Ipswich Town manager keeping faith with Freddie Sears, despite striker’s goal drought
Mick McCarthy’s faith in Freddie Sears is not wavering, despite the striker having gone 31 league and cup games without a goal.
The 26-year-old striker has not scored a goal for the first team since December 15 – during the 2-1 win at Fulham – having previously boasted a one goal in three strike rate for the Blues.
However, the numbers don’t tell the whole story, the former Colchester United and West Ham often being asked to play in a wide position, either in midfield in a 4-4-2 formation or up front in a 4-3-3.
Sears previously scored 34 goals in 98 games for a Colchester side that struggled more often than not, and hit the ground running on his arrival at Portman Road in January 2015, following a £100,000 move.
McCarthy, who recently added free agent forward Luke Varney to his squad and is considering offering another player without a club, Leon Best, a permanent deal, said: “He (Sears) has scored loads before and players have their peaks and their troughs, their ups and their downs.
“He is desperate for a goal and has probably snatched at a few things, but I thought he was excellent at Wolves, he was more considered and not rushing it, and if he keeps playing at that level, the goals will come because he is a good player.”
Although Sears has not been a regular scorer in recent times, his work-rate has prompted McCarthy to make him almost a permanent fixture in a Blues first team that, last season, struggled to score goals from every position last season.
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This season, the main man so far from a goalscoring perspective is Grant Ward, who scored a hat-trick on his Town debut against Barnsley on the opening day of the season.
Apart from Ward, Jonas Knudsen is the only other outfield player to have notched for the Blues from open play this season, but McCarthy is keen to emphasis that Sears’s remit is not just scoring goals,
“I remember Didz (David McGoldrick) not scoring for something like 11 games and he kept getting picked,” recalled McCarthy, whose side host Preston North End at Portman Road today, aiming to go into the international break having picked up their second win of the season.
“I think you’ll find that I named Freddie as my Player of the Season because he plays up front, wide right and left and it is appreciated.
“It might go unnoticed by people who do not understand the game as much, but he tracks back, does his job and does a shift and may have suffered as a result because he has had to do that.
“But he is in a team. It’s not a game of golf, he’s not one man on his own.
“He’s been a very good purchase.”
McCarthy yesterday confirmed that a deal could be offered to Best who, at 29, has played for 11 clubs in the Football League and Premier League and scored 63 goals in 292 games.