Cavalry is coming for Ipswich Town

Ryan Fraser could return to Ipswich next week.

Ryan Fraser could return to Ipswich next week.

The cavalry is coming for Ipswich Town.

Mick McCarthy’s men head into this lunchtime’s televised match at Charlton (12.30pm, Sky Sports) placed 10th in the Championship table and three points adrift of the play-off places.

They may be five points behind the tally that was on the board at this stage of last season, but the Blues have really started to click as an attacking force during a six-match unbeaten run.

And with the creative trio of Ryan Fraser, Teddy Bishop and David McGoldrick all pencilled in for returns around the Christmas period, there is genuine hope that Town – who stuttered in the second half of last season – can make up any lost ground in a storming finish this time around.

With the top five all threatening to pull away though, it’s imperative that the Blues emerge from the next four matches – Middlesbrough at home, then both MK Dons and Fulham away coming up – in or around the top-six places.

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Because then comes a tricky looking festive schedule that includes matches against Derby, QPR (both at home), Brighton and Burnley (both away).

“This next period we’ve got Saturday-Friday-Saturday, then we’ve got Fulham on a Tuesday night and that’s when it starts to get busy over the Christmas period,” said McCarthy.

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“At the minute we’re alright, we’re in good shape, but I’d like to have David McGoldrick, Teddy Bishop and Ryan Fraser back for that period because they are three top players for this division.”

With midfielder Luke Hyam, fit again following 10 months on the sidelines, having just joined fellow Championship side Rotherham until January 23, McCarthy added: “I’ve got Luke Hyam who could come back on Christmas Eve (Ipswich have a 24-hour recall clause that comes into effect that day) if we get any other injuries or suspensions too.

“I’ve said all along that I’ve got a stronger squad – not just more players, but better players that can actually play in the team. It’s not like I’ve got 20 players but I’m only trusting 16 of them. Every one of them are capable of playing in the team. We’ve seen that recently and that’s a nice position to be in.

“The three injured players that we’re talking about though are real quality in this league and it will be a bonus to get them back.”

Get involved in all the discussion ahead of tomorrow’s game with Match Centre. Live updates begin tomorrow at 11am.

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