Ambitious Julian Rhodes today predicted City can be back in the Championship in two years.

The joint-chairman has thrown down a double challenge to Stuart McCall to win promotion - for the next two seasons!

Rhodes revealed that McCall's war chest has been increased for a full-on tilt at the top three and he believes the momentum of a successful promotion assault can carry them straight through League One.

He insisted: "Our realistic target is back-to-back promotions. That's why we're pushing the boat out this season and expanding the wage bill.

"We're looking at the top three this season and then the top two next, or at a minimum reaching the play-offs. We have to have a good season and Stuart knows that.

"But he's more disappointed than anybody about the slump last September and October which cost us. He's determined to put it right."

Rhodes believes City can use their impressive fan-base as the momentum to follow Hull's lead and shoot back up the divisions after years of misery.

"People might think Rhodes is off his rocker again but there's absolutely no reason why we can't get to the Championship very quickly and then be a force in that division," he said.

"We can emulate what Doncaster and, in particular, Hull have done. We're a similar size club to Hull, which may seem a strange thing to say considering they are in the Premier League and we're in League Two, but if you go back seven years, it was the reverse situation.

"In 2001, Hull were in administration and locked out of Boothferry Park. Then they moved into the new stadium, turnover went up from £2.5million to £10million and crowds from less than 3,000 to 18,000.

"Four years ago, they got promoted from League Two and here they are about to start a season in the Premier.

"Of course they managed it very well, first under Adam Pearson and now with Paul Duffen, but the stadium move was the catalyst. That provided the momentum.

"It's been proven that attendances improve dramatically because people want to go to a nice new stadium. When you just develop the one you've already got, as in our case, that doesn't happen.

"So we're looking at different means of doing that by building the fan-base with our season-ticket initiative. It's not easy in League Two but the fans have been magnificent.

"If we do go up with our cheap ticket policy we might get 15,000 season-ticket holders. That would give you a great basis for a good squad to do well in League One."

City are closing in on former Huddersfield midfielder Chris Brandon and Rhodes insists the quality on McCall's summer shopping list will justify his confidence.

"I'd like to think some of the players we do end up signing might make people sit up and take notice," he said.

"It's never easy because when you go for the better players there are always a whole host of clubs interested.

"That was the case with Garry Thompson. We were very close to getting him but he had the chance of joining a club in a higher division and playing the likes of Leeds and Leicester.

"He's 27 and has played most of his career in the Conference, so you can't blame him, but one or two others we are targeting will raise eyebrows."

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