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New Boys Catching McCarthy's Eye
Tuesday, 13th Sep 2016 06:00

Town boss Mick McCarthy says he’s been pleased with what he’s seen of new boys Tom Lawrence and Leon Best in training. However, he says they need to win their places in the team and striker Best can’t be rushed as he is short of match fitness.

“They’ve done very well,” McCarthy said. “Besty needs some work. He’s shown his quality, no doubt about that, even in training in this morning, he sticks it, he’s got a goal in him, he’s big and he’s powerful, but he’s not had a full pre-season with a team.

“But we were turning it around from losing Murph two days before deadline day and I think we’ve got a good player, to be honest.

“We’ve got to be careful, we can’t give him the old ‘microwave fitness regime’ and expect him to get fit in a week, fully match fit because that’s when you get injuries.

“Brett’s stepped up and I think he’s been excellent and we’ve got Freddie, Reg and Tom Lawrence, who can play there as a number 10. We’ve got options.”

He added: “We know what Leon’s got, he’s had a good career, he’s big and he’s quick enough, he’s powerful, good in the air, he sticks it, he can bring others into play, he’s got a goal in him.

“He’s been a really good centre forward and he’s still only 29, he’s 30 this month. I think somebody like that if he wants to come here he could have the best years of his career if he wanted now.

“He could have three really good years taking him to 33 or 34 because if he does it and he scores his goals and plays as well as he can we’ll all be delighted to have him.

“He’s had a few injuries over the last period which is always difficult. I think he played 16 on the bounce at Rotherham last year and he’d been suffering with a hernia he’d had repaired and it wasn’t fully right.

“Now he’s OK, he’s fully fit, but he’s not really had a proper pre-season so we don’t want to be giving him a month’s training in a week because he’ll get injured, so we’ll get him doing his bits and he’ll be good. What I’ve seen of him in training, I’ve been really pleased with him.”

Having left Newcastle for Blackburn for £3 million in July 2012 Best hasn't been settled at any club for very long having spent time on loan at among others tonight’s opponents Derby, before joining Rotherham on a short-term deal last season.

McCarthy believes the former Republic of Ireland international has an opportunity to turn things around at Town.

“There’s lots to work with,” he added. “There is that thing as well, ‘ever decreasing circles’ in a career where you’ve been up at the top and, for whatever reason, it just keeps spiralling downwards.

“There’s got to be an end point to that. If you’ve got quality and if you’ve got belief and you’re prepared to work hard, I think this is a really good place for him because TC will work with him in front of goal, as he does with all of them and I think he’s improved every single one of them.”

McCarthy says 22-year-old Wales international Lawrence, who is on a season-long loan from Leicester, has impressed him in his few sessions at Playford Road up to now.

“He has, as much as you can in training,” he said. “In terms of his quality, you can see that straight away, his touch and his movement.

“And he’s prepared to work hard, there’s no doubt about that, he wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t.

“He’s not been here for a month, but I’ve been really impressed with him [in the time he’s been here].

“I spoke to him today because when you take players on loan they expect to come in and want to play but you’ve got to get in the team and we’ve been playing well.

“It was a good performance the other night, so you’ve got to get in the team and make sure you stay in the team.”

Having added Best, Lawrence and the currently injured Jonny Williams to his squad towards the end of the transfer window, does McCarthy have his best XI in mind?

“If I did I wouldn’t tell you because that alienates all the others from me!” he laughed. “I get that, supporters will all have their best XI, they’ll have their favourite XI players and yet I’m sure that changes from week to week.

“When things are going well it’s great for one player, then suddenly it starts going wrong and it’s not so great for him maybe like Freddie, who is currently not scoring goals.

“Of course, I know who the best players are. But it’s ‘at the moment’, it’s not a best XI [full stop], it’s at the moment in time.

“Didzy didn’t score for 11 games but I was never, ever going to leave him out because he was different class, him and Murph were ripping it up and Murph was scoring goals.

“So that was a good partnership. And it is all about partnerships a lot of the time and if it’s being effective there might be somebody out of the team who is thinking he’s better but if the team’s playing well and is winning and it’s effective, that’s the best XI.”

Regarding Freddie Sears, who has now gone 33 games without a goal, McCarthy added: “He has been really good. He’s got to get a goal at some stage, but#ruf they’ve all got to chip in.

“I was thinking coming off the training ground today, it’s a got to be a collective thing, they’ve all got to chip in.

“Chambo chipped in last year, Tommy Smith, Bez [Christophe Berra]. It’s got to be across the board. Yes, he needs a goal but again the other night he was very, very good.”

Photo: TWTD

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ArnieM added 07:09 - Sep 13
ooh well there's a surprise! Try playing these "catching the eye" players then Mick. We might actually win a bloody game!!

Portman51 added 07:54 - Sep 13
Nobody "wins" a place in MM's teams, any more than serial failures lose theirs. If your face fits, you'll be picked, regardless of talent or form. If it doesn't, you won't, unless his hand is somehow forced. Quite how we hold a squad together is beyond me when most have only the odd junior or cup game to look forward to.

TR11BLU added 08:10 - Sep 13
Same old bo!!ocks...change the record. actions speak louder than words

Dino out

MicksZzzTactics added 08:23 - Sep 13
So the latest set of uber discount news boyz ---- whom based on mere "precedence" of what eventually happened to sooooo many other new signings by Mick, are highly likely to be very scarcely used ---- catches The Dinosaurs eye [in training], do they???

