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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