Monday verdict: Mick McCarthy has some big decisions to make during the international break
Will Ridgard dissects Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Blackburn, where Ipswich Town’s slide continued heading into the international break.
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has plenty to ponder during the international break.
Following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich sit in 12th position in the Championship table. The Blues are back in action on October 17, when Huddersfield Town visit Portman Road.
Town nemesis and former player Jordan Rhodes scored both of Rovers’ goals in a routine win for the hosts, leaving fans frustrated and McCarthy lots to consider.
Selection, style, shape, formation, McCarthy’s side have looked disjointed in recent weeks as a record of just one win in their last six league games testifies.
There is no doubt that expectation levels have been increased this season following the last campaign’s superb achievement of reaching the play-offs.
Such success was built on solidity, hard graft and defensive discipline.
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Unfortunately for Ipswich, such characteristics have been missing in recent weeks.
Defensively they look extremely vulnerable, while in midfield they look off the pace, lacking creativity.
And while there is no doubt that Ipswich have more attacking options, just four goals scored (two of have which have been penalties) from Town’s first-choice four strikers in their last six games, suggests they are struggling offensively.
Ultimately, some of McCarthy’s key players have not made the same impact as last season, and he has some big decisions to make.
Christophe Berra, Daryl Murphy, and Cole Skuse were excellent in Ipswich’s play-off push, but they have all been well below-par this time around.
Scottish defender Berra, one of the performers of the Championship last season, looks ring-rusty, while Murphy’s all-round game – not just his goals – has hit a downward spiral.
Even Town’s ‘Mr Consistent’ Skuse is struggling to form a understanding with Jonathan Douglas in central midfield. The pair look too similar and Town begged for the creativity of unused substitute Kevin Bru on Saturday.
David McGoldrick is another player itching for a start, while Australian international Tommy Oar must be thinking his chance to shine will come sooner rather than later.
There is no doubt that McCarthy has built the most exciting squad for years at Portman Road, but he needs to find the right blend.
Town might have given a debut to their Barcelona-style away kit on Saturday, but the similarities with the Spanish giants ended there.