Mick McCarthy demands goals from his midfield

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Wigan v Ipswich: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has demanded that his midfield start scoring.

Blues midfielders provided just 10 goals between them last season – one less than the defence. And that trend has continued, with defenders Luke Chambers, Christophe Berra, Tommy Smith and Aaron Cresswell all off the mark in the early stages of the 2013/14 campaign; Jay Tabb and Paul Anderson the only midfielders on the scoresheet so far (the latter’s arguably an own goal against Millwall).

Asked whether the likes of Luke Hyam, Cole Skuse, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Carlos Edwards can contribute on the goalscoring front, McCarthy – whose side face newly-relegated Wigan at the DW Stadium tomorrow – said: “They’ve got to. It’s not a question of whether they can, they have to.

“We’re getting them forward. Skusey was the one who headed the ball back for Daryl Murphy to score against Yeovil, while Luke Hyam could have had a goal against Middlesbrough.

“My point is they are getting into the box and getting on the end of things. If they keep doing that they will end up with a share of goals in the season.

“Listen, we’ve just won two on the bounce and scored five goals (3-1 and 2-1 home wins against Middlesbrough and Yeovil respectively). There’s no point looking for negatives after two wins. I think we’ve played well and the midfield has played well.

“Tunners (Tunnicliffe) has come in and been outstanding, while Skusey and Luke Hyam have been as good as anybody. I think them two together have been a really good partnership.

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“We all knew about Luke Hyam because he was here last year and impressed everybody. I think Cole Skuse has been a real hit with everybody. He’s a very good player.”

Following a bitter-sweet season which saw them win the FA Cup but get relegated from the Premier League, Wigan have found life back in the Championship tough so far with their league record consisting of two wins, two draws and two defeats.

The Latics drew 0-0 at Belgium side Zulte Waregem in the Europa League on Thursday night with manager Owen Coyle making seven changes to his starting line-up for that match.

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