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30 August 2013

Loyalty will only go so far says boss ahead of St Andrew's trip

Mick McCarthy has hinted that he may look to make changes when Town take on Birmingham at the weekend. 

Blues go to St Andrew’s with three defeats from four League games despite encouraging performances in that time. 

The Town boss has kept with the same players in most of those four games but admits that his loyalty will only go so far. 

“I am loyal to my players. I have a squad of 20 here and have faith in them,” Mick told the Club website. 

“The mainstay of those players have played every week but we have lost 80 per cent of our games. I’m not stupid enough to be loyal to the cost of everything. Players who have not featured so far will be looking at our results and thinking 'when am I going to get a chance'?”

Birmingham have the same record as Town, one win from four with defeats to Brighton, Watford and Leicester. 

“They’ve had a tough start but Lee Clark has done a sterling job there,” added Mick. 

“He seems to have had difficult situations to deal with all the time but he’s made the best of what he has and with the squad he has, they will win games.”

Subscribers to Ipswich Player can watch the full interview with Mick, looking ahead to the trip to St Andrew’s, with live commentary of the game on Player from 3.00pm Saturday.

Team news
Town have a virtual injury free squad. Only Tyrone Mings is missing, the defender out with a medial ligament injury but expected to return after the international break. Alan Lee has signed a non-contract with Town but won't be included in the squad.
Birmingham welcome back Darren Randolph, Mitch Hancox and Shane Ferguson, who are all available after overcoming injury. They will be missing Nikola Zigic, David Murphy and Akwasi Asante, who are all on the treatment table. Birmingham were taken to extra-time before beating Yeovil on penalties in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night so that may come into Lee Clark’s thinking over his selection.

Where they finished last season
Town - 14th
Birmingham - 12th

Where they currently stand
Town -17th
Birmingham - 18th

Foot in both camps
Darren Ambrose: The former graduate of the Town Academy looks set to be in Birmingham’s squad for the weekend clash. He made 38 appearances for Blues before being sold to Newcastle in 2003 with Town in Administration at the time. Ambrose spent three years at St James’ Park, working under Town legend Sir Bobby Robson in his time with the Magpies, then went on to play for Charlton and Crystal Palace before joining Birmingham last season. He also had a spell back on loan at Portman Road during the 2008/09 season. A knee injury restricted his appearances for Lee Clark’s side last term but he is fit and keen to make an impact for the midlanders this term.

Match officials
Referee: Darren Drysdale 
Assistants: Adam Nunn and Mark Russell 
Fourth official: Robert Ellis

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