McCarthy rejects the notion that David McGoldrick should play in midfield

David McGoldrick

David McGoldrick - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has hinted that it will be Daryl Murphy and Freddie Sears up front against Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon and rejects the notion that David McGoldrick should play as an out-and-out midfielder.

The Blues have one of the best four-man strike forces in the Championship now that Brett Pitman has joined Daryl Murphy, Freddie Sears and a fit-again David McGoldrick at Portman Road.

Murphy and Sears got the nod in last weekend’s season-opener at Brentford (2-2), then McGoldrick and Pitman impressed in Tuesday night’s 2-1 home victory over Stevenage in the League Cup.

Asked if McGoldrick – Town’s talisman in 2013/14, but who then cut a frustrated figure in between two lengthy injury lay-offs – was looking like the player of old again, McCarthy said: “Without a doubt. He’s much better from the start Didzy and he got right bang at it on Tuesday night. I thought he was excellent, as was his mate, Brett Pitman.

“His frustration didn’t come from Murph scoring all the goals last season, it came from his injuries.


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“I don’t have those conversations with him, but I know he’ll have been frustrated last season because I would have been if it was me in that position.

“He was our main man, he gets injured, he then has to sit and watch us do well without him, that is hugely frustrating for players.

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“Listen, they’ll all want to be the top man, the top striker – all four of them.”

Asked if he could start with three of his four strikers at some stage this season, he replied: “Yeah, I could play 4-3-3 with any three from four. Didzy could actually play in the hole, like we used to have with Jonny Williams, he kind of likes that, dropping deep and setting things up.

“We’ve got good combinations that we could mix and match.”

With Kevin Bru and Teddy Bishop both injured, there is a theory that McGoldrick – who loves to drop deep and create – could play in a central midfield role, the same way Wayne Rooney has done for Manchester United in recent years.

When that was put to McCarthy, he said: “I’m talking more about having a midfield three and him being the striker that drops deep. If he roams around he can be dangerous, but he’s a good goalscorer as well so you want him up the pitch and in the box.

“Do you know what? I’d just like him fit for the whole season so I can pick him if, when and where I want to.

“If he is fully fit will be hard to keep him out of the team because he’s such a talented player, but he’s lost his slot to two strikers who had a great time last season – one (Freddie Sears) scored nine in 14 and the other (Daryl Murphy) scored 27. Neither of them have done anything wrong.”

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