Lambert challenges Ipswich squad to finish the job as deadline passes with no new faces
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has challenged his players to finish what they’ve started following a quiet transfer deadline day at Portman Road.
The Blues boss didn't add to his squad on the final day of the January window, meaning Josh Earl's loan move from Preston earlier in the month was the only incoming move before the deadline passed.
After a month of speculation and links to Premier League clubs, the Blues did hang on to young stars Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden, while two offers of less than £500,000 were turned down as Brighton attempted to sign Armando Dobra.
With his squad remaining intact and with no new additions, boss Lambert is backing his squad to be firmly in the promotion mix as they head into tomorrow's clash with Peterborough, sitting third in the League One table.
"This squad has got us in the position where we are and I don't think too many expected us to be where we are because of the disappointment of last year," Lambert said.
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"It's difficult when a team gets relegated, no matter who you are. Look at my old club Stoke, who have a wealth of ownership there. They've found it unbelievably tough and are nowhere near the play-offs (16th in Championship last season, 20th this).
"What the guys have done is absolutely brilliant for us to turn it around. We've never really been out of the top six all season and have always been up there.
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"We're still in it."
The Town boss did admit some frustration in the transfer market, with 'proven' players targeted but the Blues ultimately priced out of moves.
"We couldn't go out and buy," Lambert said.
"I enquired about a few loans to see if people can come in and help but the money is incredible on some of them so it isn't feasible.
"Marcus (Evans, owner) has been great but the players I enquired about were too rich, so then it's whether you go for kids who aren't any better than our kids or not ready to come into this environment.
"The ones I did go for were proven lads who we knew could do it but the level of money was extreme. It's either ones not playing who take three weeks to get fit or kids who are on a first loan and you're never quite sure what you're getting.
"It's a dangerous one. They have to be ones who you think are going to help you. The money is high and there are Premier League ones we have looked at where you suddenly find out there's a massive bill attached to it if you don't play them.
"We're not in a position to pay that or guarantee lads games. That's not healthy for anyone and it's too rich for us."
There was one exit on deadline day, with young striker Ben Folami joining League Two side Stevenage on loan until the end of the season.