Four more lined up by Roeder

David Cuffley Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder expects to complete up to four more new signings this week.Two deals could be signed and sealed as early as tomorrow with another two in the pipeline by the start of next week.

David Cuffley

Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder expects to complete up to four more new signings this week.

Two deals could be signed and sealed as early as tomorrow with another two in the pipeline by the start of next week.

After shedding some 15 players from the squad he inherited nine months ago, Roeder has added five new faces this summer - three permanent signings in winger Wes Hoolahan, midfielder Sammy Clingan and centre-half Dejan Stefanovic and two on loan in teenage full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Elliot Omozusi.

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But after Saturday's 2-1 friendly win over Ahlafors IF in Sweden, he said he was confident of a flurry of new arrivals.

He said: "We have got two in now (Stefanovic and Omozusi) and I feel pretty confident that we'll have another two by the middle of the week, and I'd like to think before the start of next week there'll be another one or two in as well.

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"Then the kind of squad will be starting to take shape that will give us a good opportunity to have a much better season than we did last year, which we must do.

"But we need to get these players in as soon as possible to bed them down. They're not going to have a lot of time to get to know each other, but I hope there's enough experience among the new players who are coming in - and football is an international language - that we can click straightaway and I'm sure as the weeks go by we'll get better as we really get to know each other."

Luton midfielder David Bell is said to be close to a reported £600,000 move to Norwich, who have repeatedly been linked with a whole range of strikers, including Newcastle pair Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi, Southampton's Grzegorz Rasiak and Leicester's Steve Howard.

Said Roeder: "Although I haven't got the numbers I want in yet, the ones I have got in I'm really happy with. I think when the fans see the two lads that are going to come in this week - one we're virtually there with, the other one will probably get completed on Tuesday - they'll see that the current squad, the squad that's going to go into the first game at Coventry, is going to be of much higher quality than the squad that started last season.

"It's not been easy because you're dealing in a market where you're not spending two, three, four million on individuals."

Roeder said he sympathised with City fans, at least 150 of whom were at the first tour match in Sweden, over the club's slow progress on the transfer front.

He said: "They really show tremendous motivation and enthusiasm for the football club.

"If they've been getting frustrated waiting for signings, as frustrated as any of the fans have been, I've been the same.

"Some of these signings have been taking up to eight weeks to complete. Wes Hoolahan was eight weeks, Sammy Clingan was a lot quicker, Stefanovic has been on the go for a month or so, and Elliot has probably been on the go for the best part of two, three weeks.

"The old way of a manager ringing up another manager and a price being agreed on the same day and the player coming over and signing on the following day - those days have gone.

"So it's been frustrating for me, let alone the supporters, because I know how important it is to put a squad together - and quickly now - because we are less than three weeks away to the start of the season.

"I think it goes without saying we have to have a much better season than last year. It's a very obvious statement. We need to make the jump from a team that looked like certainties to be relegated to a team that can play in the top half of the table and, I hope, be in touch with top six or in the top six all year if we can, in a manner in which a team like Bristol City had a great season last year.

"I think people outside the club, the neutrals will be saying probably Norwich won't make such a big jump in one season but we're very positive workers. We have to believe that we can make a significant jump and improvement on last year because our supporters deserve it."

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