Mick McCarthy must address Ipswich Town’s lack of midfield goals, says Tommy Miller

Tommy Miller, right, was a regular scorer from midfield

Tommy Miller, right, was a regular scorer from midfield - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy must address the long-term issue of a lack of midfield goals this summer.

That’s the opinion of Tommy Miller, the man who scored 15 goals from the middle of the park back in 2004/05 as the Blues finished third in the Championship table.

Since then, not a single Town midfielder has reached double digits for league goals in a single season. During Mick McCarthy’s three seasons in charge, a midfielder hasn’t managed more than five goals in a campaign.

“It’s clear the midfield is not contributing enough goals and that’s been the case for a while now,” said Miller.

“I thought Jonathan Douglas would have scored a few more this season because he got eight for Brentford last season, but he seems to have played a deeper role.

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“Not only is the midfield still not scoring enough, but the goals from centre-halves have dried up a bit too.

“That was fine when Daryl Murphy was scoring left, right and centre, but realistically it was a big ask for him to do that again and he needed others to share the goalscoring responsibility this season.

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“You need players to contribute goals from everywhere in the team. Goalscoring midfielders are hard to find, but that has to be the main area that Mick will want to address when the transfer window opens.”

Miller, who played under McCarthy’s management at Sunderland and is now a player-coach at Halifax, added: “Mick’s teams are always very well structured. He’s not an all-out-attack manager and he always looks to keep games tight.

“Whether the midfield are told to sit and not gamble on going forwards too much I’m not sure. I don’t think people want him to abandon his principles completely but at home they maybe need to go a bit more gung-ho at times.”

With Town finishing a disappointing home campaign against MK Dons on Saturday, Miller added: “I still speak to a few people down in Ipswich and they are unhappy at the way the team is playing at Portman Road.

“There’s no doubting it has been a frustrating season for Ipswich after what they did in making the play-offs, but no-one will be more frustrated than Mick McCarthy and I am confident that he will get it right. He protects his players publicly, but he’ll know what he needs to improve this summer.”

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