Date: 9th August 2017 at 7:20pm
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There is nothing like winning when it comes to confidence building and last night at Kenilworth Road, Town got the monkey off their backs and progressed to the next round of the Carabao Cup with a 0-2 victory at Kenilworth Road.

Lesser sides have proved to be Town undoing in the past and after Luton’s emphatic 8-2 victory over Yeovil in their first league encounter, there was a real fear that the Tractor Boys would fall at the first hurdle again.

Manager Mick McCarthy made seven changes for this one and most of them I had predicted in my column last night.

In came Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam in midfield and as expected, Myles Kenlock replaced the injured Jordan Spence. Bersant Celina was paired up front with David McGoldrick and this meant that Martyn Waghorn had to be content with a place on the bench but he did feature as the game progressed.

This young side was not overawed by the opposition and the goal when it came was first class. Manchester City loanee Bersant Celina got the ball rolling literally when he deftly evaded a defender with a wonderful piece of skill, before an inch perfect pass sent David McGoldrick away and he slotted the ball home with relative ease.

Celina was impressive throughout but so too was Tristan Nydam and the irrepressible Flynn Downes, who was quite frankly sensational at times last night.

The whole team played well again and it got even younger still when Adam Webster and Cole Skuse had to go off through injury to be replaced by Luke Woolfenden (who started the second half) and young Irishman Adam McDonnell.

One 63 minutes, we saw the introduction of new signing Martyn Waghorn at long last, at the expense of Tristan Nydam who had performed admirably from the off.

Make no mistake here, Town really wanted this victory and it may well have had something to do with the team talk Mick McCarthy produced before a ball had been kicked.

‘I said to them that it`s an audition to be in the team this and there`s one thing for certain. If you don`t pull your finger out and play well and run about, you`ve no chance of getting in the team on Saturday.’

Fair play to him because it seemed to have had the desired effect but McCarthy continues to argue that this has always been his philosophy in cup competitions.

He explained, ‘I`ve never tried to lose one of these games. I think this is the hardest game of the season. Players all want to play on Saturday against Birmingham and the ones that don`t are bitterly disappointed.’

In the end it was another David McGoldrick strike that wrapped up the win for the Blues and two wins from two, without a goal conceded, is a very encouraging way to start the new campaign.

What is perhaps even more encouraging still, is the quality of the players making it through from youth football.

If Marcus Evans five point plan is ever to bear fruit then this of course is a vital ingredient.

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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