Town boss targets loan signing

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy has not given up hope of strengthening his squad with a loan signing before the transfer window closes but he is more concerned with keeping hold of his current star players.

Newspaper reports have suggested that Australian defender Tommy Smith is a target for Crystal Palace following the appointment of Neil Warnock as manager, but McCarthy is keen to fend off any enquiries.

"The loan option looks the more likely for us in terms of bringing in players," McCarthy told the club website.

"I have said before, the Premier League teams have kept their squads together because their players who have played in the World Cup have been having a rest. Once their squads have settled down though, there may be scope to get some loan players in.

"My biggest concern is keeping what we have here. If I can do that then I will be happy and, of course, if clubs do come in for players, it will be for what people perceive to be our best ones. Let's hope nothing happens. I might not answer my phone over the next few days!"