‘Top six all season has to be the target’ – Ipswich Town legend Milton says League One expectations have to be high
PUBLISHED: 17:22 30 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:22 30 May 2019
Ipswich Town legend Simon Milton says a top-six finish in League One has to be the minimum target.
Milton - who spent 30 years at the club, first as a player and then in various off-field roles - managed a media team in a game at Portman Road on Thursday that marked the launch of the new home and away kits for 2019/20.
"A club like ours with all the history... The prospect of it playing in the third-tier of English football had never entered my mind. That takes some sinking in," said the former midfielder.
"But that's where we are. You're not unlucky when you finish bottom of the league. The Championship is a fantastic league full of big clubs and sometimes you can get blasé about that."
Asked what expectations should be heading into the club's first season outside the top two tiers in 62 years, Milton replied: "Top six all season. We've got to be, a club of this stature.
"Bring it on. I want us to be seen as favourites. We have to embrace that and take that on. I think it's important that we actually set our stall out and say 'this is what we're going to do'.
"The great thing is we have the most amazing support, but we can't be in the bottom half of the table and expect people to keep clapping away."
He continued: "The manager (Paul Lambert) has got everybody behind him. Now he's got to work his magic. He's got to get his recruitment right, make this his team, have a good pre-season and then we've got to hit the ground running.
"I've been involved in a tough relegation. Shaking off that losing habit is hard. On the flip side of that, once that turns then it can be powerful. You start to attack games, belief builds, you get a settled side and some momentum.
"League One will be relentless. There's obviously not as much talent there as there is in the Championship, but it's a competitive league and it's full of men.
"We've got some really talented youngsters. It will be lovely seeing them get regular games, but - and I'm not going to say 'you can't win anything with kids', because people have been proven wrong on that in the past - our experienced players will be crucial.
"I would think and I would hope that we will be one of the top four or five favourites to win the league or get promoted. And that's exactly what we need to do."