Too Similar Diagouraga Unlikely to Return
Friday, 5th May 2017 17:54
Midfielder Toumani Diagouraga appears unlikely to return to the Blues in the summer with manager Mick McCarthy suggesting that the 29-year-old, who went back to his parent club Leeds earlier in the week having suffered a groin injury, is too similar to Cole Skuse.
McCarthy has said he wants to bring Emyr Huws, who has been on loan from Cardiff, back to Portman Road in the summer, but played down the chances of the Frenchman, who made 10 starts and two sub appearances after signing on loan in January, returning.
Diagouraga has another year left on his Elland Road contract but will almost certainly be made available by the Whites.
“He does a similar job to Skusey, sitting,” McCarthy said. “He might be a bit different, maybe a bit more passing forward but Skusey does that [role].
“What did Cantona call them, the water carriers? Everybody wants one in the team. He called Didier Deschamps that so that’s no insult.
“They’re fairly similar so I’ve got to be careful what I do because of the size of the squad and the budget that I’m going to have, and I’m not quite certain of that yet.
“Emyr’s added something different to us, he’s certainly added a forward thrust and scored goals.”
Striker Brett Pitman, 29, has rarely featured in recent weeks but McCarthy says that’s largely as he wanted to look at January signing from Forest Green Rovers Kieffer Moore and Dominic Samuel, who is on loan from Reading.
“I kind of know what Brett can do,” the Town manager said. “The reason I put Kieffer on there the other day was that we weren’t going to break Sheffield Wednesday down other than a ball in the box and knock something down.
“And Dominic Samuel’s been around as well, so I’ve wanted to look at the two lads, knowing full well what Brett gives me.
“And what players don’t give you as well. That’s a part of the management as well. But they’ve all got a chance [for Sunday], we’ll see what we’ve got tomorrow.”
Midfielder Teddy Bishop has had another tough, injury-hit year and McCarthy says the 20-year-old, who made a huge impression in the 2014/15 play-off campaign having broken into the first team early on, has a big 2017/18 ahead of him.
“I think I sat here at the end of last season and said exactly the same and it’s just been one injury after the other with him, it’s been really sad. He’s found it difficult,” the Blues boss reflected.
“Luke Hyam’s the same, Luke Hyam just got nerve damage [to his knee] at Cambridge and who would have thought that he would never have played in the first team all season long?”
McCarthy says the pair will have to come back and go again at the start of pre-season in late June.
“I’ve no worries about Hyamsy, that’s for sure, he’s just about ready to do something but he’s not going to be involved. He’ll come back and he’ll be as fit as a flea,” he said.
“I think before [the recent injury problems] he was very resolute and tough and didn’t get injuries and then he had that knock, then he came back, looked really good, he blocked a shot on the line and he did his ankle ligaments. He’s had terrible luck this season.”
While McCarthy has announced that a number of players whose deals are up this summer, including Jonathan Douglas, Giles Coke, Paul Digby and Leon Best, will be moving on, he says none of his players who are in-contract have been told to actively find themselves new clubs: “There’ll be a few that if they get clubs I’ll talk to them about it, but no.”
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