Monday, 27th Jan 2014 06:00
Boss Mick McCarthy paid tribute to “bonkers” Stephen Hunt after the Irishman inspired Town to Saturday’s 2-0 victory over his former side Reading at Portman Road. The 32-year-old, making only his second league start since joining the Blues in November, was lively throughout and created the opening goal for Daryl Murphy.
“Hunty’s bonkers and I love him for that,” McCarthy said. “He’s great, he comes in and he lights the place up. He says things that people just wouldn’t say, and does things.
“I went to see him [on Friday] while he was having a massage and I said to him ‘Is that Hunty on there?’ and he said ‘Yes’, so I said ‘I need a word with you’. He said ‘I’m already on it, already on it’.
“I said ‘What?’ and he said ‘The team, I’ve asked somebody else to phone them so they won’t know who’s called them’.
“I said ‘How do you know what [I was going to ask you]?’. He said ‘That’s what you want, isn’t it?’ and Skusey said ‘He wants to know how many fans are travelling, what do you think he wants to know!’.
“And it wasn’t what I wanted to know at all. I didn’t want to know their team, I knew what it was anyway because they’d won 7-1 so it was going to be the same team.
“He’s just great, he gets the team going, he laughs at himself and he’s just a really good pro. He’s lovely to have around. He gets the crowd going, he’s a great character.
“He’s been like that all week,” he added. “Hunty’s got that, he comes in on Monday morning, we’re playing Reading and he’s bouncing around and he fancies it. And then Tuesday. He gets in your head - ‘Let’s have a look at you’.”
McCarthy says he told Hunt he was set to be subbed shortly before his run from halfway which led to Murphy’s 62nd minute goal.
“Amazingly, I’d said to him that in five minutes he was coming off. Maybe because he knew he was coming off he found a little bit more energy to create the goal. He was just goosed, he’s not played that much football.”
Meanwhile, on-loan right-back Freddie Veseli had an unexpected weekend off with Bury's League Two game at Accrington Stanley postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Elsewhere, the Blues are one of a number of clubs reported to have been keeping tabs on Dutch keeper Kelle Roos, who has joined Derby County from Nuneaton Town.
Town are understood to have invited the 21-year-old for a trial, while Liverpool, QPR, Bolton and Crystal Palace are also said to have been keen.
Links with Peterborough striker Lee Tomlin seem unlikely with Posh reported to have turned down a Celtic bid of £2.5 million in the summer.
The Blues, Wolves, Leeds, Charlton and Bournemouth are all claimed to be watching developments regarding 25-year-old Tomlin, who was sent off for the third time this season at the weekend.
Photo: Action Images
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