Mick McCarthy will pick and choose his moments when to play Andre Dozzell
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he will pick and choose his moments to play homegrown teenager Andre Dozzell this season.
After scoring on his first team debut as a 16-year-old at Sheffield Wednesday, the former Copleston High School pupil has found his chances severely limited.
The England Under-18 international midfielder made his first appearance of the campaign last weekend when handed a surprise start at Wigan. He was subbed in the 56th minute of a topsy-turvy match that Town won 3-2.
Speaking ahead of the Boxing day visit of Fulham – a fixture Dozzell started in last season – McCarthy said: “I’m not going to give him or you a schedule for what I’m going to do with him.
“I thought him and Jonny (Williams) were pretty good first half, but second half it needed stiffening up a bit because they were over-running us.
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“He’ll get his games. It’s about the right moments and the right shape of the team. He’s got plenty to offer. Is he going to play from now until the end of the season? I doubt that very much.
“I think he’s still developing physically. There’s no doubt about his quality, but it’s a tough old league to learn in.”
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Asked why he picked last weekend as the moment to suddenly start Dozzell, having previously not even used him as a sub this season, McCarthy replied: “He absolutely ran a training session, and that’s not always been the case, so I thought he deserved his chance. With the greatest respect to Wigan, it seemed the right game to put him in.”
On his team selection for Monday, McCarthy said: “It’s not an easy call. We started really well at Wigan, then lost our way, they took over the game, I had to change it and the subs all helped us turn it around. That’s what they are there for and it doesn’t always mean they have to play the following week.”
David McGoldrick should replace the injured Jonny Williams as Town look to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Fulham are ninth in the Championship table after losing just one of their last eight games.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s men scored four goals at Barnsley (4-2 win) and Wolves (4-4 draw) and thrashed both Huddersfield and Reading 5-0 at home recently.
Striker Chris Martin should return after being unavailable to play against parent club Derby, but key centre-back Tomas Kalas in injured.