Sheepshanks satisfied right now

DAVID Sheepshanks today expressed his total satisfaction with the way this season has gone.But he says that it will be next season before he expects Ipswich Town to make a concerted push for a return to the Premiership.

By Elvin King

DAVID Sheepshanks today expressed his total satisfaction with the way this season has gone.

But he says that it will be next season before he expects Ipswich Town to make a concerted push for a return to the Premiership.

The often berated chairman was delighted as the rest of Blues followers who saw them hammer the Hatters of Luton Town at Portman Road yesterday.


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The score was 5-0 and could have been eight.

Displays have not always matched this one since Jim Magilton took over as manager from Joe Royle in the summer.

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However, Sheepshanks is convinced that supporters have seen enough to look ahead with confidence.

“Our fans will be the final judge on whether we made the right managerial decision,” said Sheepshanks in an exclusive interview with the Evening Star.

“But I am convinced they can see what is happening and hats off to them for their loyalty.

“It hurts us all to lose 5-1 at home, and we are striving to reward our fans with promotion in the near future.

“This might not be this season although we have by no means ruled it out.

“If we are mid-table by the half-way point we can then look to push on to a top-six finish.

“I am totally satisfied with where we are now.”

Sheepshanks is convinced that Ipswich are not playing on a level playing field with clubs relegated from the Premier League who now get sponsorship parachute money of £7 million a season.

“And it is going higher,” said Sheepshanks, who is travelling to Plymouth to watch Town in their next Championship game tomorrow night.

“The rest of the teams have wages budgets below that figure - ours is just under £6m.

“There is no way we can compete with sides who have £12m wage budgets.

“So we have to plan to reach the top again in a different way.

“This is by applying the culture of our academy and the manager and his first team coach are doing this.

“Our philosophy is to get the best out of what we have - both young and old.

“We will carry on actively investing in new players who fill the mould, and Alex Bruce, Dan Harding, Gary Roberts and even Sylvain Legwinski fit the bill.

“I am cautiously optimistic about the future, but we will not get results like this every week.

“We are heading in the right direction with a number of very good

performances, some average ones and a couple of pretty poor ones.

“The way this club is going is to get better all the while both individually and collectively.”

Alan Lee scored a hat-trick and Legwinski and Jaime Peters also scored with Luton's unsteady defence taken apart time and again.

High Five for Super Blues - see Edblog at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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