POLL: Ipswich Town’s Frank Nouble may not be like-for-like McGoldrick replacement but his game stats don’t lie
- Credit: Archant
Terry Connor has warned Ipswich Town fans to be patient with Frank Nouble, despite the Londoner being the early favourite to fill the void left by the injured David McGoldrick.
Five points off the play-offs, Town face the prospect of a game at league leaders Leicester City on Saturday, without their talismanic frontman – the 16-goal striker sustaining knee ligament damage in Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Blackpool.
McGoldrick will be out for around 10 weeks and should McCarthy opt to remain with a 4-4-2 formation, it leaves him with just Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, the out-of-favour Paul Taylor and Nouble to choose from as a foil for Daryl Murphy.
Nouble’s record of just three league and cup goals this season is hardly inspiring but remarkably, in 17 starts since in his arrival in January 2013, he has been on the losing side just once.
His inclusion in the first XI on 10 occasions this campaign has yielded 20 points, compared to less than a point per game in matches where he has started on the bench.
His physical attributes and spells with Chelsea and West Ham as a youngster suggest the striker should be more prolific in the second-tier but Connor insists the 22-year-old remains a work in progress.
“Frank has definitely improved his all-round game and when your team-mates like you, it shows that you are doing well in the group,” said the former Swansea striker.
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“We want him to continue how he is going and he is learning how to become an effective player.
“He had a lot of potential early in his career, but it’s probably fair to say that Frank has not been coached effectively.
“He is a big, strong, boy who needs to understand how to play as a centre-forward and in a forward position.”
As for Taylor, Connor suggested the striker, who was left out of the squad on Saturday and has been a fringe player, had to improve.
He said: “Paul has got to do more than the other four strikers on a consistent basis.
“The challenge is for all the strikers to do that.”