Hyam and Murray Named in Young Squad for Shrewsbury Trip
Monday, 10th Aug 2009 18:06
Town boss Roy Keane has named a very young provisional squad for Tuesday evening’s Carling Cup first round tie at Shrewsbury (KO 7.45pm). Academy duo Luke Hyam (pictured) and Ronan Murray are perhaps the most surprising names included, alongside the likes of Reggie Lambe, Jack Ainsley, Troy Brown, Ian McLoughlin and Shane O’Connor.
Ipswich-born midfielder Hyam, 17, wasn’t even awarded a squad number prior to the season’s start and is only likely to be amongst the substitutes.
Republic of Ireland U19 international Ronan Murray is also without a squad number and again will probably be amongst the seven players on the bench, having impressed in pre-season for the reserves, looking sharp in front of goal.
Manager Roy Keane says it was always in his mind to make a significant number of changes for the midweek game: "I had a team in my mind for the Shrewsbury game before we played at Coventry and there will definitely be changes to the side that played on Sunday.
"There was never a chance of us playing the same team, but we will be going to Shrewsbury with a strong side and to win the game."
Town are without Gareth McAuley and Tamás Priskin who are away on international duty with Northern Ireland and Hungary respectively. Pablo Couñago is still out with his groin problem, while Ben Thatcher is still not considered ready for inclusion after damaging knee ligaments late last season.
David Norris injured his knee at Coventry and is due to have undergone a scan today but wasn’t in Keane’s plans for the visit to Shropshire.
The side Town will play against the League Two team is not easy to predict, although Shane Supple seems set to play in goal.
David Wright is likely to return at right-back with Alex Bruce and Tommy Smith at the centre of the defence with Shane O’Connor perhaps at left-back, although Smith could move to the left allowing Troy Brown or Jack Ainsley to come into the centre.
If Keane keeps with his 4-3-3 formation, Owen Garvan and Colin Healy could return to the side with Ed Upson, Jack Colback or Alan Quinn taking up the other role. Two of those three – or the versatile O’Connor - could come into the side if Keane decides to switch to a midfield four.
Up front, Connor Wickham could be handed his first senior start in the central role with Jon Walters on the right and Reggie Lambe or Shane O’Connor on the left, if the Irishman isn’t required at full-back or at left midfield.
For Shrewsbury, New Zealand international frontman Kris Bright has received international clearance in time to play, but midfielder Lewis Neal (ankle) and defender Mike Jackson (knee) both are out injured and midfielder Steve Leslie suspended.
Manager Paul Simpson cites several players as amongst Town’s biggest threats, only one of whom is in the Blues squad: "It will be a tough game for us. Anybody who watched Ipswich against Coventry at the weekend will see that they're a very good footballing side.
"They can play short, they can be longer to Stead and Walters, they've got pace with Lee Martin and Peters and they've got good footballers in there, the likes of Trotter and Norris. We know it's going to be a tough game but what a fantastic game to look forward to."
Historically, Town have had much the better of matches between the two sides, winning 12 games, losing three and drawing eight.
The last time the sides met was also in a League Cup tie, back in the 1990/91 season. The Blues drew 1-1 at Gay Meadow, Ian Redford scoring for Town and Carl Griffiths for the Shrews, then ran out 3-0 victors at Portman Road in the second leg with Redford, current U18s coach Chris Kiwomya and Simon Milton, now the Blues' academy sponsorship manager, on the scoresheet.
Gay Meadow had previously been the scene of two of Town's greatest FA Cup disasters. In 1981/82 Sir Bobby's Robson's side lost 2-1 to the Shrews in the fifth round, Steve Cross and Jake King scoring for the home side and Mich D'Avray for the Blues.
Two years later, Shrewsbury repeated the trick a round earlier by beating Bobby Ferguson's Town 2-0 via goals from Gary Hackett and Colin Robinson.
No current Town player has featured for the Shrews, while no members of the Shrewsbury squad has played for the Blues.
Tuesday’s referee is Mick Russell from Hertfordshire, who showed 57 yellow and four red cards in 28 games last season. Russell’s last Town game was the 2-0 home win against Derby in November last year.
Provisional squad: Ainsley, Brown, Bruce, Colback, Garvan, Healy, Hyam, Lambe, McLoughlin, Murray, O'Connor, Quinn, Smith, Supple, Upson, Walters, Wickham, D Wright.
Photo: Action Images
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