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Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says goals could still be the main issue

BUSY SUMMER: Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy

BUSY SUMMER: Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy

It was fictional character Rumpelstiltskin who was able to weave gold from straw.

And Mick McCarthy seemed to be cast in the same role over the summer as he looked to create a squad capable of pushing for promotion without spending Marcus Evans’ money and on a tight wage budget.

In my final column of last season, I said we needed eight new players and 10 have come in with only teenage Waterford United winger Jack Doherty seeing any money changing hands, and that is only thought to amount to £50,000.

Four have come in from relegated sides, while two were loannees from last season and the remaining pair are youngsters still learning their trade.

Christophe Berra is the only big name in and his success will rely on McCarthy helping him rediscover the form that led to him splash £2.3 million on him for Wolves from Hearts in 2009.

But we know from experience big reputations don’t guarantee success and it made sense to replace Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Lee Martin and Michael Chopra.

This squad looks to be more in the hard-grafting McCarthy mould and, bar Ryan Tunnicliffe, we are finally not relying on loans.

It could have been different if waiting on Richard Stearman and Titus Bramble but McCarthy’s swift dealings look to have left us in a better position than previous years.

But is the quality there? I still think goals could be our Achilles heel, with there looking to be too much emphasis on David McGoldrick.

The season starts with a tough-looking fixture at relegated Reading on Saturday, with Nigel Adkins’ side including creative talent Royston Drenthe among others, but I’d much rather play them now while they are still to find their feet in the Championship.

So could McCarthy’s wheeling and dealing spin a fairytale ending? I think without adding a prolific striker (not Alan Lee) we’ll fall just short of the play-offs in eighth.

 

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