McCarthy: Lawrence Has Continued Town Form at Derby
Monday, 27th Nov 2017 17:58
Former Blues loanee Tom Lawrence has continued at Derby this season where he left of at Town at the end of the last campaign, according to Blues manager Mick McCarthy.
Lawrence enjoyed a hugely successful spell at Portman Road last season, scoring 11 goals in 34 starts and two sub appearances, and was named the club’s Players’ Player of the Year.
The Wales international subsequently joined the Rams from parent club Leicester for an initial £5 million with the deal potentially rising to £7 million.
The 23-year-old has scored once in 14 starts and three sub appearances since moving to Pride Park.
“He was our Player of the Year last year,” McCarthy recalled. “I wouldn’t have any arguments with that, he was outstanding.
“When he came here, his belief in his own ability was never in question. I think it was a case of convincing everybody else. Some looked at him and quite liked him, some weren’t quite sure because he’d had spells at Blackburn, Yeovil and Cardiff.
“I think this was his best spell and he just convinced everybody what a good player he is. He got a great move to Derby and he seems to be doing exactly the same there as he was doing with us.”
Was he frustrated not to be able to bring him to Portman Road on a permanent basis? “It was never on, £5 million he cost. I haven’t spent that in five years of being here, so that was never going to happen. I’m not frustrated by it. I was delighted he helped us last season because he was a star for us.
“And if we helped him got his move, then so be it. I just wasn’t in a position to sign him. Did I ask Marcus the question? It’s like my lad coming and asking for a Maserati as his first car. It’s not going to happen, is it?
“I don’t even get into that. It was never, ever, ever going to happen because we don’t do it. I’ve no problem with that because, as I’ve said before, this is my gig, this is how we do it - £5 million for one player wasn’t going to happen.
“And actually, if I’d got £5 million I think I would probably split it and try and get more than just that one player because if you’ve got that one player in the team, if the rest aren’t functioning properly, that’s not going to do him any good, me any good or the team any good.
“I was delighted. And I think Tom wanted to move anyway and have a fresh start at a fresh club and he’s doing well, good luck to him.”
Lawrence’s spell started slowly and he began to get to the top of his form as Christmas approached.
Does McCarthy hope Bersant Celina’s loan stint with the Blues follows a similar trajectory? “I hope he’s going to get better because he’s been playing really well, he’s contributing with goals and assists. Let’s hope so.”
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