Carayol: Nouble Recommendation Led to Quick Decision to Join Town
Thursday, 1st Feb 2018 16:53
New recruit Muzzy Carayol has revealed the role that ex-Town striker Frank Nouble, currently at Newport County, played in bringing him to Portman Road.
Carayol, who signed on a free transfer through to the end of the season following his release by Nottingham Forest, explained: “Frank is one of my close friends and I gave him a call on the way down here.
“He just said ‘If you’ve got a chance to go and play for the gaffer you should do it’.
“He knows what type of player I am and he knows the gaffer from his time here. He said ‘That’s what you need’ and helped make my decision quite quickly.
“We’re from the same area of South London and we grew up together playing football.
“We’re pretty close and even now we meet up every summer with other friends for five-a-side football.
“I don’t know what it’s like in other areas of the country but in London it’s quite a tradition for players to meet up like that. It helps us to keep fit and it’s good for us all to catch up with our friends.
“I think Frank’s after some commission so I told him I’ll give him a fiver and buy him a drink or two in the summer.
“It’s worked out nicely and we’ll definitely be meeting up in the close season.
“It wasn’t too stressful for me on transfer deadline day, other than the drive down and a bit of traffic. It was quite straightforward and I’m happy that the deal’s been done and I’m here.
“The main thing for me is getting a run of games. Once I get that and get that sharpness, together with the chemistry of the team, I back my ability to put in good performances.
“As an attacking player it has been hard for me this season because I was in and out of the Forest side.
“That leads to you doubting yourself when you don’t know if you are going to be starting or even involved from the bench. If I can get a regular place I’m sure everyone will get to see what I can do.”
Carayol, who might get an early chance to impress when Town travel to second-bottom Sunderland on Saturday, added: “I can play anywhere across the three up front but if I’m told to go and play right-back I’ll do it because all I want is to be out there playing.
“The most important thing for me is to be enjoying my football and the more I play the more I’ll enjoy it here. The sooner I get a chance to show the fans what I can do, the better.
“I was at my best towards the end of last season, the last five games when there was a fear that we would be going down. I played really well and then I ended up getting injured after only 12 minutes against Ipswich in the very last game.
“I’m fit and I’m confident, and I know that if the manager backs me and gives me a run of games I’ll come good.
“I’m 29 and they say that you are in your prime at that age, so we’ll see! I see this as a great opportunity for me. Every time someone gives you a chance to play it’s the same. I just have to focus and make the most of it.
“The boys have made me feel welcome and I’ve played against a lot of them in the past. I’m looking forward to my time here.”
Former Town player, coach and caretaker boss Tony Mowbray played a significant part in Carayol’s career when he signed him for Middlesbrough in 2012 from Bristol Rovers and he went on to play 54 games in all competitions, also scoring 12 goals, for the North-East club.
He added: “I really enjoyed working for him because he’s a really good manager. It was hard because he bought me from League Two and moving to a Championship club you are thinking to yourself, ‘Am I going to be able to cut it at this level?’
“He threw me in at the deep end and I played a lot of games under him. I will always be very grateful to him for giving me that opportunity. League Two can be a bit of a grind and it’s not easy to get noticed there.
“My first league game for Middlesbrough was when I came on against Ipswich and I scored in the 90th-something minute.
“My main attribute is my pace but I can get a goal. I’m also good in one-to-one positions. I always try to be positive and take people on. If the gaffer wants me to play in that way, as an out-and-out winger, I’m sure you will see some good performances.”
He added: “I can play on either side, coming in to shoot with either foot or going on the outside to cross, although I probably cross more with my left to be fair.”
Carayol’s progress at the Riverside was interrupted in March 2014 by an injury all players dread – a torn anterior cruciate ligament – and once he was fit again he went on loan to Brighton, Huddersfield and Leeds to aid his recovery.
He said: “It is hard to keep moving around from one club to another but it’s just how it goes in football.
“I got a really bad injury at Middlesbrough and if it wasn’t for that I believe I might still be there. I was there for four years and when I recovered from the injury I felt like I needed a change.
“I was out for 13 months and the loan moves were designed to help my recovery. I was desperate to go and play. The boys were doing really well at the time – they were in the play-offs – and I knew I wasn’t going to be playing.
“The very best I could hope for was a place on the bench but for me the main thing was to get games and the only way that was going to happen was if I moved on loan.
“Players who have had a cruciate injury will know there’s a mental side to it. When you are back playing it’s about getting through games, so the loan moves made sense and helped me a lot.”
Asked if he was looking for a longer-term deal that would have offered him more financial security Carayol responded: “Not really. With a short-term deal like this you know you have to be on it every single day and I think that’s what I need at the moment. It puts both me and the club in a good position.
“If they don’t like what they see they don’t have to keep me any longer and if I play really well they will either keep me or another club will take me.
“I know the gaffer has wanted me for a long time and I’d love to repay his faith in me by showing what I can do, which in turn will hopefully lead to him wanting to keep me for longer.
“Between now and the end of the season I’ll be concentrating and doing my very best for Ipswich.
“After that I’m sure I will sit down with the gaffer at some point and see where we go from there.”
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