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Waghorn proves the Blues aren’t stuck in the middle without Garner

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 November 2017

Martyn Waghorn tries to close down at Derby Picture Pagepix

Martyn Waghorn tries to close down at Derby Picture Pagepix

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Joe Garner’s absence from Ipswich Town’s trip to Derby County highlighted a different side to Martyn Waghorn.

The two signings from Rangers have both impressed since moving from Scotland in the summer, with the vast majority of Waghorn’s nine goals coming from a wide position with Garner through the middle.

But with Garner absent with a foot injury, Waghorn was afforded a central position and certainly made the most of it at Pride Park.

He was bright from the first minute as he searched out the ball, with his presence meaning the Blues delivered it to him on the ground, rather than in the air.

MORE: ‘It’s a big win’ – McCarthy hails Ipswich Town’s ‘stoic’ 1-0 win at Derby County

Martyn Waghorn tries to volley the ball towards goal at Derby Picture Pagepix Martyn Waghorn tries to volley the ball towards goal at Derby Picture Pagepix

Chipped balls into the channels were brought down expertly, often plucked out of the air with his instep. Rather than looking to win cheap yet valuable throw-ins, he instead looked to bring his team-mates into play.

He linked particularly well with Grant Ward down the right flank, leaving Bersant Celina alone on the left, with Waghorn and Ward combining time and again in the opening 45 minutes as they looked the Blues’ most likely source of attack.

MORE: Derby County 0 Ipswich Town 1 – Connolly goal extends remarkable Pride Park run

Waghorn’s set-piece delivery was exceptional in the defeat at Villa Park on Saturday, with another superb, whipped, corner leading to the breakthrough at Derby as Callum Connolly headed home for a goal awarded with the help of video technology.

Martyn Waghorn tries to close down Curtis Davies at Derby Picture Pagepix Martyn Waghorn tries to close down Curtis Davies at Derby Picture Pagepix

His tricky feet looked as though they might earn the Blues a second-half penalty, as he went down under a challenge from Curtis Davies, and although there was nothing doing, he remained the visitors’ best outlet.

With Garner not certain to return for Saturday’s clash with Nottingham Forest, Waghorn could well get another go through the middle at the weekend. If he is as effective as he was last night, then the Blues will be served well.

MORE: Connolly delighted as training ground winner beats Rams

Positive reviews of Waghorn’s display is no knock on Garner, of course, who has led the line superbly during his opening months in Ipswich blue and occupies defenders superbly with his physical approach.

It’s also important to remember Waghorn has been effective from wide, in the goals column at least.

But the striker showing there are options and decisions to be made will certainly serve McCarthy well, going forward, especially given Garner has been nursing a shoulder injury for some time.

If Garner’s absence continues, Waghorn has proved he is more than up to the job.

Tommy Smith will be watching from afar as Ipswich Town attempt to find a new level of consistency to force their way into the Championship play-offs.

Tommy Smith leaves Ipswich Town after more than 267 appearances for the Blues over 10 years - he certainly made his mark. We’ve picked out the best pictures from his time at Portman Road.

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Ipswich Town U23s paid for failing to convert their chances as they lost 2-0 to Sheffield United in the Premier League Cup at Portman Road, writes Harry Mallett.

Ipswich Town will miss the ‘influence and experience’ of departing stalwart Tommy Smith, according to striker Martyn Waghorn.

Long-serving defender Tommy Smith admits the tears were flowing when he said goodbye to his Ipswich Town team mates having today completed his move to MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Ipswich Town remain 12th in the Championship table following Saturday’s dire 1-1 draw at lowly Bolton Wanderers.

Martyn Waghorn knows he and his team-mates must rediscover their clinical side and begin to put together winning runs if they are maintain any kind of play-off push.

Former Ipswich Town player Georges Santos joined Andy Warren for a special edition of the Kings of Anglia Podcast.

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