This week we have seen Mick McCarthy bring in Kelly Youga on a short-term contract and Bradley Orr on a loan until the end of January. Youga and Orr mostly play at left back and right back respectively, areas which are key in the Championship.
The key aspect to remember with these two signings is that they are short-term deals with the intention of them becoming long-term deals, provided that they perform well.
I know a lot of fans had issues with the club relying on short term deals and I felt very much the same about that philosophy. However, I think everyone will agree that these two deals are good for the club given their situation.
These two signings also suggest that McCarthy is not a fan of the back four that Jewell was using during his time here. I mentioned at the start of the season that Ipswich could really do with signing a right back as Carlos Edwards should be playing in midfield, but the club made very different signings.
For this reason and many others the signing of Orr is the better one out of the two. The club have needed a natural right back for a long time now so it is refreshing to see him come in. Orr has proven over a number of seasons that he is a player capable of holding his own in the Championship and won promotion with QPR and Neil Warnock.
Youga on the other hand is a much lower profile player but one that could be useful nevertheless. He is certainly not rated as highly as Orr and probably won’t be much more than a squad player but the club can’t really lose out from this deal. The 27-year-old left back has joined Town for a few months and in that time McCarthy will be able to judge whether he can cut it at this level. If he does then it will be great to see Cresswell have some competition and if he doesn’t make it then we let him go without any problems.
It is also pleasing to see that McCarthy is building from the back. Once we stop letting goals in so freely we can then look at bringing in some talented players further up the field. It is a great approach to have and perhaps Jewell’s failure to make the right changes at the back was a big part of his rapid downfall.
It would not surprise me at all to see a decent centre back join Ipswich in January too. Chambers was supposed to be the man to get the defence organised and whilst he still could be, I think McCarthy will bring in someone to partner him.
What we have to remember is that McCarthy’s job this season is to keep Ipswich away from relegation and build for next season. I think his plan is to sort out the defence in January and then bring in some talent elsewhere over the summer. After all, a solid defence is what will bring us away from relegation.
So his next few signings may not be as exciting as we expect.
It is likely that he will bring in some rugged defensive players that some will be bored by, but that is what the team needs right now. Hopefully we will see a good defensive performance against Leicester on Saturday and personally I would be more than happy to see a boring 0-0.