Star's plea: Get us a goal-scorer, boss

CARLOS Edwards reckons that manager Roy Keane's No. 1 job, for this summer, might be to unearth a new striker.The marked absence of a regular goalscorer has been Ipswich Town's main downfall this season, leaving them still flirting with the prospect of relegation.

Carl Marston

CARLOS Edwards reckons that manager Roy Keane's No. 1 job, for this summer, might be to unearth a new striker.

The marked absence of a regular goalscorer has been Ipswich Town's main downfall this season, leaving them still flirting with the prospect of relegation.

A meagre six goals, achieved by both skipper Jon Walters (including a couple of penalties) and Jon Stead (currently on loan at Coventry), represents the best of Town's individual contributions this term.

Edwards thinks that Keane might have to act during the close-season, to make sure that there is no similar flop in front of goal for next term.

"We haven't had a prolific goalscorer. The leading scorer has just six goals, and that's very unacceptable," insisted Edwards.

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"Everyone else is chipping in, but come the off-season, that's something we will have to reflect on.

"Maybe the manager might have to go somewhere, maybe, and get a prolific striker.

"We've got the talent at the moment, but it's just that we haven't managed to punish teams when they make mistakes," added Edwards.

Although Edwards is an out-and-out winger, whose priority is to create goals, he is also conscious of his failings in front of goal.

The 31-year-old, who has clocked up 78 appearances for Trinidad & Tobago, scored goals at a healthy rate earlier in his career.

Not least during the 2006-07 campaign, when he bagged a total of 11 goals for Luton and Sunderland. His five goals for the Black Cats in just four months helped them to win the Championship title.

But Edwards' obsession with trying to regain his scoring touch - he finally netted his first goal for nearly three years with the winner at Sheffield Wednesday last month - has had a detrimental effect on his game.

"Knowing what I'm capable of, it's just so disappointing and frustrating that I haven't been scoring goals," confessed Edwards.

"It was just over two years to get my first goal, and for me and my standards, I think that is very unacceptable.

"I'm always a positive-thinking person, but I think it took away a lot from my football.

"I was concentrating too much on trying to get my first goal, and not concentrating on playing football and helping myself gain the fitness and momentum that I had when I was playing for Sunderland.

"That's done and dusted now, because I've got my first goal and hopefully I can notch a few more during the remaining games of the season.

"I had a little break - Sheffield Wednesday was my first game in just over a month - and I'm now feeling more like the Carlos Edwards that was at Sunderland.

"It's just around the corner, and I hope on Saturday that I can get another start and hopefully punish Blackpool."

Edwards, and his team-mates, have been on the wrong-end of a few ear-bashings from the manager this season, following below-par performances.

But Keane was almost lost for words after last weekend's goalless home draw against Bristol City, when visiting keeper Dean Gerken played a blinder to keep a marauding Town at bay.

"Looking back, it was the manager's shortest speech after a game,"

revealed Edwards.

"The gaffer is a wonderful lad. He can be an animal, but in a nice way. Obviously he does what any manager can do, voicing his opinion when the team is having a bad day.

"But when you perform like the way we did last Saturday, you have no choice but to put your hands up and pat the lads on the back,"

concluded Edwards.

Keane's men are at play-off chasing Blackpool tomorrow, hoping to secure a hat-trick of wins over the Seasiders following their FA Cup success at Bloomfield Road and league victory at Portman Road.

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