Luke Varney to be offered deal, David McGoldrick fit enough for bench
Luke Varney will be offered a contract by Ipswich Town after making his long-awaited comeback in a friendly match at Playford Road this afternoon.
The 33-year-old forward proved a big hit at Town when on loan from Blackburn in the second half of last season only to snap his Achilles in the play-off semi-final first leg draw with Norwich City.
He became a free agent in the summer, but Blues boss Mick McCarthy allowed Varney to undertake his rehab work at the club and he made his return to action in a behind-closed-doors 2-1 friendly win against Southend United at Playford Road this afternoon.
Varney – who spoke glowingly about Ipswich back in the summer – will now start talking terms about signing a short-term deal.
“Luke Varney played for 45 minutes today,” the Town boss said. “Southend needed some of their players to get a game, our 21s game was cancelled earlier in the week, so that was better than having a training session.
“It’s great for Luke to be back out there. He’s such a great lad and a really good pro and I’m trying to do something with him.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy confirmed that striker David McGoldrick will be on the bench for Friday’s live Sky game against Middlesbrough at Portman Road (7.45pm), but Kevin Bru and Larsen Toure both remain sidelined.
“He’s available and he’ll be on the bench,” McCarthy said of McGoldrick, who has missed the last three matches with a groin problem.
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“It’s nice to have him back but if it’s nil-nil with 30 minutes to go don’t all start shouting for David McGoldrick and expect him to get on because he’s not at that level. We’d get 10 or 15 minutes out of him at full tilt.
“He’s trained for the last couple of days and he’s still a nice asset to have at the end of the game if we need something out of it because we all know that if he gets a chance he’s got the ability to finish it.”
Bru and Touré missed the 3–0 win at Charlton last week with hamstring and groin injuries respectively and both will again be absent on Friday, Bru standing more of a chance of being involved away against the MK Dons a week on Saturday.
Winger Ryan Fraser is not yet back at Town having undergone his rehab from a knee ligament injury back with parent club AFC Bournemouth.
“He was optimistic about being back here this week,” said McCarthy. “I love that about players, their optimism. If I was (Bournemouth manager) Eddie Howe I wouldn’t let him out of the building until he was 100 per cent fit and I know that he could play.”