'We're working tirelessly... I'm hopeful of new signings fairly shortly' - Town CEO Ashton on transfers

Mark Ashton first day 7

Ipswich Town chief executive Mark Ashton says he wants at least five more signings before the transfer window shuts. Photo: Ross Halls - Credit: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town chief executive Mark Ashton is hopeful the club will make a ‘number of signings fairly shortly'. 

The new CEO and manager Paul Cook are overseeing an extensive squad overhaul at Portman Road, with 18 first-team players already departed, more to follow and a raft of new signings expected. 

Winger West Burns and midfielder Lee Evans have already signed and, with a deal for West Brom midfielder Rekeem Harper waiting in the wings, Ashton is hopeful of further deals in the near future. 

“We came in as an ownership and made some decisions on the playing side to let a number going – there's going to be a heavy turnaround of players,” he said, speaking to BBC Radio Suffolk. 

“We’ve got a couple in already and there are more to come. As soon as they’re across the line, the fans will be the first to know.  

“We are working tirelessly behind the scenes to get a number of players in and I’m quite hopeful we’ll have some new names arriving fairly shortly. 

“Paul (Cook) will be given the squad and team he needs to win games. If we do that then the fans will be behind us.” 

The deal is understood to be significantly progressed but hit by delays relating to the Baggies' ongoing managerial situation, while the Blues are also understood to be interested in Michael Jacobs of Portsmouth and Dundee United goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist

Ashton has previously stated his is working on up to five new signings.

Asked how long it will take a brand new squad to gel, Ashton said: “It always takes a little bit of time but it’s a long season. 

“Looking at the season and all the cup competitions – we start in round one of the FA Cup, the Papa John’s Trophy and the Carabao Cup – there's a lot of games. It’s going to take a little time to bed everyone in but I expect us to be really strong, competing at the top end of the division and competing for promotion.” 

The new season is just six weeks away, with the fixtures revealed and a home game with newly-promoted Morecambe in Town’s sights. 

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"It’s suddenly become very real,” Ashton continued. 

“It’s great we’re getting off with a home opener at Portman Road and I think, once the fixture list is out, it focusses minds because the clock is ticking to the opening day. We’re very excited. 

“It’s a great opportunity for us because we’re going to get fans back. We’re still not sure how many we will get back but getting fans back into Portman Road in serious numbers will be brilliant for everyone. 

“Our stadium holds 30,000 and we need to build the fanbase up throughout the season and get fans behind the team. That will play such an important role because we need to turn Portman Road into a fortress. It’s going to be key. 

Wes Burns and Mark Ashton

Mark Ashton (right) says early summer signing Wes Burns was one of the first people to hear his message about club culture. Photo: ITFC - Credit: Ipswich Town

“Winning games of football helps that and I don’t think there’s anything to be frightened of. 

“You always look at the first game and it’s great to start at home. Then you look at the big clubs – November and December, home and away to Sunderland – and then over Christmas we’re at home on January 1 against Lincoln, who did so well under Michael Appleton last season. 

“Then you look at the run-in and that’s interesting. We’ve got Wigan and Charlton at home in that last month of the season and they could be big games."