Can Town survive without McAuley and Norris? Of course they can

WITH Rangers looking as though they have come up with an offer too good for Gareth McAuley to refuse and Portsmouth confident they have secured the signature of skipper David Norris can Ipswich cope without two key players next term?

Of course they can.

McAuley’s case may be different, but the delay in out-of-contract players rushing to sign new deals put on the table by manager Paul Jewell suggests they are not being offered a great deal more money - if any.

In other words ’If you sign great but on our terms, and if you go it will not be the end of the world.’

Jewell has seen enough of his players do know who he wants in his side next season.

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McAuley like Damien Delaney is one he would like to keep, but a succession of impressive displays by the regular Northern Ireland international defender have created interest in a number of quarters.

With a Bosman move available to him, McAuley would be much better off moving and a club the size of Rangers can set the player and his family up for life.

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Jewell already has irons in the fire to replace McAuley, and there is no confirmation that he sees Norris as a must next season despite the 30-year-old scoring again on Saturday to remain top scorer with 11 goals - one ahead of Jason Scotland.

Norris’ contributions this season have been immense, but questions have to be asked about whether he is a player who can take Town in the top flight and help them stay in the Premier League.

Both McAuley and Norris have been great servants and kept their cool during the rather turbulant Roy Keane era.

And both would love to stay, but a failure to deal with their contract situation at the right time has made both players open to offers that they would be hard pushed to turn down.

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