If Championship survival is ensured by stockpiling strikers, we’ll be just fine.
We all recognised once magic DJ Campbell departed, with our next top scorer (Daryl Murphy) with just five from 23 appearances, that we needed more firepower.
But we didn’t quite see Mick McCarthy’s next trick being replacing him with three strikers in five whirlwind days...and then not ruling out DJ’s return.
The arrivals of David McGoldrick, Aaron Mclean and Frank Nouble means we could have a whole bench worth of strikers in Mick’s trusted 4-4-2 formation.
But after he let Saturday’s opportunity to shine pass, I suspect Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, as well as Jason Scotland, Ronan Murray and Nathan Ellington, head the list of players he is willing to let go.
JET has been the biggest individual disappointment of the season for me, being a player who has all the ingredients, but just hasn’t got cooking with them in 2012/13, while Ellington has never come to the boil in a Town shirt.
Scotland is a player who I think has been under-used this season, but he turns 34 next month and in powerhouses Nouble (21) and Mclean (29) McCarthy now has younger replacements for what he brings to the table.
Saturday was the third successive year we have exited the FA Cup at the first hurdle, but the performance at Aston Villa, against an under-performing side with undoubted talent, was encouraging (though slightly diluted by Bradford City’s amazing result on Tuesday night).
Were it not for Shay Given’s saves we could have taken a Premier League scalp, though we were also indebted to a great performance at the other end from Scott Loach, who surely must be considered for a start at league leaders Cardiff City on Saturday.
Our recent record against the Bluebirds, who now bizarrely play in red, is excellent, but it will be the games that follow over the next two weeks against Barnsley and Bristol City that will be more significant in shaping where Town play next season.