Mick McCarthy ready to abandon 4-4-2 formation in order to accommodate Stephen Hunt and Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor - Credit: Andy Abbott

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is ready to abandon his favoured 4-4-2 formation in order to accommodate Stephen Hunt and Paul Taylor.

The Blues this morning announced the signing of Republic of Ireland left-winger Hunt on a short-term deal until January, with the 32-year-old going straight into the squad for tomorrow’s game at Blackpool.

Following two below-par displays in the 1-1 draws against Bolton and Barnsley, the EADT understands that McCarthy has been working on a revised 4-3-3 shape in training all this week.

That would see Ryan Tunnicliffe move into the middle alongside Cole Skuse and Luke Hyam, with Hunt and Taylor – the latter back at Town following his loan spell at Peterborough – able to provide a greater attacking threat from the flanks in support to David McGoldrick. Whether Hunt and Taylor are deemed ready enough to start at Bloomfield Road tomorrow remains to be seen, with both players having missed most of last season through injury and Hunt having been without a club following his release by Wolves in the summer.

It could be that Daryl Murphy and Paul Anderson retain their places for now, with Murphy having played wide left for a long spell under previous boss Paul Jewell.


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Anderson is an injury doubt though having missed training yesterday with a slight groin problem.

McCarthy will be forced into at least one alteration to his team, after naming the same starting line-up for seven successive matches, because left-back Aaron Cresswell has been handed a two-game ban for his red card for foul and abusive language at the end of last Friday’s match. He will be replaced by Tyrone Mings, but the changes are unlikely to stop there.

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“Yes, I may do,” said the Blues boss, when asked if will shuffle his pack. “It worked at Birmingham when we hadn’t played badly but we hadn’t won games. I think it’s a similar situation now.”

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