Town star says Blues can do a Blackpool
IPSWICH TOWN: Skipper Jon Walters, a tower of strength over the last three seasons, today forecast that the Blues can do a Blackpool next season and rock the Championship.
Speaking to increasingly concerned Town fans through the Evening Star after the failure of manager Roy Keane to strengthen his squad, a forthright Walters said:
“Our supporters may have expected a signing or two by now and we may be outsiders for promotion, but Blackpool have shown what can be achieved by a team nobody fancied to do well.
“They are now looking ahead to life in the Premier League, and this must be our aim for this time next year.
“It proves that unfancied teams can have their day in the Championship.”
Walters, 26, has been at Portman Road for three and a half seasons and has yet to see his dream of bringing the good times back to Ipswich Town come to fruition.
He sees the squad left over from last season as strong enough to make an impact this term, and says that the moderated pre-season schedule could help towards this end.
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“It’s vital that we get off to a good start,” said the virtually ever present midfielder/striker who was reported to be interesting Premier League Stoke City earlier in the close season.
“We must drastically improve on the dreadful early season form we showed in 2009.
“And by not tinkering with the squad it helps to breed better playing relationships as we get to know how to get the best out of each other.
“And with not so much travelling this pre-season and with fewer games we can concentrate on the training ground on working out a good system and getting the shape right.
“We have been back less than two weeks but the benefits of this are already beginning to show through.
“There was a formation we used against Newmarket Town on Tuesday and we will be utilising modifications of that in our other pre-season matches.”
Walters says that he was attracted to Ipswich when he joined from Chester in January 2007 by the potential he could see at Portman Road.
“Like a number of others I felt I was joining a club that had what it takes to move up from their current position,” added Walters.
“But there have not been enough good times since I arrived.
“If the first team can find a winning habit then it changes the whole mindset of everybody at Portman Road – fans and staff.
“It would put a smile back on people’s faces – and this is what we want to see.”
Walters, who was leading scorer last season with eight goals, is expected to be in the Town team for their hastily arranged game at Blue Square Premier Histon tonight.