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McCarthy: Berra Worth Every Penny at Wolves
Monday, 22nd Jul 2013 06:00

Boss Mick McCarthy says new Town signing Christophe Berra was worth every penny of the £2 million he paid Hearts to take him to Wolves in 2009. Berra’s Bosman move to the Blues was confirmed over the weekend, the Scottish international having put pen to paper on a two-year deal following his release by the Midlanders at the end of last season.

McCarthy said: “I think it was £2 million we paid Hearts for him and he was well worth every penny. He made us solid and helped us get up, so he will give us competition for places at the back and I’m delighted to have that.

“I think there was interest in him from abroad. I think he’s had interest from other clubs, but I made it known that if he decided to stay and he wanted to come, he fitted into our wages and our bracket, I’d be delighted to take him.

“If he was looking at that sort [of move], come to us and nobody else, which I’m delighted he has because he obviously wants to come and play for me.”

The Blues manager will not be pursuing his interest in either Titus Bramble or Tottenham’s Bongali Khumalo and despite continuing national newspaper reports linking Manchester United’s Scott Wootton with a loan move, says he’s unlikely to look for another central defender: “No, we’ll get 20 [outfield] players and I doubt very much whether we’ll get another centre-back.

“We’ve got [three] and we’ll have to mix and match with the 20 players. It’ll have to be Tyrone Mings or we’ll have to put somebody else there if we get them all injured.”

He says Berra will compete with Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers for the two central defensive starting positions: “If one of them’s out and the other one gets in, the best two play. There’s nobody got the God-given right to play.

“But the two lads who played, Tommy and Chambo, were excellent and it’s a good partnership, so Christophe’s got a bit to do.”

McCarthy, who is set to add Waterford winger Jack Doherty to his squad in the next day or so with the 18-year-old due at Portman Road today, says he will augment his squad with loan players if and when they are required: “Twenty outfield players, that’s what I want, 22 in total.

“If we’ve got that, we’ve got at least a player [to cover] in every position. If we have to [bring in loan players], then we will. That depends on injuries and stuff. Fingers crossed it won’t happen.”

McCarthy said he was still to receive any serious interest in transfer-listed striker Michael Chopra but confirmed that he was left on the bench at Barnet to ensure that he didn’t pick up an injury.

According to unconfirmed sources on social media, Chopra told some fans over the weekend that he is set to leave the club, although with his apparent destination not yet known.

Regarding Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Barnet, the Blues boss admitted that the performance was below par: “It didn’t look like it was falling into place today, I have to be honest, but that’s not a bad thing because you get to know a little more about everybody every time they play, every time they train. And you get a bit more of an idea of what I need to do.

“I thought Barnet were excellent, I thought they played really well. [Bees manager] Edgar Davids was still probably the best player on the pitch. I thought they had some good performers and they were unlucky to lose the game.

“But that’s like Championship football – you turn up, you play really well, you get beaten because you lose from a freekick or a corner kick. And that’s what happened.”

He was impressed with the Bees’ new home ground, The Hive: “It’s fantastic. The pitch was great and driving in everything around it, the facilities, the all-weather pitches, looked fabulous and I hope they make a success of it.

“If they continue to play like that all through the season, they won’t be far away from getting back in the Football League.”

New signings Dean Gerken and Paul Anderson missed Saturday’s game with minor groin and hamstring injuries respectively, but McCarthy says they’re not serious problems: “Not at all. They’re both signed, you see, they’ve got the comfort blanket now and they’ve decided to have a bit of time off! They’ve just got little knocks and we weren’t going to risk them.”

The Blues boss confirmed that striker Paul Taylor is now training with the rest of the squad, but doesn’t think he’ll make his first appearance of pre-season at Colchester on Tuesday: “I won’t say that’s it's very doubtful because he joined in an 11-a-side the other day and he’s getting there.

“But I’m not going to put him at risk having had 11 months out and having done his rehabilitation. Let’s make sure he’s right and I don’t think he’s there yet.”

Photo: Action Images

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wkj added 06:26 - Jul 22
To think last year we were crying out for defensive signings coyb mick and tez making us great :)

Greektractor added 06:38 - Jul 22
Watch out Naarwich - we're coming for ya...

village_blue added 06:55 - Jul 22
Best news on this page is that Chopra is about to leave.

bloooosman_malta added 06:56 - Jul 22
Chopra close to Sheffield Wednesday

Tufty added 06:58 - Jul 22
A squad of 20 that want to play for MM and who want to be at IPSWICH TOWN - RESULT.

RetroBlue added 07:18 - Jul 22
Bye bye chops!

