Ipswich Town have enjoyed a summer of change with Paul Hurst replacing long-serving manager Mick McCarthy, who it’s fair to say divided opinion amongst the fans.
Few could argue that the former Wolves boss brought successful results to Portman Road, including a play-off finish and steering the club well clear of relegation in each of his full seasons in charge despite a tiny budget.
However, the style of play caused major problems with some supporters and they will now look forward to a new era at the club.
Hurst has enjoyed a growing reputation in the game after fine work with Grimsby and particularly Shrewsbury last season.
And, he has already made his mark on the squad, bringing in several astute signings, primarily from the lower leagues and it will be intriguing to see how they cope.
Here we give you a preview of what to expect of this new-look Ipswich…
This is an easy choice, but there are serious doubts as to whether Waghorn will stay at Portman Road.
If he does, he is a fine player at this level, as he displayed last season. No player got more goals and assists combined in the entire division and he will be tough to replace if he does leave.
One to Watch
The son of former Ipswich favourite Jason, Dozzell is one of many highly-rated youngster at the club ready to show what he can do.
He cruelly missed last season with a cruciate knee injury but the England youth international is back and could light up the Championship this season with his quality.
Despite the optimism around the club, you can’t get away from the fact that Ipswich don’t really have a budget to compete with the majority in this league.
McCarthy overachieved with his squad and Hurst will have his work cut out to get them challenging at the top, which is reflected in their 25/1 odds for promotion, proving the immediate concern should be staying up.
What the Manager Says
Hurst is trying to implement his own philosophy and new ideas on the team and he admits it will take time.
Ipswich should be prepared to be patient and will know that it’s a long term project for the young manager.
Opening Six Fixtures
It’s a decent start for the Tractor Boys and all eyes will already be on the sixth game, when Norwich come to town for the East Anglia derby. A win in that game will earn Hurst immediate hero status and put an end to the Canaries dominance in that fixture.
Elsewhere, games against Blackburn and Rotherham present the opportunity for a good start although the three after that, against Aston Villa, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday are tough.
Seven points would be a good start for the team.