Tommy Smith backs Ipswich Town’s new boy Paul Digby to make an impact

Paul Digby watches on at Burnley

Paul Digby watches on at Burnley

Tommy Smith likes what he’s seen of new signing Paul Digby and has backed the youngster to make an impression once he gets up to full speed with the Ipswich Town squad.

Sam Vokes and Tommy Smith in a grueling battle at Turf Moor on Saturday

Sam Vokes and Tommy Smith in a grueling battle at Turf Moor on Saturday

The 20-year-old has moved to Portman Road on loan from Barnsley until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent transfer, with manager Mick McCarthy revealing after Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Burnley that he sees the versatile player primarily as a defender.

Digby trained with the Ipswich squad for a couple of weeks prior to the move being announced and did enough to impress Smith in the process.

“He’s been training with us for a couple of weeks now so seems a good young player who can stamp his mark and improve the squad overall,” Smith said.

“When he’s been training with us he’s been training at the back but I believe he’s quite a versatile player so I’m sure he’ll be a good addition who is trying to impress.

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“All the background checks would have been done to make sure he’s the right kind of player to come into the squad and he seems a top guy so far. Hopefully that continues.”

Smith and defensive partner Christophe Berra enjoyed a tough battle with Burnley forwards Sam Vokes and Andre Gray on Saturday, with Scot, Berra, in the wars once again as he required lengthy treatment after taking a bang early on, before picking himself up and carrying on.

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Given the fact his partner is currently playing wearing a bandage to protect a cut head and has twice lost teeth already this season, Smith admits he’s probably getting away lightly at the moment when it comes to injuries.

“It seems like he’s taking the brunt of it and I’m getting away scot-free at the moment, so I’m sure there will be some coming my way shortly,” Smith joked.

“I think he just needed to man up! Seriously, though he showed great character to carry on and get that clean sheet.

“As a defence we’re back at it now after a bit of a dodgy spell earlier in the season, where we had to go back to the basics, of what we did to make us successful before last season and the beginning of this one.

“That’s a platform we can build from and it’s part of why we’ve been doing so well recently.”

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