George Burley says David McGoldrick and Jonny Williams can spark a turnaround in fortunes for Ipswich Town

PUBLISHED: 12:45 03 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:45 03 November 2016

Republic of Ireland's David McGoldrick during the International Friendly at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland.

Republic of Ireland's David McGoldrick during the International Friendly at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland.

PA Wire/PA Images

Ex-Ipswich Town manager George Burley believes the fit-again creative duo of David McGoldrick and Jonny Williams can spark a turnaround in fortunes for the Blues.

The atmosphere inside Portman Road turned toxic during last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with rock-bottom Championship side Rotherham, with manager Mick McCarthy responding to his critics by outlining how many of his ‘sexy’ players have been sidelined for long spells.

Silky striker McGoldrick and nimble attacking midfielder Williams have both returned to first-team action recently though, with Burley saying: “I worked with David at Southampton and, even playing alongside the likes of Gareth Bale, Adam Lallana and Theo Walcott, his ability stood out. He just had such great awareness when the ball was played into his feet.

“In the first minute on Saturday he received the ball on the half turn and played a through ball to (Freddie) Sears that nobody else in that squad would have seen.

“He’s been sorely missed because he gets others around him playing.”

On Williams, Burley said: “When I was Crystal Palace manager, Jonny was a 16-year-old in the youth team I kept a very close eye on.

“If I’d have been there a bit longer I might have given him his debut, like I’ve done with so many young players over the years.

“He’s another player who could make a real difference for us. When he stepped off the bench on Saturday it was great. We won a free-kick and, bang, we played, won another free-kick and, bang, we got going again.

“I think we’ve needed a player or two in that sort of position who always want the ball and want to play on the ground, someone like Jim Magilton who can dominate games.

“There have been very few other players in the club capable of doing that, so getting those two back is a big boost.

“Alongside the likes of Tom Lawrence, Conor Grant, Freddie Sears and Grant Ward, who also have quality on the ball, I am optimistic performances and results will soon pick up.”

Town travel to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, then it’s an international break for World Cup qualifiers.

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