Praise for El Mizouni after full debut, while Ndaba could be next to make senior bow
Ipswich Town youngster Idris El Mizouni will have learnt from a tough full debut, says team-mate Alan Judge.
Following on from substitute appearances against Bristol City, Hull and Brentford, the 18-year-old was handed his first senior start in yesterday’s 4-0 defeat at Preston North End.
The Paris-born, Tunisian youth international has impressed as a central midfielder for the club’s table-topping Under-23s this season, but was asked to operate in an unfamiliar right wing role at Deepdale.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s clash with mid-table Swansea City at Portman Road, Judge said: “It will have been a good experience for him. He got one or two tackles left on him which will show he needs to quicken up from Under-23 football.
“But he’s a good, bright lad and this will only be good for him in the end. He still took the ball in positions where some people might hide.”
Judge once again played on the left, meaning Town effectively had five central midfielders on the pitch supporting a lone striker in Kayden Jackson. With both wide men naturally drifting inside, Preston were able to exploit gaps with their sharp passing and movement.
Asked how he felt El Mizouni had performed, Blues boss Paul Lambert said: “He was probably our one bright spark. I thought he did well. It’s not his natural position, but we don’t have any wide players. Gwion (Edwards) is out injured (groin), obviously Freddie (Sears), (Grant) Wardy and Jack (Lankester) are too.”
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On his decision to replace right-back Josh Emmanuel with Aston Villa loanee James Bree at half-time, he explained: “I thought he struggled. Josh is a young lad and he will get better. That’s the worst he’s probably played. It’s not just him, as a team we weren’t good enough.
“This is development. The boy came back (from loan at Shrewsbury) so it’s development for him. He’s missed a lot of football as well so there’s a lot of hard work to come.”
Lambert could well shuffle his limited pack for a second game in four days. He says there’s a ‘good chance’ Andre Dozzell will start, while 19-year-old centre-back Corrie Ndaba may be handed his debut.
Jon Nolan and Will Keane could return to the starting line-up following injury.