last week (against Leicester) were just two quality goals from a good team with a proper predator (David Nugent).”