Tommy Smith shocked after being dropped by Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith says he was ‘shocked’ to be dropped by manager Mick McCarthy recently.

The 26-year-old had started every Championship game for the Blues this season, but then, off the back of clean sheets against Wolves and Charlton, found himself on the bench for the recent 3-1 home defeat to Brentford.

Town legend Kevin Beattie said he was ‘staggered’ by the decision to drop Smith, who came third in the Supporters’ Player of the Year awards.

“It shocked me as well to be honest, but the manager is there to make those decisions on who he picks in the team,” said Smith, who returned to the team for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

“I think I’ve shown throughout the season that I’ve been quite solid, I believe anyway, and I knew if I got my chance back in the team I’d just do the same job I’d been doing.”

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McCarthy explained after that Brentford game that he just wanted to try something different in defence, with Kevin Foley deployed at right-back and skipper Luke Chambers moving inside to his favoured central defensive role alongside Christophe Berra.

Asked if he was expecting the changes, Smith said: “To be honest, no. The day before the game the gaffer named the team and he called me in before to tell me personally, which I appreciate.

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“We had a discussion about it but it wasn’t anything heated or anything like that.

“He said he wanted to play a left-footed and a right-footed centre-half to try and play out from the back more, which is fair enough.

“It’s his decision and we have to stick by him.

“I just had to take that on the chin. Thankfully he put me back in the team for Saturday’s game and I think I did a good job.

You just have to get on with it.”

The contracts of both Smith and fellow home-grown player Luke Hyam will expire this summer, though Town will activate a clause which automatically extends them by a year on the same money.

“I think they’ve extended the option and they’ve said talks will continue over a new deal in the summer,” said Smith.

“I’m settled in the area, my fiancé is from the area, so there is no reason for me to want to move on.

“I appreciate the fans’ support and hopefully I can keep repaying the faith they’ve shown.”

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