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McCarthy ready to give Cotter his Ipswich debut

Barry Cotter. Photo: Sportsfile
Barry Cotter. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Barry Cotter could become the second ex-Limerick player to make a Championship debut in the space of a week after being drafted into the Ipswich squad for tonight's game with Barnsley.

The Clare youngster joined Ipswich from Limerick in January and Mick McCarthy has brought the right-back into his squad for the Portman Road encounter.

Paudie O'Connor made his first-team debut for Leeds last Saturday, having spent a year waiting in the wings since his move from the League of Ireland.

Cotter is in line for a speedier transition to first-team level. He was left out of the Ipswich U-23 squad for their game with Hull yesterday - a match in which ex-Waterford attacker Aaron Drinan bagged a hat-trick.

McCarthy has suggested he would have no fears about pitching Cotter - who can play more than one position - into action.

"He was in the squad anyway, and he's probably in the squad with a better chance (of playing) now," said McCarthy, with reference to injury problems in the defensive department.

"He's certainly physically tough enough, athletic enough, quick enough and powerful enough to cope with it. Technically, we might get the chance to see. I'd have no problems putting him in."

The 19-year-old was part of the Limerick squad that avoided relegation from the League of Ireland last term.

His team-mate Chiedozie Ogbene was sold to Brentford in the January transfer window and has made the bench on a couple of occasions.

In the aftermath of his Leeds bow against Sunderland, O'Connor credited his education in the League of Ireland as ample preparation for coping with the physical intensity of the English second tier.

"I've played nearly 50 games up against men who like to throw themselves about, so in a way I knew that if it was going to go like that I'd be able to deal with it," said O'Connor, who is in line for another appearance away to Preston tonight.

Meanwhile, Martin Russell - O'Connor's manager at Limerick - is understood to be interested in the vacant post as manager of Bray Wanderers.

Russell has been out of the game since departing Limerick a year ago this week. Bray are considering their options with Paul Doolin, Roddy Collins and John Gill amongst the other names in the frame.

Irish Independent

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