Date: 8th December 2017 at 5:22pm
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In the absence of Joe Garner it has been plain-sailing for the Blues so let us hope that manager Mick McCarthy does not revert to fielding Joe Garner as our lone striker tomorrow afternoon.

Garner is good and cost an awful lot more than Martyn Waghorn but in terms of football wherewithal and basic common sense, then our current central striker is the prefered option in my view.

Waghorn also wears the number nine shirt and was employed originally to do what he is doing so well, which is scoring goals so why the need to rock the boat?

He has already accrued an impressive ten goals and mainly playing out wide. But it is quite easy to see that his best position is right down the middle and our last two winning games have cemented this argument and he has been on the scoresheet on both occasions.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the robust style of Joe Garner and the former Rangers pair have rejuvenated the rather bland attacking options at our disposal last term, which had a lot to do with our lowly league position in the end I fear.

Tomorrow against Middlesborough at the Riverside Stadium, there is every chance we can get something from the match but much will I think depend on how we start?

If we go a goal down I suspect the best we could hope for is a score draw but if we go in front, then there is every hope of culling all three points, in front of a disillusioned home gate.

Middlesborough are not endearing themselves to their supporters just now and 38 year old manager Garry Monk is under pressure to perform. The fans expectations are high but performances are low so far this season and the natives are getting restless.

The good news for the home side is that center back Daniel Ayala is available again after serving a one match ban and the same rule applies to Luke Chambers, who our manager said, will start at the expense of either Dominic Iorfa or Jordan Spence.

Mick McCarthy likes his troops to keep wanting for more and on the inclusion of captain Luke Chambers at the expense of the pair he said, ‘ They’ll understand it but they might not like it, but that doesn’t bother me because Chambo is really important.’

Some supporters might be inclined to disagree but perhaps less vociferously given our recent form and our standing in the table.

I hope that Mick McCarthy leaves Garner on the bench tomorrow so that Waghorn can continue down the middle. It is unlikely to happen however but it would be a shame to see Waggy pushed out onto the wing again. Yes, he does a good job wherever you play him but we should be playing to his strengths not his weaknesses.

One to watch for the Boro is Britt Assombalonga, who has scored four goals in his last two league matches against Ipswich, with braces in both games last season if you recall.

For the record, no player has scored more goals against a single opponent in last season’s Championship so be warned folks, he will be out to make a bad impression!

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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