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Ashton: Long and Challenging Window But We’ve Come Through It in Decent Shape
Wednesday, 1st Sep 2021 20:28

CEO Mark Ashton admits that he was relieved when what he says was the longest transfer window of his time in football closed last night at 11pm and believes the Blues have ended the summer in decent shape having made 19 new senior signings.

Bersant Celina and Samy Morsy became the club’s final two additions of the window yesterday ahead of the deadline.

“It’s a been a long window, certainly the longest of my 30-plus-year career,” Ashton, who started his job at Town on June 1st, told iFollow Ipswich.

“It’s been challenging but I think we’ve come through it in decent shape and I was relieved that the deadline came at 11pm last night and we could move on.”

Asked whether he is happy with the 19 signings, he said: “I think so, time will tell but I think you can look at the quality that we’ve brought in. I think it’s a step forward from where we probably have been in the last few seasons.

“Not just in technical ability, but in type, in character. I think that’s something that [manager] Paul [Cook] and I and the coaching staff have talked a lot about over the summer, that we need players here who want to be here at this football club and want to contribute to this football club.

“They’ve got to have that desire, passion and that hunger to take this football club forward, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve had that conversation with every one of the 19 that’s joined us and they’re all of that frame of mind on how we take this football club forward.”

Several of those who have signed this summer have dropped down from the Championship, including Morsy, while Celina is also understood to have had second tier interest, and Ashton says the approach has been about building for the future.

“It is,” he reflected. “We’ve had to sell a vision because it’s not an easy thing to do, to persuade players to drop from any division, let alone the Championship to League One.

“I’ve heard people say ‘It’s because you’re paying them more money, you’re paying higher wages to them’.

“That’s not the case, let me be really clear. A number of these players have taken salary drops to come to this football club and to be part of a long-term vision and a long-term strategy on how we take it forward.

“And again that’s key because it shows they are committed to the cause. There’s a lot of work to do and we’re going to need that commitment from everybody to bring success back to Portman Road.”

The one thing that’s been missing up to now is wins with the Blues without a victory in their first five League One matches but Ashton says there have been positive signs in recent matches and that a little patience is required as all the signings are developed into a team.

“Results haven’t been what we would have hoped for in the first few games, but performances are improving,” he continued.

“And I would just say to the fans, they’re intelligent enough to know, ‘Just give this the one ingredient it needs now, and that’s time’.

“And I genuinely believe that those performances, the talent that we’ve recruited will lead to results and once we get results we will move through the league and ultimately this club will compete right at the top end where it should be. But we just need to give it that little bit of time and that little bit of patience.”

Photo: James Ager

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ChateauWines added 20:35 - Sep 1
I am so impressed with the patience and professionalism shown by PC & MA in assembling this squad. Rome wasn't built in a day , but they aren't half cracking on with it. As fans we now must support and show patience. We are not going to have a churn of over 40 players and see it work immediately. Anyone with a knowledge of football can see the improvement already. The results will come.

Pettabelieveit added 20:37 - Sep 1
Mr Ashton - Possibly our best signing of the lot!

MickMillsTash added 20:38 - Sep 1
He's done a good job.
NOT sure how we will be looking if the FFP accountants come knocking and it would be interesting to see his response - but without doubt the pressure is on Captain Cook to discover some better form, results and deliver promotion

jas0999 added 20:40 - Sep 1
Outstanding effort from Ashton. 10/10.

But now Cook needs to step up. He’s been backed big time. No excuses now. We need to WIN football matches. Can’t afford another month of zero wins.

bluewarrior added 20:51 - Sep 1
Well said Chateau! Nobody is asking for blind optimism from the fans but what this club needs now more than anything else is everyone pulling together and getting behind the manager and the team. Clearly he’s not Pep but he’s arguably the best around for getting clubs out of this sh1te league and overridingly he’s what we’ve got so let’s give him and the players every possible chance. Nobody can deny he’s not passionate either - he literally never stops coaching the side in the games - kicking every ball, he’s committed to getting success for this football club. There was a pivotal moment in last Saturday’s game after they scored their first goal - first the crowd went quiet and then it was nervous and this translated into the players performance. What could have happened had the crowd really roared the team on? - got really rousing. Yes, it’s true there was a certain lack of leadership on the pitch but sometimes the players need the crowd to help them regroup - especially with so many young players. As Town fans we are notorious for waiting for the team to fire up the players but really that should be a two way street. I’m not saying that it would have changed the result but had the crowd got really fired up it could have made a dramatic difference- and that’s the role we all need to play this season as those odd points gained here and there could make all the difference come May.

itsonlyme added 21:15 - Sep 1
Brilliant Mark Ashton. Take a bow and a holiday if you want as you deserve it. Thanks for everything. The owners have been amazing and appointing you as no 1 has been inspirational. COYB

Edmundo added 21:29 - Sep 1
Thank you Gamechanger. Thank you Mr Ashton. Now, Mr Cook and players... gentlemen start your engines (the other 23 clubs started theirs a few weeks ago, but we can make this up!)

muhrensleftfoot added 21:56 - Sep 1
Great business by Ashton and Cook, and thanks to the Gamechangers. However, the ONLY thing that matters is results on the pitch. Pressure now on and anything less than promotion is failure.

