Late Ipswich Town play-off surge could be just the job, says Joe Royle

David McGoldrick

David McGoldrick - Credit: Archant

Former Blues boss Joe Royle wants Ipswich to gatecrash the Championship top-six – and believes red-hot striker David McGoldrick can spearhead a late surge.

Town are four points adrift of the play-off places ahead of Saturday’s trip to struggling Barnsley, but have kept hold of much-coveted left-back Aaron Cresswell, during the transfer window, while 15-goal McGoldrick has remained injury-free.

And Royle, who led Ipswich to successive play-off campaigns in 2004 and 2005, believes leaving it late could play into the Blues’ hands.

“You would obviously prefer to have the points and be top like Leicester (13 points clear of the play-offs),” said Royle.

“But it can be a small benefit for teams that finish the season on a good run.

“They are grateful to have got to the play-offs, whereas those that have been there all season suddenly have to enter a cup competition and do it all again.

“I always look for Ipswich’s result and I really hope they can do it.”

Most Read

McGoldrick is destined to become the first player since Shefki Kuqi a decade ago to break the 20 goals in a season barrier and looks set to join an illustrious list that includes Town legends Ray Crawford, Paul Mariner and John Wark.

“It’s important to keep hold of your best players and in Ipswich’s case, particularly McGoldrick,” explained Royle.

“He’s a good, free-scoring striker, a powerful finisher in and out of the box, and the fact they have managed to keep him fit is a big plus.

“When I was at Ipswich in 2005, we were unable to sign David Unsworth permanently and lost him for the play-offs against West Ham. That was a major blow and we had to bring in Drissa Diallo who wasn’t fit and he was given a tough time in the first leg.

“That same season we also lost Shefki (Kuqi) when we were top of the division through injury and I think we lost about three games without him. We were looking set for automatic promotion but that set us back.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter