Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hoping he’s finally added goals to his midfield

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans has loosened the purse strings to sign midfielder Emyr Huws on a fou

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans has loosened the purse strings to sign midfielder Emyr Huws on a four-year contract. Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hoping a long-standing issue regarding a lack of midfield goals will finally be addressed this season.

The Blues haven’t had a midfield man reach double figures for goals in the league for more than a decade, Tommy Miller netting 13 times as Joe Royle’s men finished third in the Championship back in 2004/05.

Players such as Owen Garvan, David Norris, Jimmy Bullard and Keith Andrews chipped in with their fair share of goals under the management of Jim Magilton, Roy Keane and Paul Jewell, but there has been a distinct lack of midfield goalscorers during McCarthy’s four full seasons in charge at Portman Road.

Paul Anderson (seven goals in 67 league games) tops the list, with the likes of Cole Skuse (one in 162), Luke Hyam (three in 114), Kevin Bru (four in 85), Teddy Bishop (1 in 59) and Jonathan Douglas (3 in 59) having struggled to contribute.

Douglas was released at the end of last season, while Bru has been put on the transfer list.

The Blues have paid out around £1m to sign Emyr Huws on a four-year deal, the 23-year-old Welsh international having netted three times during a successful end-of-season loan spell at Portman Road, while Tom Ademyemi arrives on a free transfer from Cardiff, having scored seven goals on loan at a Rotherham side which finished bottom of the Championship last season.

Both of the aforementioned duo are box-to-box central players, while 20-year-old Kosovan international left-winger Bersant Celina – who has joined on a season-long loan from Manchester City – netted five times for Dutch top-flight side FC Twente last season.

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And then there’s Grant Ward, who scored six goals in his debut campaign at Portman Road.

“The midfield is looking a lot better,” admitted McCarthy. “Tom (Ademyemi) got almost as many goals as our entire midfield did all season and I’m hoping he’s going to replicate that.

“And, of course, Emyr had a very big impact when he came in and scored his goals, the most memorable against Newcastle.

“Hopefully we can get Bish (Teddy Bishop) back fit and playing again too. I’ve said for a long time that goals from midfield have been a problem for us. Hopefully we can address that.”