Thebot added 22:40 - Sep 1
The problem is everyone's a manager and think they know what's going at our football club. Just listen to this bloke who actually does know what's going and it becomes clear we are heading in the right direction within ffp and not checkbook Town. Great interview and so excited for the season ahead. Let's smash Bolton 🤞and can't wait to watch morsy leading the tractor charge once he's back.

JewellintheTown added 22:44 - Sep 1
Personally I'm just happy for now that there's so much more positive entertainment on show than we've been used to for many years. The wins will come with the quality of firepower we have & the defence & midfield will solidify as they get used to eachother, we've just got to do our bit as fans & lift the team & not be so negative. That's not blind & loyal naivety, that's called support.

mflory1376 added 23:12 - Sep 1
Blue warrior u absolute spot on, I keep saying it, us fans need to our bit get behind the team and make Portman Rd a fortress again

vernon72 added 00:58 - Sep 2
Mr Ashton take a bow you’ve done an amazing transfer window and gave your/our manager PC all the tools to get us out this league. I’m totally with PC it will take time for all the new players to gel and ive every confidence we will, we had to start all over again as our squad was comfortable in underachieving but look at the squad we have now! Leave the negative behind Ipswich are going only one way and that is upwards COYB!!!!!!

BurleysGloryDays added 07:41 - Sep 2
BlueWarrior - 100%

Those moments are when we need Blue Action to kick in and bang some drums, Stoke the fire, lead the line for the fans. We need leaders everywhere.

Europablue added 07:52 - Sep 2
bluewarrior You are spot on your assessment. The crowd is always waiting for the players to get them fired up, but it should be a two-way thing. Unfortunately, there are a significant group of supporters who are only going there to moan, then there is probably the majority of us who are emotionally scarred from years of failure who have been conditioned to get nervous as soon as we take a lead. When I very rarely make it over for matches, I sit in the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand, and it's like sitting in a library. The Sir Bobby Robson stand get some singing going, but our stand only gets our voices when we score.
We are always drowned out by the away supporters who often comment on how poor our support is and how quiet we are.

Kentish_Tractor added 08:42 - Sep 2
I agree it's been a fantastic summer of business.
On paper I would have made every one of those signings except Aluko. Hladky looks like he isnt up to this standard but being League 2 team of the year would suggest he was worth buying - and not every signing will work out.
On paper we now have the best squad in the leagueand we have been unlucky so far with results from stupid mistakes which hopefully we will cut out as we go along - and as far as I see it the only way is up!

jnp2408 added 08:53 - Sep 2
This guy is a class operator, speaks to us as fans with a calm reassurance, the like of which has not been seen for a generation.

Our football club is in safe hands, it will take time to turn the "oil tanker" around. If you are still not prepared to give this Mark's key ingredient, time, after listening to that then quiten your noise, we need positivity, positivity and more positivity right now.

Better times will return, be patient and keep the faith that we are now moving in the right direction at long last.

Bazza8564 added 08:55 - Sep 2
I wouldnt write anybody off, PC has seen something in Aluko and Hladky is just a little low on confidence.

The common theme here is that its time for us to do our bit, which we can absolutely control, so now its in our hands. Personally I cant wait for Bolton saturday week, lets raise the roof.

OliveR16 added 09:37 - Sep 2
The Club looks a lot more joined up than for many years. Nevertheless, we all know that a well-run, joined up, ambitious club and being in the League 1 relegation zone are not compatible. So here's hoping the results improve in September and we end the season in or near the play-offs.

itfcserbia added 09:45 - Sep 2
The most assuring thing about his interview is how much down to earth he is regarding expectations ie. time will tell if we got the right players and we're in decent shape and the job is not finished.
Hard to imagine what the previous regime would make out of a such endeavour with pompous statements thrown around.
Good times ahead, just be patient.

dirtydingusmagee added 10:00 - Sep 2
certainly done the business, never thought it would get done in one window. The only question is, how/why is Jackson sill here ?

Rimsy added 10:14 - Sep 2
At last, we are sounding like a professional outfit once again. How anyone can criticise the club and team now is beyond me. Makes me proud to be a Town fan again and its been a long time since that happened. We're gonna win this league and be a real force next season in the championship.

Cadiar added 10:27 - Sep 2
Mickmills tach, I think FFP will be fine, you have to offset the fees we have received for a few of the players who have gone. We signed a few out of contract, a few loans and not that much in transfer fees apart from Morsy who it has been rumoured cost 2 million but that is probably paper talk.
I think we've done very well, especially getting the fees we have, Dozell isn't a first choice at QPR it seems & haven't seen Downes in the Swansea team at all, not that I'm really looking or bothered

Razor added 10:28 - Sep 2
At long last football people running a football businesss------and it shows!!

TractorRoyNo1 added 11:28 - Sep 2
Wow think back to the times managers got decent players in the building only for the CEO and/or the Owner to screw it up.
This guy is very professional, he can do for us what Webber has done for the scum.

atty added 12:12 - Sep 2
JewelintheTown - apologies ⬇️ In error.

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