A hammer blow, missing Murphy, Barcelona and tough decisions - five talking points from QPR 1 Ipswich Town 0
A look at the talking points coming out of Ipswich Town’s 1-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers.
A tough defeat and a serious blow
The manner of the defeat was tough to take, but to lose Ryan Fraser in the closing moments at Loftus Road will have a bigger impact between now and the end of the season.
The Scottish winger has been a stand-out performer since moving from Bournemouth on loan, often the starting point for Ipswich attacks, and leaves a massive hole in a play-off chasing side suddenly looking thin on the ground.
Mick McCarthy has said he could look to the loan market, but how do you replace someone like Fraser?
McCarthy heading for a tough decision between the sticks
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Bartosz Bialkowski was arguably the Blues’ best player at Loftus Road, making a string of saves which looked to have guided Ipswich to a point.
The Pole has been given his chance following an injury to Dean Gerken, who claimed the gloves and subsequently kept his place after Bialkowski’s father sadly passed away, with McCarthy saying he would stay loyal to a player in form rather than pass the shirt back to ‘Bart’.
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With the tables now turned, does McCarthy stick by his principles when Gerken returns?
The Irishman was poor against Reading on Tuesday night and the duo of Brett Pitman and Luke Varney certainly pushed their case as they conjured up a late winner, but the first-half display at Loftus Road showed exactly what Murphy brings to the side.
The Blues couldn’t make the ball stick up front which contributed to the hosts enjoying the majority of the play and, while he didn’t set the world alight following his introduction, it’s no surprise Ipswich had more of the ball once he was involved.
Played two, lost two
There has been much clamour in recent weeks for the much-discussed ‘Barcelona’ away shirt, worn just once prior to the QPR game due to debatable colour clashes with sides wearing blue.
Its second outing at Loftus Road produced a second defeat, following the 2-0 loss at Blackburn in October, and a similarly poor display to the one at Ewood Park.
Will it ever be seen again?
Much was made of Ipswich Town’s strengthened squad during the early weeks of the season, but things are looking a little stretched now.
Arguably Ipswich’s three most creative players, David McGoldrick, Teddy Bishop and now Fraser, are out injured and with Cole Skuse also limping off injured and Luke Hyam absent, midfield options are thin.
McCarthy has discussed using the loan market to replace Fraser but, with fringe players such as Giles Coke, Luke Varney and Larsen Toure now needed to offer more support than ever before, does the Blues boss need to make more than one addition?
What got you talking after yesterday’s game?