‘We need at least half a dozen’ – Lambert on his January transfer window plans
PUBLISHED: 15:33 31 December 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has said he feels the club needs to sign ‘at least half a dozen’ players in the January transfer window, including two strikers.
The Blues are seven points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table heading into huge home games against fellow relegation battlers Millwall (tomorrow) and Rotherham (Saturday 12).
“I don’t think we need one or two, I think we need at least half a dozen lads to come and give us a hand,” said Lambert, speaking in this lunchtime’s pre-match press conference. “We’ll try everything we can to get people in.
“If it happens, absolutely brilliant; if it doesn’t, then we have to keep going. That’s the way we look at it.
“But the club is trying everything to get people in.
“We have to try. We’re in a position where we have to do something. My view is we need a little bit more up top, which is well documented.
“Football-wise we’re playing really good stuff, everybody recognises that. If we can just get a little bit more potency and experience at the top end, let’s see what happens.
“I don’t think I need just one (striker), I think I need a couple up there. We need help all across the top end of the pitch.
“We’ve got young lads who are giving it everything. We just need that little bit more guile up top, guys that know the league. We need strengthening right across that front line.”
Asked if he felt owner Marcus Evans would fund that number of additions, Lambert replied: “Listen, he’s been great with me. He asked my opinion and I gave him it. He’s the main person now. We’re in constant dialogue, that goes without saying.
“Prices will be inflated and some will want too much. You just have to do what is right for the club.”
With Cole Skuse and Emyr Huws closing in on returns from injury, Lambert was asked if that meant signing a midfielder was less of a priority now.
“No, because when something happened to Cole I knew right away the club didn’t have anyone else like him,” he said. “I knew there wasn’t another type of player like that in the football club.
“The squad is unbalanced. I never had enough like-for-like. It’s a dangerous game to play if you don’t balance your squad. If one of your main guys goes out then you’ve got to have someone else who can play that role.
“(Trevoh) Chalobah has been absolutely unbelievable (as a deep midfielder), but sometimes I think you restrict him in that role because he’s as powerful as anything.
“I think that type of player needs to be a bit of an older head, someone who can see danger.”
Asked if any targets had shown a reluctance to sign given Town’s current position, Lambert said: “Listen, there’s one or two, but as soon as I hear that I don’t even bark a second time at it. I let it go, because I need people who want to be here and want to fight and be up for the challenge.
“I don’t need people who want to think about it for two weeks. We can’t afford that. If you want to see what else is out there, not a problem, but I won’t be coming back in a second time.”
Town are closing in on the loan addition of Leicester City left-back Callum Elder with Lambert revealing Jonas Knudsen is ‘keeping his eye open for something else’.
Elder won’t be able to play in the New Year’s Day clash with Millwall as signings have to be registered by 12pm the day before a game (and the window doesn’t open until tomorrow).
Asked if there would be further new faces signed in time for the FA Cup tie at Accrington Stanley this Saturday or the visit of Rotherham the following weekend, Lambert replied: “Fingers crossed, I hope so, because we need them. That’s there for everybody to see. We need players to help, not just one or two, we need a few. That’s just my opinion.
“I think everybody else recognises that. The football we play is really, really good. We just need that end product.”
Town currently have Josh Emmanuel (Shrewsbury), Ben Morris (Forest Green) and Luke Woolfenden (Swindon) out on loan.
Asked if he had considered a recall for any of them, Lambert said: “The recalls would be kids. You’d be calling back kids to help kids. That’s a difficult situation to put anybody in.
“The young ones, even the ones who haven’t played at this level in their careers before, need a bit of experience to help them.
“We have to get people who know the league or been around the block a bit. You can take one risk, but you can’t do eight or nine or 10.”
Meanwhile, Lambert confirmed that Tayo Edun’s loan from Fulham has been cut short. The 20-year-old midfielder, whose six appearance for Town all came under Paul Hurst, has undergone eye surgery.
Tristan Nydam has returned to Portman Road following a loan spell at St Johnstone.