TEAM NEWS: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy will give one of his other strikers a chance rather than seek a loan replacement for injured top-scorer David McGoldrick

David McGoldrick in action against Blackpool

David McGoldrick in action against Blackpool - Credit: Archant

Leicester v Ipswich: Blues boss Mick McCarthy has said he will not seek a loan replacement for injured top goalscorer David McGoldrick ahead of Saturday’s game at Championship leaders Leicester City.

McGoldrick suffered knee ligament damage in the closing stages of last weekend’s goalless home draw with struggling Blackpool, the stalemate seeing Town drop to ninth in the table. With the division’s top five pulling away, Ipswich are five points adrift of the final play-off spot that several teams are still eyeing up.

Asked if he would look to utilise the ‘emergency’ loan window to bring in another striker, McCarthy said: “I wonder sometimes what’s the point in having them (squad players) here if the first time I get an injury I go out and get a replacement?

“And I wonder who’s going to loan me someone as good as David McGoldrick? That’s probably unlikely that isn’t it? All those who have been back-up and coming on as subs, doing their jobs and have been preparing properly and wanting to play, well it’s their time to get an opportunity now. It’s when you give them their opportunity and it doesn’t work that you look to do something else.

“I go back to my other point – where do we get somebody? Would I be loaning David McGoldrick out to somebody? You’re not going to get one of that ilk.”

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He added: “It is a huge blow for me, for the team, for the club and for him because he’s had such a great season. He would have loved to have got to the 20 goals mark, it would have been a great achievement for him, but that’s not going to happen now. It’s opportunity knocks for somebody else to step up and be the hero. That’s what he’s been, he’s been our talisman.

“Listen, all the ones who have been thinking they should play every week – Tayls (Paul Taylor), Sylvan (Ebanks-Blake), Frank (Nouble). They all want to play and now it’s opportunity knocks for one of them. Maybe somebody else will get more of an opportunity.”

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Daryl Murphy – called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time in six years today – will lead the line for Town at The King Power Stadium, with McCarthy giving a few clues as to who will play alongside him.

He revealed that Ebanks-Blake is not yet ready to start a match following his latest recovery from injury, while he would only say that Taylor – who has started only two league games this season – would be ‘in the squad’.

One option would be to play wingers Stephen Hunt and Paul Anderson either side of Murphy, but Mccarthy’s comments suggested it would be a 4-4-2 system and therefore Frank Nouble who starts.

On Ebanks-Blake, he said: “He’s not ready to start, no. He came on for 20 minutes (against Blackpool), he almost got the overhead kick and he will put himself in a position to get goals, but is he ready to play 90 minutes? No, he’s not at that level yet.

“He had 60 minutes the other night (for the Under-21s), got through the game, there’s another one on Monday night if he doesn’t take part at the weekend. He’ll probably still play on Monday even if he does get on the pitch this weekend.”

Is one up front under consideration? “Well I went and had a look at Leicester last night at Nottingham Forest (2-2 draw). There’s always a consideration to do that because they’re a very good side, but Forest played one up front and were getting mullered for the first 20 minutes.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy says he is yet to inform his goalkeepers who will start on Saturday. Dean Gerken has been No.1 for the majority of the campaign, but woke up with a stiff neck last weekend and Scott Loach stepped in late in the day to produce a man-of-the-match display.

“Dean Gerken is fine,” said McCarthy. “I haven’t told them yet (who is going to play), so I’m not going to tell you either.

“I think he (Loach) deserves huge credit because that’s not always the case that (players being ready to take their chance). He’s not played for six months apparently and he played exceptionally well. It doesn’t always work like that. You can be out of the team, have a bit of a sulk up and don’t prepare properly. That’s not to those players’ credit at all, but he (Loach) obviously does.

“It’s difficult. There is a great camaraderie among keepers, they have to work each other and he deserves great credit for the way he played.”

The Blues will again be without Luke Hyam, the midfielder’s comeback game against Blackpool – having missed four matches with the cut leg he sustained at Millwall – lasting just 11 minutes before his hamstring tightened up.

“Luke is probably looking at the Middlesbrough game (meaning he’ll miss Leicester away and Birmingham at home),” said McCarthy. “It was a strange one really because Luke is probably the fittest bloke at the club, certainly one of them. It’s one of those things, it happens.”

– See tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for all the latest Blues news.

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