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Clark tips City to make their mark on League One

PUBLISHED: 16:40 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:39 06 July 2010

Norwich City have been tipped to make their mark on League One next season - by a man whose departure from Carrow Road may have been the catalyst for their demise.

Norwich City have been tipped to make their mark on League One next season - by a man whose departure from Carrow Road may have been the catalyst for their demise.

Former Canaries number two Lee Clark left City for Huddersfield in December - and six defeats in the following eight matches cost his boss, Glenn Roeder his job and led to the turmoil which also cost City their Championship place.

But Clark now believes City can bounce back to the Championship at the first attempt next season.

With the final make-up of League One to be decided after this weekend's play-off finals, the third tier of English football is promising to be a formidable challenge for promotion hopefuls.

But Clark believes the relegated trio of Norwich, Southampton and Charlton could all do a Leicester and be major players in League One next season.

“They're all big clubs with proud traditions, and while that doesn't bring success, they have the staff and facilities which play a big part,” he said.

“I obviously know Norwich the best of the three, and I think they've made a good managerial appointment in Bryan Gunn, who has now done just about every job possible there, but I came across the other two while I was working at Carrow Road.

“Obviously adjustments will have to be made in the wake of relegation, and Southampton's financial troubles have been well documented.

“But they all have some good young players on the books and the nucleus of strong squads, and Leicester showed how to respond to relegation in the best possible way.

“They're three big names, and with Leeds still in League One as well, there will be some really attractive games to look out for.”

Leeds' failure to make it out of League One for the second time shows what a trap it can be, but manager Simon Grayson has been the first to flex his muscles ahead of the new campaign.

“We want to be the fittest and strongest in the league, and that will be the case,” said Grayson, whose team were beaten in the play-offs semi-finals. “We can't have any hangovers.”

Southampton's financial difficulties mean the quality of their squad is as yet unknown, while Charlton, like City, expect to make big changes.

The League One line-up for the 2009-10 season will be complete after this weekend's play-off finals at Wembley.

City will be joined in League One by either Gillingham or Shrewsbury Town, with Millwall or Scunthorpe United leaving the division to join the Championship.

The fixtures for next season will be announced on Wednesday, June 17.

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