Missed opportunities, first half goals, the return of David McGoldrick and Mick McCarthy - five talking points from Wolves 0 Ipswich Town 0
We take a look at the major talking points coming out of Ipswich Town’s 0-0 draw at Wolves, as the Blues fell further behind in the race for a play-off spot.
Another missed opportunity
Given what’s to come, this was certainly a missed opportunity for the Blues at a time where there aren’t many opportunities left.
The three remaining away trips see Mick McCarthy’s side go to Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Derby, meaning a trip to mid-table Wolves was one they really needed to win.
On the day, the hosts were there for the taking and very much seemed like a side just seeing out the season, with chants of ‘boring, boring, boring’ ringing out from the home fans.
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The Blues were much improved from the side which lost to Rotherham and had the better of the chances, but couldn’t take them, with two more dropped points now leaving them five off the play-offs as time runs out.
You get the feeling that anything less than six points from home games with Charlton and Brentford simply won’t do.
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First half goals
Ipswich of course drew a blank over the entire 90 minutes at Molineux, but Saturday’s game marked yet another contest where the Blues weren’t able to manage a first-half goal.
Town have scored just three goals in the opening 45 minutes of their 17 games this calendar year as they’ve struggled to stamp their mark on their opponents.
The return of McGoldrick
It may have come a little too late in two different senses, but it was no doubt a major plus for Ipswich Town to see David McGoldrick back on the pitch again.
The Blues had been without their most creative forward since December, before he clambered off the bench after 87 minutes at Molineux.
That gave him very little time to make any kind of impact on a contest which eventually ended 0-0 and, given the Blues are now five points off the play-offs, his return may have come too late in the day for him to make an impact on their chase for the top six.
You can’t deny injuries to creative forces have been a key factor for Ipswich this season but McGoldrick’s return, even if it proves a little late, has to be seen as a plus.
Mick McCarthy’s standing at Wolves
Mick McCarthy remains unbeaten on his three returns to Wolves, since being fired in 2012.
The Irishman, and indeed assistant Terry Connor, is still remembered very fondly by the Wolves faithful, who seem to have realised the grass isn’t always greener, after he left at a time when they were still challenging to stay in the Premier League.
They’ve been down to League One and back since then.
A number of images of McCarthy adorn the corridors of Molineux, a lengthy piece in the programme started by saying ‘nothing more needs to be said about Mick’ before going on to say rather a lot about him, and he received a warm reception as he emerged from the tunnel prior to kick-off.
He certainly made a big impression and the Wolves fans perhaps didn’t realise what they had until it was gone.
They’ve perhaps been two of the more scrutinised players in the Ipswich Town side this season, but Luke Chambers and Jonas Knudsen once again put in very solid performances.
Knudsen has improved week on week as he has become more accustomed to English, and Championship, football and is started to get forward more and more regularly and has improved his final ball.
Those long throws have yet to create anything of note, though.
For Chambers’ part, the Town skipper had a sticky spell earlier in the season but has been back to his best in recent weeks, with this performance at Wolves one of his best this season.
He had left-winger Jeremy Helan in his back pocket through and, while he didn’t manage one of his late winning goals, the skipper did contribute heavily to the Blues claiming a point.