McCarthy ‘optimistic’ that McGoldrick can still play a big part in Ipswich Town’s promotion push

David McGoldrick

David McGoldrick - Credit: Gregg Brown

Mick McCarthy is optimistic that striker David McGoldrick can still play a big part in Ipswich Town’s promotion push.

The Blues’ 16-goal top-scorer of 2013/14 has endured a frustrating follow-up campaign so far, never quite able to rediscover the impressive form that preceded a six-month knee injury lay-off.

However, having scored seven goals in 26 starts and two substitute appearances, the recently-capped Republic of Ireland international’s clever movement, quick feet and crisp link-up has certainly been missed during a seven-game absence.

The Blues may be five points adrift of the automatic promotion spots and just one off the play-off places, but they have the worst form of the entire top nine heading into the final 10 games.

Asked if McGoldrick could be available for Saturday’s game at fourth-place Middlesbrough, McCarthy said: “He was out on the grass again for the first time last Thursday doing some work.

“He’s looking much happier and smilier – that’s what happens when you get off that treatment table.

“It’s looking more optimistic.

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“Can he still play a big part in our season? Of course he can.”

With the likes of Teddy Bishop, Kevin Bru, Luke Hyam, Darren Ambrose, Stephen Hunt and Noel Hunt having also been injured of late, are Town paying the price for having a small squad?

“Well, do you know what? When we were on that run of just one defeat in 20 matches, or whatever it was, I wasn’t being asked that question was I?” said McCarthy.

“No, I don’t think that’s the case. We always like to have every player fit, but that’s never going to be the case. Whoever has come in has done a good job so let’s hope that continues.

“It’s a lot easier when you’ve got a full squad to pick from though, of course.”

Asked if he’d have taken this situation if offered it at the start of the season, he replied: “For me to answer that question straight away would sort of suggest I’m looking for a silver lining. It’s always easy to say ‘oh well, we’d have been really happy with this’. Yes, we would, at the start of the season. But bearing in mind we were second not that long ago, then I’m not happy with it.

“But in answer to your question, then yes, at the start of the season, we’d have all took it – you, me, every Ipswich fan.

“I’m frustrated that we are now where we are, given where we were, but that’s part of football. We put in a good performance on Saturday (1-1 home draw with Brentford) and we if we play like that for the rest of the season we should get enough points to stay in the promotion places; whether that’s top two or top six.”

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