Lambert hopes to make signings as soon as January transfer window opens

PUBLISHED: 15:17 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:52 06 December 2018

Paul Lambert hopes to strengthen his struggling Ipswich Town squad early in the January transfer window. Photo: Steve Waller

Paul Lambert hopes to strengthen his struggling Ipswich Town squad early in the January transfer window. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert is hopeful he can add some experienced players to his squad early in the January transfer window.

The Blues are seven points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table and there are still five more games – Stoke (a), Wigan (h), Sheffield United (h), QPR (a) and Middlesbrough (a) – before Lambert can do business.

The month of January consists of five games, starting with what looks to be crucial home games against Millwall and Rotherham.

MORE: ‘It’s a blow’ – Lambert reveals Skuse suffers knee injury in training

“We have to try and get a few in on that first (of January) to give us some help, that’s for sure,” said Lambert, who saw experienced midfielder Cole Skuse limp out of training with a knee injury this week.

“We don’t want to prolong it. We’ll try and get them in.

“We’ve identified guys that will hopefully come in and if we do get them in it will be a lot stronger.”

Asked if he got the feeling owner Marcus Evans will back him sufficiently in the window, Lambert replied: “Yeah, I do. Since I’ve been at this club Marcus Evans has been brilliant with me, he really has. I think he’s probably more hands on than what you guys see from the outside.

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“In this moment that I speak to you I think he’s right behind it. He knows exactly the situation at the club.

“It’s his club; nobody can take that away from him. It’s his club. I know the reports (that he wants to sell the club) were fired back at you.

“I think he knows the situation of everything. He’s not a silly guy. He knows exactly what’s right and wrong.”

Quizzed if he had been given a set budget, Lambert explained: “No, I just gave (Evans) a list. Do you want that?! Messi, Ronaldo, Buffon... I’ll give you those three!

“He knows the list of players I want. Let’s see if we can get them in.”

MORE: Lambert’s plea for fans to drop ‘animosity’ at end of tense shareholders’ AGM

On whether it is realistic to make signings early in January, which is notoriously a difficult month to do business, Lambert said: “We have to try, that’s the reality, because if you don’t get them in early you could lose another four or five games.

“We have got a big squad here, too many. You can’t try and bring in 10/12 players in one hit. Nobody does that, nobody. Two or three maybe, but not 12. And lads that were unaccustomed to not playing in this league. It doesn’t make sense.

“The lads that we bring in, I’m pretty sure, will know the league.”

He added: “You’ve got to try and sell it the best you can to the lads. If you get lads in that are not going to be part of things at their own club, they will have to have the hunger to go and do it here. We’ll be putting people at the forefront to go and try and perform.

MORE: Ipswich Town finances 2017/18: Continuing theme as wage bill increases, gate receipts fall and the debt hits £95m

“Anybody who knows me will have enjoyed playing under me, that’s for sure. It’s up to us to try and get them in.”

Championship clubs are only allowed to name five loan players in their match day squad. Town currently have five, though there looks a good chance that Jordan Graham (training with Oxford) and Tayo Edun (back at Fulham after suffering an eye injury) will see their loans cut short in January.

MORE: Watch: Town youngsters turn on the style in the FA Youth Cup

“It might well be that it is loans,” said Lambert. “To be honest they could come from Mars as far as I care, we just need lads who know the game and this division a little bit.

“Permanents will be difficult because it’s a really strange time of the season.

“We’ll have to make decisions on the loans we’ve got here. I’ll make the right decision for the football club.”

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