An eight game mini season begins on Saturday, and it’s time for under-fire Mick McCarthy to answer his critics by coming out all guns blazing.
Bravery is needed in his selection for the trip to former club Wolves on Saturday (3pm), and then against the four relegation-threatened teams that follow in the next seven games in Charlton (Tuesday H 7.45pm), Brentford, Fulham and the MK Dons.
I watched David McGoldrick’s comeback in the Under-21s’ 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest last week and was impressed with how sharp he looked, having been out since mid-December.
It has been no coincidence that without his creative spark we have flattered to deceive in matches, regardless of results that have been ground out, the Leeds encouraging display being the anomaly.
Normally, Mick would protect Didsy and not bring him back in until he deems him 100 per cent match-fit.
But with Daryl Murphy picking up a calf injury on international duty, an 80 per cent player is worth the gamble right now. And I’d suggest he starts as, having a player like that back, flanked with two out-and-out wingers coming in in Liam Feeney and Ben Pringle, not only gives the team a big lift, but also gives the opposition plenty to think about.
Mick admitted he got things wrong in that gut-wrenchingly dire defeat to Rotherham, so now is the time to put things right.
Let’s stop worrying about the opposition and start making them worry about us. Do that and the play-off dream is not over.
n Andre Dozzell, son of Jason, added to his burgeoning reputation with a goal for England Under-17s on Saturday. The midfielder already looks a great prospect, so it was good to see his dad quoted saying, despite Premier League interest, he’s in ‘the right place’ to develop.