David McGoldrick return equivalent to signing Rhodes or Gray, says ex-Ipswich Town keeper Loach
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
The injury return of David McGoldrick for Ipswich Town could provide a boost equivalent to spending millions of pounds on a top Championship marksman such as Jordan Rhodes or Andre Gray.
So says former Town keeper and passionate Blues fan Scott Loach, the 27-year-old excited by the prospect of McGoldrick making his long-awaited first-team comeback in Saturday’s game at Wolves.
Town’s season has hit the skids in recent weeks, with a 1-0 home defeat to Rotherham following disappointing performances against Bolton, Cardiff and Blackburn. Mick McCarthy’s men remain just four points adrift of the play-off places though and McGoldrick – who has made just five league starts in another injury-ravaged campaign – may yet provide a much-needed creative spark for the remaining eight matches.
“Didzy (McGoldrick) has incredible quality,” said Loach, who is now between the sticks at League Two club Notts County. “When I was at the club he was in frightening form. No disrespect to any other players there, but Didz is on the next level. He is a player who can make something out of nothing and turn a game for you. In training you’d think he was going nowhere then suddenly he’d put the ball in the top corner.
“It’s well-documented that Ipswich haven’t spent a lot of money in the transfer market, they haven’t been able to buy a Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough) or an Andre Gray (Burnley), but if Ipswich can get Didzy back to the level he was at then that would be just as good as signing either of those two. I honestly think that if he hadn’t had his injuries then he would be a Premier League player by now.”
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Since scoring 16 goals by February of the 2013/14 campaign, silky forward McGoldrick has suffered injury setback after injury setback. First there were two long-term knee injuries, then a groin problem, followed by a hamstring tear.
He made an encouraging return to action for the club’s Under-21 side at Portman Road last week though and is now likely to feature at some point on Saturday given fellow front man Daryl Murphy is a major doubt with the calf problem he picked up while on international duty with Republic of Ireland last weekend.
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“I know there have been some disappointing performances and results recently, but I really do think Mick McCarthy is the perfect man for the job,” said Loach. “I think he’s built the base of a really good squad and the quality isn’t that far away from the other top teams – the difference is maybe just the squad depth. They are not a million miles away.
“There are a few ex-Ipswich players at Notts County and myself, Elliott Hewitt and Ronan Murray always talk about that dressing room at Portman Road. Luke Chambers, Daryl Murphy and Cole Skuse are real men, there’s such a strong bond in that squad and there is so much respect for the manager. He has his style of football and everyone buys into it.
“Everyone knows where they stand with him and players like that. It’s when managers start sending out mixed messages, saying ‘we’ll try this now’ or ‘we’ll give this a go’, when you get inconsistency. Ipswich stick to what they do and that’s why they are up there.”