Ipswich captain wary of promoted Norwich
Ipswich Town captain Jon Walters admits he is wary of a resurgent Norwich ahead of the old foes renewing their Championship rivalry next season. Walters has dismissed suggestions English's football's second tier will be weaker with the likes of relegated Premiership duo Portsmouth and Hull mired in financial difficulties while Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion make an instant top-flight return.
Ipswich Town captain Jon Walters admits he is wary of a resurgent Norwich ahead of the old foes renewing their Championship rivalry next season.
Walters has dismissed suggestions English's football's second tier will be weaker with the likes of relegated Premiership duo Portsmouth and Hull mired in financial difficulties while Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion make an instant top-flight return.
The 26-year-old front man believes Norwich head a League One trio that will more than hold its own in the Championship ahead of inevitable summer squad strengthening.
“I can see the argument that the Championship next season might be weaker than this one but then you have to look at the teams coming up,” he said.
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“Norwich have done well and bounced back at the first attempt and Leeds is a big club. Millwall have players that have been together for a while and if they can progress through the play-offs, they will be a threat.
“The three promoted clubs will not come up expecting to be bottom of the table. They will be looking to really push on.
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“The clubs coming down may all have financial concerns but they are big clubs. I was at Hull and I know how important that club is to the local area. Newcastle and West Brom were the favourites to go back up and next season will be a lot more open I think but it's going to be as hard as always to finish in the top six, let alone the top two.”
Town boss Roy Keane has revealed a goalscorer is his number one close season priority following the Tractor Boys' lower half finish in the Championship.
Keane has already been strongly linked with a permanent move for his former Sunderland hitman Daryl Murphy who had a spell on loan at Portman Road this season.
“There are loads that we need to improve on, players, staff, but without doubt getting in a goalscorer or two is a priority,” Keane told the club's official site.
“The lack of goals last season was the biggest single disappointment for me and I think it caught us all by surprise. In terms of a goalscorer, I have a player who I have identified as someone I feel could come in and do a good job for us and he is a realistic target.
“I'd like to get one or two positions covered pretty quickly but I'm also aware that I need to show an element of patience. I'd like to have players in place by the time we start pre-season but lots of deals get done well into the summer so we may have to sit tight for a while.”
Keane is also in the market for a goalkeeper after releasing stalwart Richard Wright.
“That's another area we have to get right,” he said. “We've let Wrighty go so we need to bring another keeper in. We used five goalkeepers last season and you're not going to get anywhere when you use those numbers.”