McCarthy: Tough Games for Downes and Nydam But Really Good Players for the Club Long Term
Friday, 3rd Nov 2017 15:46
Blues boss Mick McCarthy says young midfielders Tristan Nydam and Flynn Downes will be “really, really good players for the club long term”, despite finding the going tough in Town’s last two Championship games. Downes, 18, was called up to the England U19s yesterday, while Nydam, 17 and linked with Arsenal recently, is on standby.
“I just had that conversation with them both,” McCarthy said. “I told them that if I’m 26 or 27 and playing in the midfield, I’m not going to go and let an 18-year-old come and run a merry dance around me, that’s for sure.
“Tristan had a really tough time at Burton, always competes and tries to do his stuff, as did Flynn the other night. But tough, tough games for them.
“Coming in and having one or two games on the odd occasion [is one thing], being relied upon every week is difficult for them.”
He added: “That conversation always starts with me really telling them how wonderful I think they are, because they are, they’re two really good players.
“Saturday’s game Tristan had his head in the air all the time and was looking around. It was ever so physical for him.
“And the same wth Flynn on Tuesday night, he found it difficult. And they will. But they’ll be good players. I’m not worried about them.
“My only worry for them is that they worry about how they play and what they do, that they think about it too much. And they’ve no need to. They’re going to be really, really good players for the club long term. But they are babies in relation to this league.”
McCarthy isn’t concerned that Downes, who won his first U19s cap in September, won’t get a rest having been called up for England’s European Championships qualifying matches in Bulgaria during the international break.
“I’d be the other way, thinking he could really do with going and playing in the U19s at his level and ripping it up, having a really good game and feeling good about himself again,” he said.
“He’s not going to run out of gas. He’s going to be in and out of my team, this team this year, this season. That’ll do him a whole load of good.
“But going away with England and being part of that, I think will be great for his heart and soul at the moment, to be with his age group and just go and show them what a good player he is.”
McCarthy, who would consider starting Callum Connolly in midfield where he came on as a sub at Cardiff, despite the on-loan Everton youngster primarily being a defender, says Kevin Bru’s long-term situation hasn’t changed even though he started Tuesday’s game.
The 28-year-old Mauritius international was told he could move on at the end of last season and, having been unable to find a new club in the summer, that he could look for another one in January.
“That’s not changed, his availability,” McCarthy said. “If Tom Adeyemi’s fit or Emyr Huws or Bish is now training with us, then there’s still room for Kevin to go. That’s not changed.
“But I love the fact that he’s maintained his professionalism and fitness - not everybody does - and he’s come in and when he’s been asked to play we can rely on him and I’ve been delighted with him.”
McCarthy extended Adam McDonnell and George Fowler’s loans at Aldershot for another month this week and the Blues boss is especially pleased with how the spell is going for the Irish midfielder, although he says he’s still a way off breaking into the Town first team.
“Particularly Adam, he’s played more games than George but when George was in the team he did well,” McCarthy added. “He came back and played in the U23s and did well. It’s good for their development.
“He’s doing well but he’s not doing well enough to play in front of Emyr and Bish and Skusey and Tom Adeyemi or Tristan or Flynn when they’re fully at it. He’s a fair old pecking order to get up to get a game.
“He’s doing well and I’m thrilled for him because he had a tough time last season but he came back, he looked fitter, he’s resurrected himself and he’s doing well at a good level.
“And I’d love him to earn himself a career in the game because I thought when we brought him from Ireland he would. Hopefully with us, but if not he gets to play football for a living.”
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