Mick McCarthy confident that Ipswich Town will sign another striker before the big kick-off

Summer recruit Joe Garner has scored five goals in three pre-season games for Ipswich Town. Photo: P

Summer recruit Joe Garner has scored five goals in three pre-season games for Ipswich Town. Photo: PAGEPIX

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is confident he will have a striker signed before his side’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road, in just 11 days’ time.

The Blues boss has just three senior strikers to call upon at present in the form of summer signing Joe Garner, Freddie Sears and David McGoldrick, with Brett Pitman (Portsmouth, free), Kieffer Moore (Rotherham, loan) and Leon Best (released) having all moved on.

Town have been pipped to the seven-figure signings of Danny Ward and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson by Championship rivals Cardiff and Reading respectively in recent weeks, with owner Marcus Evans keen to fund a deal.

“We’ll have another one (striker) by the start of the season,” said McCarthy, speaking at a press conference held earlier to announce that the logo of Suffolk charity the East Anglian Children’s Hospice will appear on the back of the first team’s shirts this season.

On his decision to allow Pitman to join League One side Portsmouth, the Blues boss said: “I just wanted to change it around and if I get my other striker that is what will have happened.

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“Brett wants to play and be first choice striker and he wasn’t going to be that here. I’m pleased with the three I’ve got and if I can get another one that would be great.”

Meanwhile, Town managing director Ian Milne hinted there may be more than one new addition on the horizon.

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He said: “We’re pleased with the transfers we’ve done, there’s a lot of competition for places and we still hope to do a little bit more business to fill any holes the manager feels need filling.

“There are things in the pipeline. We’ll probably operate with a 25/26 man squad.”

Altogether, 14 players have departed Portman Road since the end of last season, be it loan deals expiring, contracted players being loaned out or players being sold or released. Six players have been signed in the form of Garner (Rangers, £750k), Emyr Huws (Cardiff, £1m), Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff, free), Bersant Celina (Man City, loan), Dominic Iorfa (Wolves, loan) and Jordan Spence (ne deal agent).

“The wage bill is actually higher,” revealed Milne. “The business we’ve done and new contracts we’ve given have not been cheap.”

Town take on Essex neighbours Colchester United, at The Weston Homes Community Stadium, in their fifth pre-season game of the summer tomorrow night (7.30pm ko).

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