Mick McCarthy himself will admit that watching Ipswich Town hasn’t exactly been a joy in recent years. The Tractor Boys have gone from play-off contenders to mid-table fodder, while simultaneously producing some of the most ‘pragmatic’ football in the division.
It’s fair to say, then, that few would have expected Ipswich to be sitting just two points adrift of the top six with the league’s joint-best goalscoring record going into the second international break of the campaign.
Though much of Ipswich’s early success in 2017/18 is down to the excellent form of strike duo Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn (below) – with McCarthy still pinching himself in disbelief that the Anglian high-flyers were able to tempt Rangers into a double deal.
“Why Rangers didn’t want to keep them I don’t know. We’ve been the very fortunate beneficiaries of that one,” the veteran gaffer told the Daily Record.
"When I heard Waggy was available I thought ‘that can’t be right’. But we checked it out and he was.”
Waghorn and Garner have scored 10 goals between them in the Championship this season, the former in particular proving to be an inspired addition.
And while Garner did struggle at Rangers last season, scoring just seven goals despite being the club’s most expensive signing since 2012, the club’s decision to let both attackers go has understandably been questioned.