Date: 1st November 2015 at 12:48pm
Written by:

Mick McCarthy spoke earlier in the season of turning our ground into Fortress Portman Road. Now although we are not losing many, four draws in succession on our home turf is seriously damaging our hopes of promotion so what is going wrong?

First things first and Daryl Murphy continues to struggle up front. We are now into November and and the fourth month of the new campaign and he is still trying to find the net.

Having amassed a staggering 27 goal last term there was never a chance of replicating it this season but the fact that he is still goalless after so long is serious cause for concern.

We can only hope that when he does finally score it will be the catalyst for a goals flurry but the longer this barren spell goes on, the more it will impact on his confidence and he will do well to make the final cut for Ireland in their play-off quest, given his current state of mind and lack of goals.

Another reason that we are struggling up front is because manager Mick McCarthy persists in playing Freddie Sears out of position. Most of his goals throughout his career have come from playing as a central striker and yet McCarthy continually plays him out wide, where he is far less effective and not a serious goal threat.

Keeping a clean sheet yesterday was encouraging – especially for goalkeeper Dean Gerken. The bad news is that he will stay as our number one and that means we will have to suffer more of those clangers that will inevitably cost us points.

Another player who has come in for more than his fair share of criticism of late Luke Chambers also excelled yesterday. That will mean that he will continue to be played as a wing back and this is another disaster just waiting to happen!

Cardiff have kept four clean sheets in succession but they are not a serious threat going forward so this clean sheet camouflages are defensive frailties that have not really gone away.

As attendances start to decline again at Portman Road we really need some goals from somewhere and sadly our other principle striker David McGoldrick seems ring rusty too.

He is but a pale shadow of his former self and another reason why we are finding goals hard to come by.

It is good to see Kevin Bru back in the team but we still lack sufficient creativity in the middle of the park and that is why I cannot wait to see Teddy Bishop return to the fold.

He has been greatly missed but according to our manager he still has a long way to go before he can make the first team and in the meantime we will have to make do with what we have got.

On Tuesday, we entertain Bolton Wanderers at Portman Road. I would be stating the obvious if I said that this was a game that we simply have to win!

We are in fourteenth place in the Sky Bet Championship and six points off those play-off places so our first win in six at Portman Road might just get us moving again.

I certainly hope so because as we drift aimlessly below mid-table, goals and points are at a premium right now.

Frank Weston Editor of Vital Ipswich


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