Keaneish added 07:31 - Jul 22
Chopra out....Ebanks-Blake in!?

martleshamitfc added 08:01 - Jul 22
Would love to know who MM has up his sleeve to replace Chops...

Millsey added 08:03 - Jul 22
Will be sorry to see Chops go. You just know he'll knock a couple in against us if he plays, to piss off the boo boys.

suffolkpunchdrunk added 08:13 - Jul 22
It has to be Billy Sharp. Come on Mr Evans get your cheque book out!

planetblue_2011 added 08:18 - Jul 22
If chops goes to Sheffield weds Dave jones will get him scoring again like his old days at Cardiff when he was manager there.
Surely replace him with ebanks Blake, what a squad we would have!!

martleshamitfc added 08:28 - Jul 22
agree millsey, I remember being excited about him signing, how it all went so wrong!

runningout added 08:36 - Jul 22
if Micheal Chopra does leave, would love to see him do well. Think the timing of us getting him wasnt ideal 'but hey'

BossMan added 09:12 - Jul 22
"20 outfield players" says Mick but which of the youngsters does he include in that ? Assuming he continues to play 4-4-2 then squad for Reading currently looks like
1. Loach 2. Veseli 3. Cresswell 4. Smith 5. Chambers 6. Hyam 7. Edwards 8. Skuse. 9. McGoldrick 10. Murphy 11. Tabb Subs. Perm from Gerken, Berra, Hewitt, Anderson, Wordswoth, Taylor, Nouble, Mings ? Chopra ?

Plenty to debate in the starting 11 (as Berra, Anderson and Nouble may start ahead of Chambers Edwards and Murphy) but that isn't my point. Assuming all are fit I was wondering who would miss out from a place on the bench if we sign any more "established" players (rather than nippers like Doherty). Hewitt might not make the bench against Reading if we sign another defender and I wonder if Taylor might also end up losing out if we sign another midfielder or forward. There will be lots of different views but the squad looks so much stronger than the start of the previous campaign.

ArnieMsBigToe added 09:17 - Jul 22
I agree with SuffolkPD. I think Mr Evans has been keeping his cheque book closed until near the end of the transfer window (very wise!!). When there is only a week or so left before the season starts . . . wallop!!

Farmers_Union added 09:20 - Jul 22
Loving the paper-talk leading to quality signings. How things have changed under MM. See you at Reading! Whoop whoop!!

Tractorog added 09:21 - Jul 22
Chopra is capable of scoring goals of that there is no doubt, but it seems he lacks maturity so his influence on the team means it is best for all parties if he goes elsewhere. I'm proud our club tried to help him out, but he has not repaid (in performance terms) our investment. Time to go.

daniel9624 added 09:23 - Jul 22
Still say we are a striker short, but would still be happy if we started the season with what we have. All of MM's business has been spot, done quickly and quietly and with real intent. Not one of the players has he bought in have I sat back and asked "why's he signed him", they've all made sense, which is a first for a good few summers!

Michael11 added 09:46 - Jul 22
Why do people keep mentioning Billy Sharp? Unless we get him on a season long loan he would cost about £2m and after a summer of free transfers it would appear that Evans has tightened his purse strings. I agree that if Chopra goes we could do with another striker though.

peewee added 11:10 - Jul 22
Well I think we can spend what like 5million due to FFP. If we still have like 3.5 or 4 mill in the pot. If we get all that for a top class young 30ish a season striker but tbh MM probably get a free guy just as gd then the missing pieces in January or have a better pot to spend next season. 2 years and MM will get us to the ELP. But bye bye chops had fun booin u all last season

Michael11 added 11:11 - Jul 22

Don't know why you got so many down marks for saying about Ebanks-Blake. When fit he's much more of a prolific striker at this level than Chopra. I can see him coming on a pay as you play deal.

Tractamatt added 11:15 - Jul 22
Wonder if MM and Evans have one big purchase in mind with the wages saved on Chopra and JET's departure it would not be a surprise if we did make a big purchase later in the window and we know how much Billy Sharp thinks of us fans so while im not saying it gonna happen I am saying its very possible.

gibbo added 11:15 - Jul 22
8 signings in with at least one more this week, and Keane and Jewell both told us nobody wanted to come to suffolk.

Jimmy86 added 11:48 - Jul 22
Gotta say i agree with millsey, despite the fact he is a tool he is still our best striker

MathieandMarshall added 12:26 - Jul 22
Not convinced that Mick will be looking to add another striker if/when Chops goes. We'd be left with McGoldrick, Murphy, Taylor and Nouble. That's "two for each position" and there is always Marriot to stick on the bench if one or two pick up an injury /suspension.

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