Boss: Young Blues are ready if needed
Mick McCarthy says he will have no qualms about promoting teenagers Matt Clarke and Teddy Bishop into his first-team line-up.
The duo have forced their way into the squad this season, with Matt making his full debut in the Capital One Cup defeat at Crawley, while Teddy came on as a second-half substitute in that game and was inches away from providing the winner when his 25 yard shot cannoned back off the underside of the bar in the closing minutes.
“They have both been very good in training and I’ve got confidence in them being able to step up and play in the first-team,” the Town boss told the Club website.
“Teddy excelled against West Ham. I know it was only a pre-season friendly but there was still as good tempo about the game.
“He looked more than comfortable against Crawley as well and so did Matt. He was outstanding in fact, one of the best players on the pitch.
“You can’t put too many in at one time but sometimes having a youngster in there can give you something, youthful enthusiasm. At some stage, you also need to see how they will cope with first-team football."
Town face Derby at the weekend, with Mick looking at the Rams as another team who have promotion credentials.
“It seems to be one of those periods where I’ve been talking every week about the opposition as being in the top echelons on the league,” he added.
“Based on what they achieved last season [Play-Off runners-up] and the players they have added to what is already a good squad, I’d expect Derby to be right in the mix.”
Derby: Jake Buxton is fit after a hip problem so Steve McClaren has plenty of options, with Jamie Ward and John Eustace also available after being left out of the side that beat Charlton in the Capital One Cup in midweek. The Rams could also have Jordon Ibe in their ranks by the 3pm kick-off, with the Liverpool winger said to be on the verge of a loan move to the iPro Stadium.
Town: Stephen Hunt and Cameron Stewart are both still sidelined. Hunty is on the way back from a calf problem while Cameron should be available after the international break after sustaining a fractured jaw in pre-season.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton
Assistants: Jonathan Hunt and Mark Jones
Fourth official: Christopher Akers
Foot in both camps
Conor Sammon is on loan at Town from Derby and is unavailable for Saturday’s game under the terms of that loan. The Republic of Ireland international will spend the season at Portman Road after joining the Club earlier this month. He has made 90 appearances for the Rams after joining them from Wigan in 2012 and still has two years left to run on his contract at the iPro Stadium.
How to follow the action
Subscribers to Ipswich Player can see the full interview with Mick in today’s Kick-Off programme, and then hear live commentary of the game, kick-off at Derby is 3pm. Our social media channels will also provide regular updates through the 90 minutes and reaction from the Town camp after the final whistle.