ROFL! Well Mick I'm confident you are familiar with the old saying: "The only thing worse than being blind..... is having sight but no vision!!!" :-)

And staying on the very subject of signing new players but nevertheless very predominantly keep on playing ones darling favorite pets seemingly NO MATTER how ineffective or outright atrocious they might perform or how many recurring mind-boggling gaffes or miscues they might commit time and time again, The Dinosaur once AGAIN does his very best to directly insult the (objective) ITFC fan's intelligence with this here his latest load of Horse Shiiiite: "Of course, I know who the best players are. But it’s ‘at the moment’, it’s not a best XI [full stop], it’s at the moment in time!"
...... Yahhhh right Mick, ROFL, best totally out-of-sync with the actual reality, porkies statement you have made in quite a while!!!!!!!!!! It even beats close to each and everyone of your favorites being or inferred as chronically "excellent" in your twisted view , or your repetitive public insinuations during this calendar year that your beloved unlucky-to-be-on-the bench Gerk is "virtually" just as good as King Bart.... King Bart who regularly makes saves to rival even the presumed very best goalies on this planet!, and without him and his many truly magnificent saves we would surely have a lot less points (and a truckload more goals conceded!) not only last season but even to a notable degree is this still early 2016/17 season!

PS: While I fully expect yet ANOTHER 'parking-the-bus', 'turgid' and everything but pretty performance tonight by Mick "I never set out to win cause I'm always happy with a point" McCarthy's XI .... whoever they might include... I do however have this strong gut-feeling we will eventually "NICK" :-) all the 3 points!!! Yeeeeeeesssss!!!
This oh so 'courageous' belief of mine is obviously NOT based on our own very latest 'Performance of The Ages' which imho was so poor and so embarrassing by both the players themselves but most certainly also by our "super" manager that the ME lackey, the obsessive compulsive LIAR who goes by the name of Ian Milne, ought to have refunded ALL travelling fans expenses the very following day!!!, but is mostly based on the fact that Derby are STILL very much incapable of remotely consistently playing well together as a unit and a team seemingly no matter how many big and proven offensive household-names they keep adding to their squad, and defensively they continue to display almost as many holes as a certain type of delicious Swiss cheese .... so in other words people Derby County in their present sorry state "ARE THERE FOR THE TAKING" ..... but ohhhhh yahhhh so too were the anemic and injury-crippled Brentford, the on-the-day playing well below their usual standard Wolves and Norwich, and the just all-out plain dreadful looking Reading when we faced them and thanks mostly to Micks and his his hmmm "favorizing" team selections , Nobel Prize worthy substitutions and overall hedgehog tactics we eventually didn't beat any of them, remember??? =(

sixtyblue added 08:30 - Sep 13
Why do the press turn up to hear the same old cr-p.Just play the same old grape you've got from years ago.New players must wonder what the've signed up to.

hoppy added 09:41 - Sep 13
He may be short of match fitness, but I think Best may have provided a little bit more of a goal threat last Friday when he brought Varney on. Why was he on the bench if he couldn't have managed even that short while?

Ferguson added 09:45 - Sep 13
Sixtyblue you've got a point, but it occurs to me that if you have to do an interview every other day you've only got so much to say.
One interview per match with the manager would do me. If I was Mick it would get on my nerves if I had to keep doing interviews every other day - as it would most of us if we were in his shoes. Especially if things aren't going that well. .

Surco72 added 10:29 - Sep 13
You have to get into the team and we have been playing well ....... it is so laughable it hurts . I hope we don't have a bad game soon as we will be thrashed !!!

braveblue added 11:04 - Sep 13
I wonder if he really believes we are playing well. I think he does. Frightening. Why any young player comes here is beyond me. Even Ward got subbed the other night when he was our only hope.

Razor added 11:27 - Sep 13
I think the best bit about tonight will be the pre-match beers in The Brunswick------expecting nothing from the team despite our fantastic record here.

If they have caught your eyes Mick PLAY THEM for heavens sake!!!!

Bluespeed added 14:36 - Sep 13
For crying out LOUD play them then !!!!!

Seasider added 16:42 - Sep 13
Mick says there is a best team,and a best team at the moment in time.Well you might not want to tell us;but think we can work out that its Skues,Douglas,Chambers etc etc.The team he puts out week after week regardless of results.

He says the fans best 11 will change every week,well it would be nice if your team did occasionally;but as you were delighted with Fridays display,if not the result his regulars/favorites can rest assured that they will be in again tonight,as he is already making excuses for not putting in the 'new boys'.

Hasn't managed a big win in 4 years in charge,but has suffered three heavy defeats in that time(4-0 win over Middlesbrough,during his tenure;but TC in charge as MM ill)

Don't think he ever sets out to take a game to opposition,even at home,as first priority seems to be negate,nick a goal and hang on for a win.

Will he ever change.He makes noises to that effect,and gets players in like Elliot Hewitt,Jordan Graham,Alex Henshall,Ainsley Maitland -Niles,Tommy Oar,Jonny Parr and Cameron Stewart;but hardly ever played them,and now they have all gone.

Will any of the new bunch plus lads from the Youth Policy ever get a regular game,before they go the same way.We shall see!

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