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McCarthy: Central Role Suits Ward
Thursday, 20th Apr 2017 15:40

Town boss Mick McCarthy believes summer signing Grant Ward is well suited to the central role he has occupied in recent weeks having switched from wide midfield.

Ward, 22, joined the Blues from Spurs in the summer having spent last season on loan at Saturday’s opponents Rotherham and made a Roy of the Rovers start to his time at Portman Road by scoring a hat-trick on his debut having come on as a sub in the opening day 4-2 victory over Barnsley.

“Wardy’s been a really big star for us over the season, to be honest,” McCarthy said. “I think he’s played really well and played in a number of positions.

“But playing in the midfield with Skusey and Emyr Huws and playing in behind Didzy has really suited him.

“I always remember Sparky, [former U21s coach] Mark Kennedy, saw him play at Spurs and he played as a number 10 in behind the striker and he came back and put a report in about how well he’d played. But he’s quite versatile and I think he’s really stepped up his game.”

Does he envisage the Londoner being a long-term fixture in that central role? “It’s hard to deny him that with the energy that he has and the ability that he’s got. It’s nice to be versatile, he can do both.

“When he plays wide he certainly helps the full-back in defensive situations but he’s got that ability and pace to get by defenders and put crosses in. It’s nice to have that variation.”

He added: “I think Emyr and Grant Ward would both appreciate the fact that Skusey’s sat there doing that, as Cantona calls it, water-carrying job. I don’t know anybody who can do without water. That’s important.

“And I think they benefit from it because they can get forward knowing full well they’ve got that security there.”

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Pilgrimblue added 15:58 - Apr 20
That's fine Mick but we realised that months before when we were crying out for only ONE defensive midfielder. You only came to that conclusion after the Villa game!
I only hope that he's learnt and next season (if you're still here) he'll play more attacking with 3 points his target and not holding on for a draw. Old dog and new tricks come to mind!

Bluebell added 16:14 - Apr 20
Just a shame it has taken Mick this long to realise where players best positions are. Sears as a striker, Chambers as a centre back and Douglas left out.

RobTheMonk added 16:23 - Apr 20
Agree with the above. It's completly bonkers how this even happened. Everyone can see that Chambers is a decent centre back at this level and a struggling fullback. Sears always looks okay when playing up top so let's put him on the wing; that'll work. And Skuglas. Oh Skuglas. It's borderline criminal that we never sorted out a midfield before stumbling into Skuse, Ward and Huws (God I hope Huws stays).

blue75 added 16:43 - Apr 20
Really he calls himself an experienced manager!! What's next sears is a striker not a winger and chambers is better cb than rb. Sure the in Mick we trust brigade will be amazed by his revaluations on spotting the bleeding obvious!!!

walberblue added 17:02 - Apr 20
only taken 43 games to see what the fans have been crying out for all season. MM creates the faux relegation fight then demands another year as reward for saving us again.

he won't win promotion in my lifetime and you can keep ITFC as long as he hangs around.

he's like a bad smell that won't go away. please someone get an industrial cleaner in and sterilize the club from tthe stink that is MM

Mark added 17:19 - Apr 20
“Wardy’s been a really big star for us over the season, to be honest,”

He has been great recently in an attacking central position, but wasted earlier in the season - Ward was beginning to look like a waste of money. It goes to how how a player can be terrific or poor, all down to how he is managed.

corfu72 added 17:48 - Apr 20
I thought this was obvious!!

Gatehouse added 20:36 - Apr 20
It's just a pity then Mick you wasted half the season persisting with skues and Douglas when it was obvious that wasn't working

jazzy added 07:27 - Apr 21
Trouble is there will always be a position for cile skuse in midfied!
Devastated he plays for us

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