Ipswich August Review: out of the blue

During this two-week break from the Championship for internationals, we review how all 24 teams have looked in their first five league games. Here’s our assessment of Cardiff City.

What we said in pre-season

“Emyr Huws looks a good addition for Ipswich Town while Bersant Celina may have the creative spark to replace Tom Lawrence. Boardroom frugality however, means they are otherwise signing players from a level below where the club is striving for. Mick McCarthy’s tactics will help avert relegation fears, but his stubbornness encapsulates a stagnating club. 17th

Have they surprised us so far?

Yes. Pre-season matches don’t mean everything, but after the 6-1 loss at Charlton that concluded preparations, you could have forgiven fans for not expecting to be second during the international break. Huws hasn’t played at all this season due to injury while Celina has been kept out of the team by Martyn Waghorn, who has scored from three of his six shots when starting.

The positives

Waghorn’s clinical finishing is matched by his teammates. Ipswich have scored from nine of their 40 shots and 13 on target, with no side anywhere near as clinical in front of goal. Joe Garner has rediscovered the form that saw him score 25 goals in 36 League One games for Preston in 14/15, while David McGoldrick looks rejuvenated after injury. At the other end, Bartosz Bialkowski has had some excellent games between the sticks.

The negatives

While the club deserves credit for the positive start, there may be question marks over the sustainability of their form. Ipswich are the Championship’s third top scorers with the second lowest number of shots (40), which will be a difficult record to maintain. They need a wider array of good performances outside both boxes to stifle the opposition’s momentum, create more chances and be more confident of good results continuing.

Late business?

The Sussex club had been linked with a move for Jonas Olsson, given their dearth of available centre-backs, but couldn’t get a deal done. Everton loanee Callum Connolly might not provide the same experience as Olsson would have done, at just 19 years of age. He will though offer versatility, capable of playing anywhere across the back four.

The Football Lab’s Grade

Performances leave room for improvement, but four wins from five is more than anyone expected five weeks ago. B