Team news: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hints at changes for trip to Wigan Athletic

Myles Kenlock goes past a Birmingham opponent on Tuesday evening

Myles Kenlock goes past a Birmingham opponent on Tuesday evening

Jonas Knudsen is available again for Saturday’s Championship match at Wigan Athletic, but Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has not ruled out sticking with Myles Kenlock at left-back and hinted there will be a few changes to his struggling team.

The Blues have claimed just 14 points from their last 14 games following Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City and, placed 17th in the table, are five points above the drop zone.

Wigan, promoted from League One last season, are second-bottom having also claimed just 14 points from their last 14. New manager Warren Joyce, the ex-Manchester United reserves boss, has overseen one win, one draw and four defeats so far.

Knudsen sat out the midweek game at St Andrew’s with a tight hamstring, his replacement, 20-year-old youth team graduate Myles Kenlock, described as ‘different class’ by McCarthy.

“Jonas should be back,” said the Blues boss, who, other than the enforced left-back switch, has named the same starting XI for the last four matches.

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“I’m expecting him to be all right, that was the prognosis, he was only going to miss the one game.”

Is there any chance he will stick with Kenlock? “He played well, I was really pleased with him,” the Town boss replied. “We’ll see, there might be a few changes. I’ll have a look.”

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Midfielder Teddy Bishop has been ruled out for up to a month with an ankle injury, while Tommy Smith (back), Luke Hyam and Giles Coke (both knee) are all recovering from surgery, while Paul Digby (also knee) is out until January.

Meanwhile, McCarthy admitted he was shocked to hear that Gary Rowett had been sacked by Birmingham less than 24 hours after they beat Town to move to within goal difference of the play-off places. The Midlands club’s new Italian owners have subsequently appointed Gianfranco Zola as boss.

“I spoke to Gary yesterday, I rang him and he got back to me quite late last night,” McCarthy said. “I just said to him ‘thank goodness we didn’t win!’ Tongue-in-cheek, of course.

“I said to him that I tend not to get surprised with what happens in football, but that did shock me.

“I guess if you’ve got new owners, they want to change it. I’m amazed, though. I’m astounded by it because I think he was doing a particularly good job.

“And he’s a really good guy, Gary, I’ve a lot of time for him. I said to him ‘enjoy your Christmas, you’ll get a job pretty soon’.

“When you’ve lost your job you don’t feel like that if you’re that person. He’ll get another job, he’ll be back in football PDQ, don’t you worry.”

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