McGoldrick’s mixed day shows why Ipswich must play to his strengths

David McGoldrick holds his head after having a second half penalty saved at Hull Picture Pagepix

David McGoldrick holds his head after having a second half penalty saved at Hull Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

It was certainly an eventful day for David McGoldrick.

A goal after six minutes and a missed penalty after 75 at Hull was the story of a mixed afternoon for the forward, who spent long spells playing wide where he was unable to make much of an impact.

He was at the heart of everything the Blues did well in the first half, combining superbly with Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn and Bersant Celina for slick periods of interplay, but from a wide position it is a battle for him to get involved.

We have seen time and again how McGoldrick can conjure something out of nothing to win games for Ipswich, but just as often we have seen how hard it is to fit him into a football team.

The game at Hull was one of those occasions.

David McGoldrick scores during the first half for Ipswich at Hull Picture Pagepix

David McGoldrick scores during the first half for Ipswich at Hull Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

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The trio of McGoldrick, Waghorn and Celina regularly changed positions at the KCOM, but it was the Irish international who found himself wide on the right for extended periods, with Waghorn given the longest leash behind Garner in the middle. That is where McGoldrick wants to be.

The 29-year-old is not blessed with the necessary pace to regularly burn past defenders on the outside and, although he has improved his heading ability of late, does not possess the physical tools to battle away with some of the more imposing full-backs in the Championship. That’s not his game.

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But if he did possess those tools, he would no doubt have spent the majority of his career in the Premier League rather than the second tier.

David McGoldrick holds his head after having a second half penalty saved at Hull Picture Pagepix

David McGoldrick holds his head after having a second half penalty saved at Hull Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Despite those limitations he remains one of Mick McCarthy’s most trusted offensive players, with his neat early finish proving just why the Ipswich boss is so fond of the striker known to all as ‘Didzy’.

MORE: ‘We got the point that we deserved’ – McCarthy’s verdict on Town’s 2-2 draw at Hull

He was calmness personified as he tucked the ball past Allan McGregor into the back of the net, with a goal which looked like it was going to send the Blues on their way to victory.

His penalty was not the greatest ever struck, nor was it the worst. It was a save rather than a miss and he will come again from the spot, given his previous good record from 12 yards.

David McGoldrick with a cheeky flick-on during the first half for Ipswich at Hull Picture Pagepix

David McGoldrick with a cheeky flick-on during the first half for Ipswich at Hull Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Question marks over his decision making remain and were evident at Hull, but to get the best out of McGoldrick you need to play to his strengths.

This is not a new problem – it’s been there for as long as he has been at Portman Road – but an on-song McGoldrick means an on-song Ipswich.

It pays to use him right.