‘Four of the best’ – Mick McCarthy has a tough decision to make over strikers
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy believes he has ‘four of the best’ in strikers Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick, Freddie Sears and Brett Pitman.
And the Blues boss – who had the likes of Balint Bajner, Conor Sammon and Frank Nouble competing for places up front at the start of last season – admits he faces a difficult decision in terms of who he selects ahead of tomorrow’s Championship opener at Brentford.
“I think I’ve got four of the best,” he said. “My difficulty is going to be leaving one or two out.
“The difficult part for them is that two of them will be playing, two of them will be on the bench, then one will come on first and somebody will be thinking ‘I’m fourth choice’.
“It’s up to them to get in the team. That’s great, healthy competition though.
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“And of course there will be times when I play 4-3-3.
“They’ve got to keep themselves right and train properly so that they are ready when called upon. It’s up to all of them to give me a problem and make it hard for me to leave them out.”
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Town’s latest recruit, midfielder Jonathan Douglas, looks set to be on the bench against his former club at Griffin Park.
The 33-year-old made 40+ starts for the Bees in each of the last seasons, but he was limited to just two cameo appearances in pre-season before being told he was not wanted by a club.
There is much uncertainty surrounding the west London club on the eve on the new campaign.
Having finished fifth in the table last season, losing to Middlesbrough in the play-off semi-finals, owner Matthew Benham has controversially decided to go down the route of heavy statistical analysis.
Mark Warburton, who disagreed with the approach, left and has been replaced by Dutchman Marinus Dijkhuizen.
A number of relatively unknown players have been recruited from the continent, while stars of last season – Stuart Dallas (Leeds), Alex Pritchard (end of Tottenham loan), Douglas (Ipswich) and Moses Odubajo (Hull) – have departed.
In addition, Hull City have reportedly had bid for striker Andre Gray rejected this week.