Preview: Ipswich Town v Reading
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says no-one’s place in the team is safe ahead of today’s visit of Reading.
The Blues’ Jekyll and Hyde season continued with a lacklustre 3-0 home defeat to Derby on Tuesday night, just three days after an encouraging performance in the 1-1 draw at Preston.
It means there could be sweeping changes to the starting line-up this afternoon.
New signings Steven Taylor, Danny Rowe and Emyr Huws could make their debuts, Leeds loanee Toumani Diagouraga is set to return to the team after being rested in midweek, the fit-again duo of Teddy Bishop and David McGoldrick are in contention, while January recruit Kieffer Moore, the 6ft 6in striker who joined from non-league Forest Green, is pushing for his first start following three eye-catching cameos.
“We’re hardly ripping it up so nobody can really say ‘hey, I should be playing’,” said McCarthy, who has started nine players – Bartosz Bialkowski (28), Luke Chambers (29), Christophe Berra (29), Adam Webster (21), Jonas Knudsen (25), Grant Ward (21), Cole Skuse (28), Tom Lawrence (22) and Freddie Sears (20) – in the majority of league games this season.
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“Anybody that’s come in has got a chance to play.”
Star man Tom Lawrence, on loan from Leicester, will face an late fitness test after spraining his ankle in midweek. “We have a duty of care to him as much as anything,” said McCarthy. “We use him, we can’t abuse him.”
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That may open the door for Cardiff loanee creative midfielder Huws. “He is a player of real quality and was of real promise when he was at Manchester City,” enthused McCarthy. “He went to Cardiff, I think Neil (Warnock) picked his first team when Emyr was away on international duty, they’ve done alright and he’s never got back in. He’s trained really well since arriving.”
Tricky left-winger Rowe, the £100k recruit from non-league Macclesfield, is another option.
“He didn’t train for two-and-half weeks (hip injury) but looks sharp and bright. I’m delighted he’s here,” said the Blues boss.
New striker Dominic Samuel is ineligible to face his parent club today, but the 22-year-old has made a quick impression.
“He has certainly got something,” said McCarthy. “I do think he’s got goals in him.”