Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says: Plenty of goals in the side to fire back into play-offs

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After our best finish in a decade last time out, the biggest difference on the eve of another Championship campaign at Portman Road is expectation.

Ahead of a trip to Brentford Saturday (3pm), anything less than repeating an appearance in the play-offs will be regarded as a failure.

But despite the generous £8 million from Tyrone Mings’ sale not being reinvested in transfer fees, the strength of the squad looks a lot healthier than last season, particularly up front and in midfield.

Brett Pitman’s arrival on a free transfer from Bournemouth looks a fantastic bit of business and gives us four quality goalscorers to choose from.

I think David McGoldrick, with a pre-season under his belt this time, is the one who will shine brightest though.

The wings look to have been sorted out with Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) and the exciting Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) arriving on loan and should help solve the lack of goals and creativity in midfield.

Jonathan Douglas (Brentford), who scored eight times from the centre of the park last season, also looks like he can provide something we were missing last year.

My biggest concern is the defence though, with no right-back or centre-half cover brought in.

Left-back Jonas Knudsen looked good on his debut in Saturday’s friendly though, with a Rory Delap-esque throw and a stinging shot, while youngster Josh Emmanuel also caught the eye at right-back.

It was sad to lose Tyrone Mings earlier in the summer, but £8 million was an astonishing amount of money to be offered for a player who has shown plenty of potential but has only played one season in the Championship. But good luck to him at Bournemouth.

Last season I predicted eighth, but this time I’ll say fifth and another shot at the play-offs as, in a highly-competitive division, I still don’t think we have enough to sustain a top two challenge.