Donachie sets Town target

IPSWICH Town assistant manager Willie Donachie says the club will be targeting a top-two place next season – and will be keeping most of the current squad for the challenge.

IPSWICH Town assistant manager Willie Donachie says the club will be targeting a top-two place next season – and will be keeping most of the current squad for the challenge.

Donachie was involved in extensive discussions with manager Joe Royle and the rest of the coaching staff on Thursday to discuss the way forward for the club.

Senior players Tommy Miller, Shefki Kuqi, Fabian Wilnis, Pablo Counago and Jim Magilton are all out of contract this summer and no decision has been finalised on their futures.

But Donachie told the club website: "Transfers are up to the manager but I don't expect to see too much movement.


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"We're definitely looking to keep the players we've got, they're good lads and great to work with.

"We've got a good bunch of lads and we don't want to upset that. If possible we'll be looking to add a little to that but having said that, every club will be trying to do the same.

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"The team spirit at this club is great. Everybody gets on and the players all help each other and what we've done with a small squad and limited resources, to get so close to the Premiership, is a great achievement."

Donachie also confirmed that automatic promotion will be the No. 1 aim next season. He added: "We've got as good a chance as anybody of finishing in the top two next season.

"It's getting harder all the time because some of our rivals have got more money but we've got a good crop of players here and home-grown youngsters coming through and we're certainly aiming for the top two next year."

Ipswich Town would not comment yesterday on speculation that Pablo Counago, out of favour for much of the past season, would be taking a pay cut to stay at the club next season.

It was assumed by most Blues fans that the Spanish striker, the last of the big earners from Town's two-year spell in the Premiership, would exit the club when his contract ran out in June, but reports in the last two days have hinted at a dramatic about turn by the club and the player.

n The highly-rated young Ipswich stars came within a whisker of making their name in Europe last weekend when they finished second in an Under-17s tournament in Holland.

The Blues were defeated by Paris St Germain in the final, after beating Ajax and drawing against PSV and Brazilian club Pao de Acucar, at the Ten Brink Bouw in Varsseveld.

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