'I love the club and I love the support... who knows, this could be my last gig' - Lambert on his new five-year Ipswich contract
PUBLISHED: 19:20 01 January 2020 | UPDATED: 01:06 02 January 2020
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Paul Lambert is excited for the future after extending his contract at Ipswich Town until the summer of 2025.
The Blues boss put pen-to-paper on a new deal a few hours before today's 1-1 draw with League One leaders Wycombe, with the contract in the pipeline for several weeks before it was ultimately signed.
The extension is the longest contract handed out by owner Marcus Evans during his time at the helm at Portman Road and represents a real show of faith in a manager who, despite failing to keep Ipswich in the Championship last season, has greatly improved relations with the club's supporters and has guided his team into the League One promotion picture.
"Marcus has been great and I think he recognises the work that's happened in the year we've been here," Lambert said.
"I've never seen a massive club as low as it was here and the amount of things that were wrong is incredible. Bringing things back together is small steps and that's what we're trying to do.
"Hopefully, step-by-step, we can have a really good time of things and, let's put it this way, it won't be for the want of trying.
"This has been going on for more than a month, maybe two, but there have been things going on behind the scenes beyond anybody's control that I had to contend with. But it was always there.
"It's easy to sign something when things are going great but I love the club, I love the support behind it and, who knows, this might be my last gig. I don't know."
Lambert admitted he's excited for the future because of the club's crop of young players and the strength of the academy, but is well aware promotion back to the second tier at the first time of asking is vital.
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"We have some young guys here who are going to be really good and I'm including (Armando) Dobra and Idris (El Mizouni) in that as well. Some really good talent and if you give them a few years, I tell you, you're sitting on something really good here.
"There's that to go in the melting pot and then there's the support who want to see Ipswich do really well and try to be part of it.
"When it does eventually finishes and the contract runs out or whatever happens, you want people to say 'you know what, they did a hell of a job there'.
"We'll try and do it (get promoted) but we don't have a divine right to do it," Lambert continued, when asked about the importance of promotion.
"We were relegated last season and that can sometimes hurt a lot of teams but we've responded in the right we. If you do it back to front and we had the start like we're having now and then, 15 games into it, we go on a run like this people think you're a genius. But because we've done it the other way it's tough.
"Short-term we want to get out of the league but long-term there's one hell of a job here that's for sure."
On his relationship with owner Marcus Evans, Lambert said: "Marcus has been great in that way and we'll give it everything we've got.
"Yes, we'll have head knocks along the way and we'll have arguments and that sort of thing but the two of us want to do the best for the club within the parameters he's asked me to do it in.
"I love the club. We speak regularly and he asked me about the longer-term and how I saw the club. Getting people back in was important but you also need to concentrate on the football team because it was taking upper cuts and criticism all over the place.
"I love the club, it's a brilliant club and you take the knocks that come with it."