Osman hopes McCarthy puts faith in youngsters
Ipswich Town legend Russell Osman has urged manager Mick McCarthy to put his faith in the club’s exciting crop of young talent next season.
The former Blues player and coach is part of the television commentary team covering the European Under-17 Championships in Azerbaijan this month.
And he was left mightily impressed after watching 16-year-old Town duo Andre Dozzell and Ben Morris play starring roles in England’s 2-0 group win over France on Monday night.
With lone striker Morris scoring the opener and midfielder Dozzell showing great vision and technique to lay on both goals, Osman said: “Ben looks a willing and able runner up front. He was very clever with his movement for the first goal.
“Andre comes alive in the final third. He’s got a good touch, a lovely left foot and has that natural creative ability that not a lot of players possess.
“Midfield players that run around and do a job are important, but they are 10 a penny. It’s harder to find the ones that can create something out of nothing. Andre has a very intelligent football brain.”
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Centre-back Osman was part of the Blues’ UEFA Cup winning team of 1981 and was capped 11 times by England. He returned to Portman Road to be Under-18s manager from 2011 to 2013.
“Mick McCarthy found a way to accommodate Teddy Bishop, so hopefully he can find a way to accommodate Andre Dozzell,” said the former Bristol City and Cardiff boss.
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“There are others coming through too. I know Tristan Nydam (left-back/midfielder) quite well and he has a lot of potential, Kundai Benyu (midfielder) is a good player and I’m a big fan of Josh Emmanuel (right-back) – I think he’s a man ready for first-team football who just needs a chance.
“The club stated back in 2013 that they wanted half of the first-team squad to be homegrown by 2017 and they are heading the right way to achieving that.
“It’s now about whether the manager is able to find room for them in his team and whether he has the patience to allow them to progress.
“I watched Sam Ford play for West Ham in the Blue Star tournament in Switzerland recently and he did well. He was one that Mick let go.
“If you’re going to spend a fortune on your academy then the manager has to use the players you produce otherwise what’s the point?”