‘Ipswich will fancy their chances’ – Clough backs Blues to push for promotion
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Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough is backing Ipswich Town to challenge for promotion from League One next season.
The experienced Brewers manager, who led his side to ninth spot in the third tier last season, believes the league will be tougher than ever, with Town, Rotherham and Bolton all dropping down from the Championship, Lincoln stepping up from League Two and the likes of Portsmouth and Doncaster still in the division.
He told the Derby Telegraph: "You think Doncaster will try to take it on, Portsmouth certainly will, Ipswich coming down will fancy their chances.
"Bolton will start with a 12-point deduction, Rotherham are going to be strong because they will keep the same sort of squad.
"So I would say straightaway you've got Portsmouth, Rotherham, Ipswich and Doncaster and Peterborough - I was very impressed with them the last day of the season.
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"I hope we can be up there challenging with them, but it's going to be a strong division again.
"Tranmere are just coming up from the Conference, that's the momentum thing again."
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He added: "The one I wouldn't rule out as well is Lincoln, in terms of going for it - they've got the financial clout and having seen what Luton have done, I think they will fancy their chances of doing that."
Town are currently second favourites for promotion next season behind Sunderland, who lost in the League One play-off final to Charlton last month.
Oddly, Clough doesn't mention the Black Cats in his list of contenders, but one would expect them to be very much in the mix again next season.