Ipswich Town club captain Carlos Edwards believes new recruits are needed before the January transfer window closes to prevent the regulars starters in Mick McCarthy’s small squad becoming complacent.
The Blues have used the fewest players in the Championship this season (23), with just 19 first team players currently available for selection heading into Saturday’s home game against Reading.
Town’s form has dipped of late, three successive defeats seeing them drop out of the play-off places and exit the FA Cup, but McCarthy says he will continue to be limited to free transfers, loans and swap deals.
“There’s not much needed,” said Edwards. “The gaffer has done wonders with the squad that he has and whatever budget that he’s been given – maybe he can add one or two other players.
“That’s just me speaking as a player though. Obviously it’s down to him and the board to decide if they want to bring in anyone else.
“The guys themselves need to dig deep. We know the situation and how many bodies we have in the squad. We ourselves need to dig in and go back to being hard to beat and getting those points we need to get us back up into the top six.”
Asked if he personally felt that the squad needed strengthening, Edwards – who has started the last two matches – said: “I would say yeah. I will always welcome a new face in the training ground any day.
“You want to be given competition for places, you want players not to take their eyes off the ball because it’s easily done. Guys maybe get too comfortable because they are playing week-in, week-out. They may not be getting the push that they need to look over their shoulder.
“At the end of the day it’s down to the manager to decide if he wants to do those things. As I said before he’s done a great job with the players he brought in over the summer and we just have to stick with him, have faith and hopefully we can start getting those points that we need to start going back up the table.”
Does that mean there that there has been some complacency of late?
“Um, I’m not saying no,” said the Trinidadian winger, now aged 35 and in the final year of his contract. “I’ve never seen it in the changing room here, but you always need that extra body. If everyone gives an extra one per cent it’s a lot.
“I’m not saying that guys are complacent, I’ve never seen it in the changing room and I hope in the rest of my career, if I’m here, I will never see that.
“As club captain the last thing you want to see is players moping around and thinking that they are better than what they are. Fair credit to all the players and the manager for being down to earth. He’s done a great job, as I said before.”
Does Edwards think that the recent dip in form is a concern?
“I don’t think it’s that worrying,” he said. “I’d rather we have a blip now than come the end of the season.
“I think it’s just one of those unfortunate situations that we find ourselves in. We’ve used less players than a lot of other teams and after the busy Christmas period maybe the legs went a bit.
“Obviously I’m not making excuses, we are professionals and we need to look after ourselves away from the training ground and get as much rest as possible.
“I don’t think it’s a crisis. The lads in there are upset about losing and stuff, no-one wants to lose, but we’re going about things the right way to try to get back to how we were just before the Christmas period when we were getting results.
“We just need to go back to the drawing board and polish off a few things that we’ve lacked in the last few games.”