We all need to be patient with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, says Mick McCarthy

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake - Credit: Archant

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake will make his eagerly-awaited Ipswich Town debut today, but manager Mick McCarthy has warned supporters not to expect too much, too soon.

The 27-year-old scored 75 goals in four seasons at Championship level, but has only just returned to fitness following the broken leg and ankle ligament damage he sustained on April 1 last year.

Released by Wolves last summer, a number of Championship clubs – including high-flying Leicester and Burnley – wanted to sign him last month, however the front man decided he wanted to work with McCarthy once again.

It was a real transfer coup and many are hoping that Ebanks-Blake can have the same impact that Marcus Stewart did when he arrived midway through the 2000/01 season, his goals helping Town secure promotion to the Premier League.

“Sylvan has been progressing well,” said McCarthy, who has confirmed that Ebanks-Blake will start against League One side Preston North End in this afternoon’s FA Cup third round tie at Portman Road, along with a number of fringe players – including the likes of Scott Loach and Anthony Wordsworth.

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“Is he going to be the Sylvan Ebanks-Blake of three/four years ago though? No, because he’s been out for 10 months or so.

“There needs to be a bit of patience.

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“Firstly from him; he mustn’t get frustrated if everything doesn’t turn to gold for him straight away. Two, from me. I know he’s not fully match sharp and battle hardened like the rest of them are, so I can’t start picking spots.

“Thirdly the crowd needs to show patience with him. They’re all thinking ‘Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s come, he once scored 45 goals in 18 months, yahoo, that’s the answer’. It won’t be the answer tomorrow – if he gets a chance he’ll probably score though, I’ll tell you that – but I think we all need a bit of patience with him though, himself included.”

– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates. See today’s EADT for full match preview.

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