‘More young players could be involved... supporters can relate to that’ - Lambert on the future
Manager Paul Lambert believes clubs like Ipswich Town could end up heavily relying on young players once football has come through the coronavirus crisis.
The Blues haven’t played since March 7 and it remains unclear when they will next take to the field or quite how big an impact the financial implications of the virus will have on the Suffolk club.
Lambert believes recruitment strategies for clubs like Ipswich will need to change which, he thinks, will mean young players given their debuts earlier than they would have been before.
It’s something the Ipswich boss would be comfortable with.
“Recruitment will change and that may well see more youth players becoming involved,” he told The Guardian.
MORE: ‘Ipswich put him on the market again... I’m not sure if we have a chance’ - Lambert on Garbutt“At Ipswich we have a really talented group from U15s and U16s upwards. I know that if we can’t go out and spend a certain amount, we can bring these guys in and develop them.
“The supporters can relate to that. Mass gatherings look like the very last port of call but I think a positive knock-on effect will ultimately be that fans and players are brought closer together, and the atmosphere in most stadiums could improve.”
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The Blues have signed a number of their young players to long-term deals during the course of the last year, most recently Armando Dobra, who will be an Ipswich Town player until at least 2023.
Lambert also handed debuts to nine academy graduates during the course of last season.
MORE: Ipswich Town close to offering a ‘range of options’ as part of season ticket refund policyWhen asked whether he may need to approach next season largely using the squad currently at the club, Lambert said: “You might come to a decision where as the season starts you really can’t go out and get anybody because the transfer fees are too high.
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“But we’ve some really good young ones that we’re really happy we’re more than happy with that can go and make a mark at the football club.”
As things stand, the EFL would like the 2020/21 season to begin in September alongside the Premier League, though this is far from certain.
A number of League One and League Two clubs have already indicated they would only be willing to begin the campaign once largescale crowds are allowed back inside stadiums.