What the managers of Portsmouth, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich, Charlton and Sunderland's rivals are saying about new signings and promotion chances

Sunderland moved to the top of League One following last weekend’s 3-1 win over Wycombe – yet several clubs will be looking to catch the Black Cats during a long and demanding season.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 5:02 pm

While the Wearsiders completed nine new signings this summer, their league rivals were also busy trying to strengthen as they aim to win promotion from the third tier.

We take a closer look at what some of the other managers are saying about their summer business and side’s chances.

Darren Moore – Sheffield Wednesday

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League One managers.

Sheffield Wednesday made 14 new signings this summer – including the arrival of striker Saido Berahino on deadline day.

"As far as I am concerned, we have got Saido in. We are really pleased we have got him in,” said Wednesday boss Darren Moore.

"I like the look and blend of the squad and what I want to do now is get some work into them. That's the big thing for us now. To get that work and consistency. The only way you get that is on the training ground."

Karl Robinson – Oxford

While making 10 first-team signings, Oxford ultimately managed to hold onto some of their key players including midfielder Cameron Brannagan.

“We did turn down a significant bid,” said Oxford boss Karl Robinson. “We’ve had a few turned down for some of our players, but only one got out there.

“We discussed it, we gave them an opportunity to make a bid but they didn’t make the deadline.

“That wouldn’t be fair to the agent, the player and the club. Everyone completely understood the situation."

Leam Richardson – Wigan

Before they made three new signings - Joe Bennett, Curtis Tilt and Jason Kerr on deadline day, taking their total arrivals to 15 - Wigan boss Leam Richardson seemed cautiously optimistic about his side’s chances.

“We’re still making small steps and we’re absolutely made up with the start that we’ve had,” he said.

"From when they’ve come in pre-season, the lads have done everything that we’ve asked.”

Danny Cowley – Portsmouth

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley is convinced his side are in a better place at the end of the summer transfer window – following the arrival of 14 new players.

“It was busy. Definitely the busiest transfer window I’ve been involved in,” he told Portsmouth News. “We obviously knew quite early on in the window that it was going to be one of significant changes, and I think it’s been really positive.

‘We leave the window in a good place. If I compare where we were position-for-position when I arrived in March, certainly with the availability we had then, to where we are now, I think we’re in a significantly better place.

‘There’s a lot of competition in places, and, although we haven’t improved in every single area, we have significantly in others.”

Gareth Ainsworth – Wycombe

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth made his aspirations clear following his side’s 3-1 defeat at Sunderland last time out.

“We want to be in and around the big boys at the end of the season,” he said. “Sunderland is probably the biggest boy in this league.

“We want to be in and around the mix at the end of the season, that’s what my hopes are.”

Paul Warne – Rotherham

Rotherham boss Paul Warne will have been delighted to keep striker Michael Smith on deadline day, while the Millers also added Will Grigg to their squad on loan from Sunderland.

“I’m buzzing. I’m a glass half full guy,” said Warne following his side’s 2-0 win over Doncaster last weekend.

“I thought we were excellent against Sheffield Wednesday, I thought we were excellent against Wigan and they are the two games we lost, then we’ve had three wins.

“I earmarked getting two points a game would be perfect for us, getting ten would have been a great start but getting nine isn’t the worst.”

Nigel Adkins – Charlton

Charlton have endured a tough start to the season but won their first league game of the campaign by beating Crewe 2-0 last weekend.

Manager Nigel Adkins gave a measured response after the match.

"I’m really pleased we’ve worked the goalkeeper, we’re in the attacking third, we’re getting balls into the box, we’re getting more bodies in the box and they’re grafting,” he said.

“We want to try and keep the momentum going so we’ve got to address it in a way where we’ve got to keep working and we’re getting ourselves ready then for the game after that.

"There’s a spirit amongst the players and there’s a willingness to keep working and learning. We’ve got to maintain that.”

Paul Cook – Ipswich

Ipswich are still yet to win in the league this season, yet manager Paul Cook remains optimistic after completing 19 new signings this summer.

The Tractor Boys capped off their summer business by signing Sam Morsy, Cook’s former captain at Wigan, from Middlesbrough, and long-term target Bersant Celina on deadline day.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Cook following Morsy’s arrival. “My relationship with Samy is there for everyone to see dating back to when we were at Chesterfield together.

"Samy, again, has been a long-term target. He’s someone that we have had to be patient with and wait to bring in similarly to Bersant Celina. They were both long-term targets and we’re absolutely delighted to have them both at the Club.

"I can only thank Mark Ashton and the owners for their continued backing for bringing in a strong character and a good player like Samy Morsy."

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