Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert retains the backing of owner Marcus Evans, we understand.

The Scot is under increasing pressure after 2021 began with a 3-2 home defeat to Swindon Town, which has seen the Blues slip to eighth in the League One table.

Owner Evans offered Lambert a strong public backing at the start of December, insisting he 'would not be swayed' just days after fan group Blue Action called for his sacking through a banner left on the gates of the club’s training ground.

And despite growing supporter frustrations, including the South West branch of the Supporters’ Club’s adding to calls for Lambert’s departure, it’s a backing the Town manager is understood to retain.

Ipswich currently sit just a point off the play-off places, with games in hand on some of those above them, and it’s understood Lambert is likely to retain the support of the club’s owner as long as his side remain in touch with the promotion places.

Evans is understood to put significant stock in the fact Lambert and his team have been held back by a crippling injury list, which has seen a dozen players spend significant spells on the sidelines during the course of the season so far.

The vast majority of those players are now back in full training as the club’s injury crisis eases, with hope remaining they can breath life into a stuttering promotion bid which sees the Blues continue to fall short when facing the division’s best sides.

Meetings between Evans and Lambert in the summer centred around the introduction of an ‘attractive and technical’ playing style and the owner is understood to be keen for that to be seen through after saying he has seen ‘green shoots’ of progress.

Lambert’s side have won four, drawn one and lost five of their last 10 league games, a run which has included losses in four of the last five home games after beginning the season with six-successive home victories in League One.

They’ve scored 25 goals in 19 games, with only seven sides in the division scoring fewer as Lambert’s side have struggled to turn long spells of possession into meaningful chances and goals.

Strong words are understood to have been exchanged between Lambert and his players in the wake of Saturday’s loss to Swindon, who sat 23rd in the table heading into the game, with Town’s next match seeing them head to bottom side Burton Albion on Saturday.

Lambert watched the Swindon game from the stands and did not undertake his usual media duties, either pre or post-match, having been hit hard after contracting coronavirus prior to Christmas.

East Anglian Daily Times: Paul Lambert revealed he was close to being hospitalised with Covid-19.Paul Lambert revealed he was close to being hospitalised with Covid-19. (Image: Steve Waller)

Speaking after receiving Evans' backing in December, Lambert said: "I don’t worry about things like that. Marcus and I get on really well and whether I left tomorrow or the next day I would still get on well with him and there is no problem there.

"He understands what’s happened here. He’s not a silly guy and he probably knows where he’s gone wrong with a lot of stuff. He understands how difficult the role we’re being asked to do is and how tough a gig this is.

"I can’t control anything on the outside and I live in my own little bubble. I don’t get involved in anything at all. I don’t do social media or anything like that whatsoever. I was like that when I played too and didn’t get involved in anything at all."