Naylor welcomes possible Nugent signing

RICHARD Naylor today welcomed the possible signing of England international striker David Nugent.The 30-year-old defender was a member of the Ipswich Town side that won promotion to the Premier League in 1999/00.

Elvin King

RICHARD Naylor today welcomed the possible signing of England international striker David Nugent.

The 30-year-old defender was a member of the Ipswich Town side that won promotion to the Premier League in 1999/00.

And the central defender recalls what a difference the signing of Marcus Stewart made to the promotion push.

Steward arrived from Huddersfield for £2.5 million on February 1 2000, and scored a total of five goals including three in the play-offs.

“When Marcus arrived he gave us fresh impetus,” said Naylor, who has returned to the Blues first team this month after almost 12 months of injury misery.

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“A new striker addition could have the same effect now.

“In our recent Championship years we have dropped out of the promotion race in the final weeks of the season partly because we have not had enough finance to improve the squad.

“It is different now, and the manager brought in five quality players last month.

“We now have more bite around the team and are more secure.”

Converted striker Naylor made 36 league appearances (17 as substitute) in 1999/2000 and scored eight goals - including one in the play-off final win over Barnsley at Wembley Stadium.

He sees a comparison to the current side.

“Yes, we are in a position to kick-on,” he said. “We are in sixth place and looking up.

“There is a buzz around the place and we now have a very strong squad, whether the manager adds to it or not.”

Naylor remained a regular in the 2000/01 campaign when Ipswich shocked the football world by finishing fifth in the Premiership, and he would love another crack at the top flight.

“My contract goes to the summer of 2009, and it would be ideal to have a go at the Premier League again - and then discuss an extension.”

Naylor confirmed that the slipped disc he suffered in his neck following an accidental collision in training shortly after recovering from a long standing toe problem is likely to give him discomfort for the next 12 months.

“I have twinges of pain during games and this is not ideal,” said Naylor. “But they are short-lived and I can cope with it.”

Naylor and Jason De Vos formed a solid base when Town twice reached the Championship play-offs under Joe Royle, and the former is pleased to be back in harness with his skipper.

“We are both experienced. Jason more than me I hasten to add,” quipped Naylor. “Alex Bruce has moved across to right back, but we have a stronger look about us - with defending a team exercise.”

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