Poll: Manager McCarthy has a goalkeeping headache, but who would you pick to start for Ipswich Town?

Bartosz Bialkowski

Bartosz Bialkowski

A lot has been made of Ipswich Town’s impressive striking options heading into the new Championship season, but Mick McCarthy knows he also has a tough decision to make at the opposite end of the field.

The arrival of Brett Pitman, the return to fitness of David McGoldrick and the blossoming partnership between Daryl Murphy and Freddie Sears has given McCarthy a tough call to make in attack, while new signings Ryan Fraser and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have bolstered the Irishman’s options out wide.

But, between the sticks, McCarthy believes he has two goalkeepers capable of holding down the number one shirt, with Dean Gerken and Bartosz Bialkowski sharing duties in the Town goal so far in pre-season.

Pole Bialkowski featured 35 times last season and ended the campaign as number one, following an injury to Gerken at Middlesbrough, but McCarthy is confident both his ‘keepers would not let him down if called upon.

“I have two really good, excellent, goalkeepers, so that’s a difficult choice although I’m glad it’s me who’s got to do it,” he said.

“I see them every day in training, it’s based on everything I know about them, what I see in games and what I see in training. I’ll speak to Mally (Malcolm Webster, goalkeeping coach) who is a really good source of information on keepers.

“I know a lot about them and they’re both very good keepers. Whoever’s left out it’s tough on them.”

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He added: “I think I have two number ones, which is fantastic, and I have to pick one to play which is better than having a number one and a back-up keeper who, when you put him in, you only give a couple of games. Either of these can play 30 games, comfortably.

“I’m in a fortunate position, but then I’m in an unfortunate position where my decision would upset one of them.”

The next chance for either keeper to stake their claim for a starting spot comes at Colchester tonight, where both Sears and Pitman are expected to return to action having missed Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Peterborough with thigh and foot injuries respectively.

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