Team news: Clarke will start if Mings does not pass fitness test
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has confirmed that teenage defender Matt Clarke would start at Charlton if Tyrone Mings fails a late fitness test.
The Blues boss is without suspended centre-back Christophe Berra for the televised lunchtime clash at The Valley (12.15pm), with full-back Jonathan Parr set to replace him.
Left-back Mings has not trained all week after picking up a dead leg in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Bournemouth. He’s also being struggling with a tight glute.
McCarthy expects Mings to train again tomorrow and be able to play, but says he would trust Clarke – primarily a centre-back, but who made his first team debut as a left-back in the League Cup at Crawley – to make his first league start should that not be the case.
“Tyrone hasn’t trained but I’m hopeful he’ll be out tomorrow,” said the Blues boss. “He’s got a dead leg and a bit of a tight glute. Hopefully he’ll be okay. He’s expected to train tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
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“If there’s a problem tomorrow then Clarkey will be playing if Tyrone’s not fit.”
New defensive signing Sean St Ledger, who has penned a one-month contract, has been without a club since being released by Leicester City in the summer. As a result, he is not yet ready to feature for the first team and, having featured for the club’s Under-21s on Monday, will play for them again at Millwall tomorrow.
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“I think he did have an injury last year that kept him out for a long time, but he played on Monday night, he looked fit and he’ll play again at Millwall tomorrow because I think he needs another game,” said Mccarthy. “Then he’ll be ready to go.”
Fellow new addition Noel Hunt, who has joined on loan from Leeds until January, has been a regular for his Yorkshire employer’s Under-21s this season and McCarthy believes the versatile forward is ready to go straight into the first team set-up.
“Well, he strikes me as being a bit like his brother (Stephen) who hadn’t played hardly any football then comes into the side at Blackpool and plays at a high intensity three times in a week and coped with no problem,” said McCarthy. “I think he’ll be fine. He’s trained well today and will be in the squad for Saturday.”
Midfielder Kevin Bru will miss the next two games as a minimum with the ankle injury he sustained at Dean Court last weekend, but Stephen Hunt is available again after missing the last outing with a hamstring problem.
“Kevin’s not ready for Saturday and he probably won’t be ready for next Saturday (home to Leeds) – it’s probably going to be three weeks before he plays,” said the Blues boss. “Stephen’s okay though.”
Summer signing Cameron Stewart – who is yet to make his debut for the club – has suffered another injury set-back. The winger fractured his jaw in pre-season, hurt his knee soon after returning to action and, on Monday, suffered a hamstring strain while playing for the U21s.
“Poor old Cammy can’t get fit,” said McCarthy. “He’s just brightened up the last few Under-21 games, started to get fit and then he limps off with a hamstring strain on Monday night.”
Midfield Jack Collison – yet to feature in a Town first team squad after signing a short-term deal – is also struggling with injuries. The former West Ham man has suffered another knee injury, a problem which has blighted his career.
“We’re just taking care of him,” said McCarthy. “I’m not going to predict what he’s doing. We’re just making sure he’s fit.”