Clegg predicts a positive year

CHIEF executive Simon Clegg today looked into his crystal ball and predicted a positive 2010 for the Blues.

Elvin King

CHIEF executive Simon Clegg today looked into his crystal ball and predicted a positive 2010 for the Blues.

In the last month Town have moved out of the bottom three in the Coca-Cola Championship, stretched a run that currently reads just one defeat in 13 games, made progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup and put together their first back-to-wins of the season.

The black cloud that was hovering over Portman Road is drifting away as Roy Keane's unique managerial methods begin to bear fruit.

Club owner Marcus Evans brought in Keane to repeat his achievements at Sunderland when he took the Black Cats into the Premier League at the first attempt.

For many weeks it looked a wrong call as the Blues made their worst start to any season.

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Too much damage has been done to feasibly achieve promotion this term, but a cup run is not out of the question, and a significant move up the table on the cards.

And Clegg agrees. He said: “I'm hugely confident about what this football club can achieve.

“There have been occasions that have tested the faith a bit. I have to admit that.

“Giving away too many winning positions has reminded me how cruel this game can be.

“It gave me a bit of a downturn, but I came through it the next day.

“I'm just as fully committed to the Ipswich Town cause as I was when I joined last April.”

Clegg's opening months in his new job as Evans' official mouthpiece for Ipswich Town have reinforced the importance the club has in the community.

And he is looking to increase player involvement in local affairs.

Clegg explained: “It took me a time to get a feel for it.

“But I fully recognise the need to do more not just in Ipswich but also in the wider community.

“I want to see players going out more, similar to their annual pre-Christmas hospital visits that go down so well.

“I want to see more outward facing activity from the playing staff this year.

“The disproportional influence the club has on the town of Ipswich over and above employment and financial aspects have surprised me.

“We must respect that responsibility.

“Ipswich Town can provide a feel good factor, which is very important.”

Clegg sees Ipswich being a special place and one that interacts with the football club to a high degree.

“Despite the proximity to London in relative terms, this community is very special,” added Clegg.

“It is different commuting to the capital than from the south or south east.

“The pace of life is different but I've found it agreeable.

“I don't see it as quiet and inward looking. I see it as an exciting place to live.”