McCarthy: Important Garner Will Soon Be Back in the Goals
Tuesday, 21st Nov 2017 17:40
Blues manager Mick McCarthy is confident striker Joe Garner will be back in the goals soon but says the summer signing from Rangers is a vital cog in his team even if he isn’t finding the net.
Garner is without a goal in seven games having netted four in his first eight starts after joining the Blues from the Glasgow giants in June.
“I had a conversation with him the other morning just to explain how much better a team we are with him in it,” McCarthy said.
“How much better players around him are within the team. How much we were able to keep the ball up front with him in the team and how much he upsets defenders and centre-backs.
“And so he wants a goal, but I said to him, ‘Forget about that, you keep doing what you’re doing’. But on the way out I did say, ‘A goal would nice!’. I couldn’t let him off with it completely.
“I just wanted to tell him how much he and what he does for the team is appreciated, his selfless work-rate and running, everything he gives to us, he’s so important. He’ll get his goals, he started off really well, he’ll get them.”
Garner is currently on four bookings and will be banned for one match if he picks up a fifth in the remaining three matches before the amnesty at the end of the month.
McCarthy admits the one-time Preston, Blackburn and Nottingham Forest man sails close to the wind on occasions but doesn’t want him to change his approach.
“I love him to bits, for all those things that he does,” he said. “When you see him he’s very clever, his positioning, his movement, his touch, his all-round game. I knew he was a good player but he’s better than I thought he was just in terms of being a footballer.
“I don’t want him to change, if he gets booked and he gets suspended somebody else is going to have to come in. That’s the way he plays and I love him for it. And defenders hate him for it. No, keep going Joe!”
The success of the current front four means Freddie Sears and Grant Ward have gone from being regulars last season to fringe players more recently.
McCarthy says he’s spoken to the pair, who are likely to be in line for a recall to the starting line-up at some point during the current run of five games in 15 days, with tomorrow’s live Sky game against Sheffield Wednesday the second of the busy spell.
“I speak to them all, of course,” he added. “I had that discussion with Freddie a while ago because he’s selfless in everything he does, he’s always ready to go and he comes on and he has an impact generally.
“And the same with Wardy. I said to him, ‘You were penned in every week pretty much for a while. It’s difficult when you’re not’. But as I said about Myles Kenlock, you’ve got to be prepared for when it comes.
“The front four are playing well, they have to know that. Whatever they think about me for not picking them, I think when they go home they’ll think, ‘Hold on a minute, Santie’s playing well, Waggy’s playing well, Didzy is, Garns is.”
“They may not be really happy with the gaffer not picking them, but the reality is they know they can’t get in the team until something happens.
“What they have to do is make sure they’re ready so that when they do get in the team, they don’t disappoint, be ready to play.
“We’ve got really good characters, good lads in the place, some really good blokes in the place as well, the more senior ones that are really good characters in the place.
“I’ve been here for five years and I try not to sign dissenters and moaners and people that let their their heads get down and let you down because I’ve not played them. I could have played them for 10 games and then you don’t play them for two and suddenly I’m the villain.
“Well, actually maybe have a look at yourself. Were you playing well when I left you out? We haven’t got any of them and if we had I think Skusey, Garns, Waggy and Chambo would certainly let them know pretty quickly.’
Meanwhile, the Blues boss says 18-year-old Australian striker Ben Folami, who made his senior debut in the Carabao Cup tie at Crystal Palace in August, is getting close to claiming a place on the bench for a Championship fixture having been in the travelling squad on a couple of occasions recently.
“He is, he’s trained again with us today and he’s continued to do well," McCarthy continued. "Ben Morris is as well.
“I would say Ben Folami is the more physical of the two of them and more able to handle the Championship, but Ben Morris is certainly a goalscorer.
“Both of them are pushing for a place if we suffer any injuries to the strikers. But, please God, we don’t get any because we all know they’ve been terrific.
Photo: Action Images
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