Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says reward the good Mick, not the abject

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To play or not to play?

It was not quite as deep a question as posed in Hamlet, but Mick McCarthy’s answer was important in a rapidly-unfolding plot where a hamstring has hamstrung us with the loss of our leading man.

He gave two different answers to players at opposing ends in the 3-0 defeat at leaders Leicester.

While Frank Nouble was rewarded for some abject performances with a starting role, Scott Loach was benched despite a man-of-the-match display as he took his unexpected opening with both hands.

I have not said much against McCarthy before, but this was potentially a big mistake.

I wrote of Paul Jewell’s treatment of Jimmy Bullard and Michael Chopra that you cannot treat one player one way and one another.

Resentment will build and you have a crack forming in your dressing room.

The biggest thing going for this squad is the harmony has been right.

I would hate to think how far we might plummet by the end of May if one or two decisions undermined that team unity.

Okay, Nouble runs. A lot. But so could I, or you. We do not get paid thousands of pounds a week.

A striker is there to do more than that and Nouble has a lot to prove.

So does Paul Taylor, who apparently does not train well.

But neither did George Best or a few of our 1978 and 1981 domestic and European cup winners (they know who they are).

Give Taylor a chance against Birmingham City at home on Saturday (3pm) and let us see if he takes it.

If he does, for goodness sake, reward him; don’t punish him.

And the other answer is obvious too: get Sylvan Ebanks-Blake fully fit asap.

n Follow @russclaydon on Twitter, or log into our websites’ ‘sport live’ section for live updates from Ipswich’s match with Birmingham City on Saturday (3pm).