Ipswich Town striker David McGoldrick opens up during an interview with former Blue Kieron Dyer

Ipswich Town FC V Utrecht FC.
Pre- season friendly.
David McGoldrick equalises from the penalty sp

Ipswich Town FC V Utrecht FC. Pre- season friendly. David McGoldrick equalises from the penalty spot with just a few minutes left on the clock. - Credit: Archant

Former Ipswich midfielder Kieron Dyer spoke to current striker David McGoldrick about links with Leicester City, his biggest influences and playing with Gareth Bale.

Kieron Dyer spoke to Ipswich Town striker David McGoldrick

Kieron Dyer spoke to Ipswich Town striker David McGoldrick - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

KD: I had just left QPR and asked Mick McCarthy if I could come training with the first team at Ipswich, to keep my fitness levels up. I did, and one of the first things that stood out for me was that the likes of you and Cressie (Aaron Cresswell) clearly looked that you could play in the Premier League. It only took that one-hour training session for me to see your abilities. So how come it has taken you time with Ipswich to get to this level and not at Forest? Do you feel you have wasted a few years, been unlucky?

DM: People have said that at Forest I was not unlucky at all. But I didn’t think the manager gave me enough chances. In saying that, I didn’t look after myself either. I was overweight, not fit enough. I wasn’t living my life properly. Going out a lot after games even when I wasn’t playing. Looking back now I can see this. I was living away from home and having a good time. I went to Coventry after Forest and in the off-season I really looked after myself. In pre-season, I was in the middle of the group, not at the back and quite honestly, since then I’ve been fit and confident. When you have a good spell like I then had, you get your confidence back and realise you are a good player.

KD: After your loan spell at Ipswich from Coventry, it was made permanent and you were on fire. If you hadn’t got injured towards the end of that first season I think Ipswich would have made the play-offs. I know all about injuries and you have suffered your fair share. I was told that when your hamstring went this season, you were close to tears, which I can understand. How do you cope with injuries because they have been a set-back, and do you feel they have robbed you of playing in the Premier League so far?

DM : People say I’ve been unlucky with injuries, but I’m more positive. It’s just football and these things happen. I had bad luck – knee, hamstring and thigh. The hamstring this season was the hardest to cope with because I thought all my injuries were over. I was out for a month with a groin injury but, I was looking after myself and feeling good and then my hamstring tore. I thought I’d be out for four-six weeks and that would have been okay. But when the specialist told me 10-12 weeks, it was hard to take. I went back to Nottingham for about five weeks and that was good. I just rested and didn’t have to sit around in a treatment room. When I came back to Portman Road I could go straight on a bike, running rather than sitting in a treatment room. Recovering from injuries, as you know Kieron, is as much mental as physical. But I’m still only 28 and have a few years ahead of me. I need to kick on though now.

KD: When I was at Newcastle, I was linked to Man U and Chelsea and I admit my head was really turned. I started off one season with Newcastle poorly because of the rumours. The Newcastle chairman Freddie Shepherd called me into his office one day and told me I was going nowhere, but it did all affect me. Last summer you were linked with Leicester and being from Nottingham that must have appealed. You obviously said you wanted to stay at Ipswich but moving closer to home must have been something you fancied. Did it all affect you and turn your head, like it did me?

DM: I knew it was all going on, the speculation and all that with Leicester. Of course playing in the Premier League and going back home would have been nice and it did affect me. It was a big money chance for me, the Premier League and yes, I had sleepless nights. But’s it’s over and gone now. It probably affected me for just a few weeks. I wonder what would have happened if I had signed? Would Leicester have won the Premier League? If I’d gone there they may then have signed other players. I may have gone in, another player out. I don’t think Jamie Vardy was playing at the time in the Leicester team, so many things could have happened, that’s football.

David McGoldrick wheels away after putting Town 1-0 up in the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Cha

David McGoldrick wheels away after putting Town 1-0 up in the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 30 April 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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KD: When you were in the Southampton youth team, Ipswich beat you in the FA Youth Cup final. But that Southampton team had so many players who went onto do some great things in the game, including of course Gareth Bale. Did you think so many of you would go on to do so well?

