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'Everyone knows how highly we all rated him' - Gerken on the return of McGoldrick to Portman Road

PUBLISHED: 17:44 20 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:16 21 December 2018

David McGoldrick returns to Portman Road with Sheffield United this weekend. Picture: PA

David McGoldrick returns to Portman Road with Sheffield United this weekend. Picture: PA

Archant

Ipswich Town keeper Dean Gerken is wary of a fit and firing David McGoldrick returning to Portman Road on Saturday.

David McGoldrick has scored six goals in 17 starts and five substitute appearances for Sheffield United. Photo: PADavid McGoldrick has scored six goals in 17 starts and five substitute appearances for Sheffield United. Photo: PA

McGoldrick scored 45 goals in 159 games during a sometimes sparkling, often injury-hit five-and-half-year spell with the Blues before leaving the club when his contract expired back in May.

He signed for Sheffield United just days before the season started, following a successful trial, and has scored six goals in 17 starts and five substitute appearances so far, with Chris Wilder’s men arriving Suffolk sitting fifth in the Championship table.

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It’s been reported in the Yorkshire press that ex-Blues boss Mick McCarthy told Wilder that he believed the Republic of Ireland international’s injury problems at Ipswich were not helped by a three-hour commute from his home in Nottingham.

“Everyone knows how highly we all rated him here at this football club – not just as a player, but as a person,” said Gerken, with rock-bottom Town looking to build on last weekend’s 1-0 home win over Wigan and further close the gap to safety.

“He’s such a talent. At the moment he looks fitter than he ever has and is running around more than he ever has.

“His footballing ability has never been in question. He’s unbelievable. When David McGoldrick is fit there’s not many better in the Championship.”

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Luke Chambers congratulates David McGoldrick after a goal against Preston for Ipswich. Photo: Steve WallerLuke Chambers congratulates David McGoldrick after a goal against Preston for Ipswich. Photo: Steve Waller

With McGoldrick departing after Mick McCarthy’s departure and before Paul Hurt’s arrival, Gerken said: “I’m not sure whose decision it was to let Dave go. He was obviously in a bad situation being injured at the end of his contract.

“As players we were disappointed because of how highly we all regard him. Obviously you want the best players at the club.”

Ipswich scored 60 goals in all competitions in 2017/18, but saw seven players depart who contributed 80% of those – Martyn Waghorn (16 goals) and Joe Garner (10 goals) sold by Hurst.

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“It was the manager’s decision at the time to do that and that’s the way it went,” said Gerken. “Joe Garner and Waggy are top Championship players, but we can’t cry over spilt milk.”

Blues boss Paul Lambert said: “They have a lad (McGoldrick) who scored goals for fun for this club and he’s ended up at Sheffield United.

“He’s a goalscorer and they are worth their weight in gold. You tend to find the goalscorers make the most money because they can put the ball in the net.”

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