‘Paul is part of the club’s plans going forward’ - O’Neill backs Lambert
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town remain committed to manager Paul Lambert, general manager Lee O’Neill has stated.
The Blues’ 11th-place finish in League One was confirmed today after clubs voted to bring the campaign to an early finish, with only four sides, including Ipswich, saying they wanted to complete the season on the pitch.
It represents Ipswich’s lowest finish since the 1952/53 season, with O’Neill insisting all at the club, including Lambert, will be looking for a vast improvement next season.
“No, Paul and his staff are a part of the club’s plans going forward,” O’Neill told BBC Radio Suffolk. “We’ve got a lot of work to do in developing the squad and making them better and we’ve got to reflect on what went wrong, particularly in the last few months of the season.
“For most of the season we were in and around the top six and to fall short in the last few months we’ll have to look at things from that point of view.
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“We’re behind the first team manager and all the staff and we’ve got to do better than what we have done as quickly as possible.”
O’Neill did admit though that Town’s season, which began so positively, ultimately fell well short.
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“That isn’t what we set out to do at the start of the season, so from that point of view it is bitterly disappointing, from the club’s point of view, the players’ and, more importantly, the supporters’,” he said.
“Our target was to try and make the play-offs this year and we’ve fallen short of that. We’re disappointed with that but we’re using that frustration and that anger, if you want, to focus on our plans for next season.”
On the decision to bring League One to an early finish, O’Neill said: “I think we’re bitterly disappointed with the outcome from the results today,” he said. “It was slightly expected from the information that we were getting that not many teams wanted to carry on the rest of this season for genuine reasons, which we understand.
“But disappointing from our point of view to finish where we have and not get an opportunity to see out the season.
“We had a good run-in, we had five home games and a number of our players who have been out injured are actually available and fit again.
“To have our full squad able to compete, like we did at the start of the season when we were on our run, would have really helped our surge towards the end of the season.
“So from that point of view we wanted to play out the rest of the season and make that play-off spot.
“The games would have gone ahead behind closed doors as they are planned now with the play-offs. We know that would have been incredibly difficult with the testing regimes that are put in place for both clubs and players to make it as safe as possible to allow us to finish the season.”