DM: We had lots of players who went on to do well. Adam Lallana had superb technique, left foot, right foot. He actually had a heart condition and was out for 18 months, so he didn’t progress straightaway. We called him the new Joe Cole, we knew he would be good. Gareth Bale was a shy lad in his first year at Saints. The boys all stayed in a lodge near Southampton, there were about 20 of us. You can imagine the messing about, fights, sneaking out, it was a real laugh and a bit chaotic at times. But Gareth was very quiet and spent much of the time in his room. Then he came back pre-season and he was suddenly a man. His body shape had changed, he was confident, taking all the free-kicks. You could tell after that he was going to be a very top player. Martin Cranie was in the team, but I don’t feel he ever fulfilled his potential, Nathan Dyer has done well and played a lot of games, Leon Best, Theo Walcott, who was very quick and ahead of Bale at the time. We should have beaten Ipswich over the two legs. I still think about it now and again.

KD: You are a full international now with the Republic of Ireland. When I got called up for England I was at Ipswich, we were a Championship team. You go there with some doubts about yourself. Are you good enough to play in the Premier League with all these players who already play in the Premier League? But when things go okay, which they do, it gives you a lift. You realise you can play like them, you are on a level with them. Did you find that when you joined up with the squad?

DM: I think when you first join in the training, you sort of see if they give you the ball. Can they trust you with it? Players like Robbie Keane were there and it all went well for me. I like to think when youngsters join in the first-team games at Ipswich, I like to give them the ball, show a bit of trust. I think that is important.

KD: It looks like two Ipswich team-mates could be doing battle for one place in the Republic of Ireland Euro squad, you and Daryl Murphy. Is that your friendship out of the window? (laughing!)

David McGoldrick celebrates scoring at Derby from the penalty spot

David McGoldrick celebrates scoring at Derby from the penalty spot

DM: There is no way me and Murph will fall out and never hold it against each other if one of us goes and the other doesn’t. But me and him are different players and I don’t think there is anyone like Murph in the Irish squad, so hopefully we both make it.

KD: Manager-wise who has been your biggest influence?

DM: Two managers. When I was player under Harry Redknapp at Southampton, he gave me my debut and was a great man-manager, putting his arm around me. He got me training with first-team, even though I was a first-year scholar, so I have so much time for him. It was George Burley who gave me my full debut at Southampton at home to Millwall. Gareth Bale got his debut in that game too. Here at Ipswich Mick McCarthy is a good guy and I have no problems at all with him.

KD: Talking of Mick McCarthy, he has had to play much of the season without you, Teddy Bishop or Ryan Fraser. Do you think it has been unfair on Mick about the style Ipswich played, or is it deserved?

DM: Without me, Teddy and Ryan out of the team that’s always going to cause a big difference to the way we play. The club doesn’t have three or four million quid to spend on players. I think the negativity around Portman Road with our style of play was harsh. At the start of the season when we were doing well and winning 1-0 no-one was complaining. But fans are fully entitled to their views, but any team that loses some of its flair players means it has to change the way it plays. It’s tough when you lose important players. Look at Manchester City when Vincent Kompany has been missing, their record without him has been really poor, he is such an influence.

David McGoldrick fires Town 1-0 ahead during the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Championship) ma

David McGoldrick fires Town 1-0 ahead during the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 30 April 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

KD: One person who has always intrigued me a lot with the way he played and his views on TV, is Roy Keane. Personally I love his punditry and loved watching him play. How do you find him?

DM: When I joined up with Ireland, he was the complete opposite to what I thought he would be like. I was a bit sceptical of him and looked up to him having never played under him. But he was fine. At the place we were staying one time, the players had a room to chill out and relax and talk. Roy would come in and talk to us and tell stories. Zinidine Zidane – how good Roy thought he was, and how he wanted to swap shirts with him. He still trained sometimes and still enjoyed a big winning mentality. When we lost to Scotland recently, he said something at the end of the match which we all respected him so much for. I get on well with him.

David McGoldrick and manager Mick McCarthy share a joke at the end of the Ipswich Town V Burnley mat

David McGoldrick and manager Mick McCarthy share a joke at the end of the Ipswich Town V Burnley match at Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 18 August 2015 Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller