Date: 5th January 2016 at 4:23pm
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First things first and he is only a loan signing but at just 20 years of age and from the same neck of the woods as head coach Mick McCarthy, there are high hopes for this tall defender.

The first thing that springs to mind is that he is 6 feet 4 inches which is the same height as one of the blues greatest ever defenders, the irrepressible Terry Butcher!

I saw the man from Lowestoft make his debut at Goodison Park against Everton in 1978 and I recall the groans of astonishment from Toffee fans when he entered the fray. Put it this way, even at 17 he certainly stood out in the crowd!

Now I am not trying to suggest for one moment that there is anything other than a very nebulous link between the two but Digby has some pedigree, having represented England already at under 19 and under 20 level so he has some potential.

Another reason for hope is that Manchester United also took him on trial for a couple of weeks earlier this year and let us not forget that he won the Most Promising Academy Player award in 2008 whilst at Oakwell and made his debut for Barnsley when he was just 16 years of age – which is even younger than Butch!

A number of long term injuries have plagued his young career to date and that is the main reason why he has not played as many games with the Yorkshire club as he would have expected.

As we know only too well with Teddy Bishop, niggly injuries can lead to long lengths on the sideline but he is fit and raring to go again now and we might get a glimpse of him against Portsmouth in the FA Cup tie at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon?

Now Mick McCarthy plied his trade as a centre-half and this is where he sees Digby playing, instead of his more accustomed central midfield role or conversely, finding himself playing as a wing back but he is versatile which augers well.

Given his height central defence seems a logical move and our manager is the right man to develop his career there you would have thought!

McCarthy commented, “I`m hoping he`s going to be a very good player for us, but we`ll see and I`m hoping he`s going to make a good centre-half with us… we`ll see.”

A few words of caution from our manager it must be noted but if he makes the grade then there is every likelihood he will get himself a contract with the club before the season ends.

I would expect McCarthy to ring the changes this weekend so he should at least find a place on the bench.

Other players that might get a look in are Jonathan Parr and Tommy Oar who I would think will probably start; along perhaps with Josh Emmanuel who has returned from his loan spell with Crawley Town.

Frank Weston


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