'It's time to accept it and move on... let's crack on' - legend Butcher embracing Town's League One challenge
PUBLISHED: 10:30 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 06 March 2019
Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher believes it's time for the Blues to accept relegation and begin embracing the challenge of winning promotion from League One.
Saturday’s loss to Reading means Paul Lambert’s men are now 12 points adrift of safety with 11 games remaining, with third-tier football for the first time in more than 60 years now seemingly a certainty.
While it hurts Butcher to see the club he had so much success with under Sir Bobby Robson in their current predicament, the former defender believes the club must now meet the challenge of League One head on.
“I’d like to see Paul (Lambert) with a pre-season under his belt and a summer transfer window as well to make sure he can get things established and have a real go at League One next year,” Butcher said.
“There are still games to go but that’s where we’re going to be – there’s no easy way of saying that.
“If we accept it we can move on and deal with it and see where we are next season.
“I’m looking forward to next season already. With the support that we have that will get behind the club on a different crusade, it’s exciting.
“We will go to places we haven’t been before and play teams we haven’t played before and I think it’s a new experience.
“But it’s also one we have to embrace as fans and supporters of the club and give everything to the club and Paul to make sure he does his job well and the players do their job well to get back to where we belong.
“I think next season in particular we have to believe in Paul and the boys. We’ve already started to look forward to next season – I have and I’m feeling very positive about it – so let’s get this season out the way and crack on.”
Butcher is one of a number of legendary Ipswich players invited to the training ground to speak with current boss Lambert, with the former England captain seeing similarities between the Scot’s approach and that of his former boss.
“Paul’s very similar to Bobby Robson in as much as he wants to know about the club and wants to get to know everybody within the club,” Butcher said.
“Bobby knew all about the players’ families and about the staff’s families and met supporters on a regular basis. Paul’s done all of that as well.
“He’s enabled the fans to reengage with the club as well and that link and bond wasn’t there nine or 10 months ago. Paul’s established that and that’s what he wanted to do.
“He knows about the history and about the impact the club has had on the area and he wants to bring that back.
“The road is a little bit longer than he perhaps though initially but he’s been down that road before with Norwich and there’s no reason he can’t do it with Ipswich.”