‘Tough nut’ Ryan Fraser will keep getting kicked, says McCarthy

Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser

Flying Scotsman Ryan Fraser can expect to keep getting kicked following his impressive start to the season.

So says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy ahead of tonight’s televised Championship clash with Birmingham City at Portman Road (7.45pm ko).

Fraser – on a season-long loan from Premier League club Bournemouth – has been the Blues’ stand-out performer in the opening nine matches of the season and was today named as the Football League’s young player of the month for August.His direct running has not only been a breath of fresh air following Ipswich’s pragmatic approach of years gone by, but it has also left opponents frustrated.

Much like when the skilful Jonny Williams was on loan at Ipswich, Fraser’s pace and trickery has meant he has been on the receiving end of some late challenges. And, like Williams, he always jumps straight back up.

The 21-year-old was subbed during the second half of Tuesday night’s 1-0 win at Leeds, following another all-action display, and is a slight doubt for tonight’s game as a result.

“He just got a kick. He got a few kicks to be fair!” said McCarthy. “Is he going to be targeted? Of course he is. I think I’ve told you before though – we target all opposition players, not just one. That’s the way it goes.

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“Ryan’s got such a low centre of gravity, he can change direction quickly and he leaves people for dead at times. They go to tackle him and end up catching him with the trailing leg.

“He puts up with it though. He’s certainly not soft. He’s a tough little nut.”

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Town centre-back Christophe Berra has certainly been impressed with his countryman too.

“He’s done really well,” said the defender. “He’s given us a different dimension.

“He’s got a bit of pace and, when your backs are against the wall, he can take the pressure off by running with the ball.

“If you’re a defender or full-back you don’t want somebody like him running at you. He’s sharp and small and stocky and has a low centre of gravity.

“He’s started really well and can make a real difference for us this season.”

Should Fraser not pass a fitness test, exciting Australian winger Tommy Oar could be handed his full Ipswich debut tonight.

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