It’s looking increasingly likely that Ipswich Town will be playing League One football next season.
Few clubs escape from the depth of mire they’re in, 12 points adrift of safety with just 11 matches left to play. Despite sacking manager Paul Hurst and appointing Paul Lambert, little has changed in the way of results.
The former Norwich City manager has been unable to take them off the bottom of the division, a place they’ve occupied since the very early stages of the season.
With League One looming, Lambert has already established his intention to stay put at Portman Road and guide them back to the Championship.
The ultimate decision will be down to the chairman, but if the blame for their demise is laid at Paul Hurst’s door, maybe Lambert will get a chance to put them back where they feel they belong.
It could be a bad move though, with reasons mounting for him to leave the club in the wake of their eventual, inevitable relegation. FLW looks at three.
A new manager sometimes experiences a bump, but they have to arrest the mentality of a side. Paul Lambert has not done that.
If he stays on until next season, the same regime that has overseen a losing mentality and relegation is in control.
That regime will be synonymous with defeat and pain. If there’s a new challenge, it’s best there a new broom sweeping through the club.
Not a manager on the up
It’s perhaps harsh, but Lambert has done little to show he’s a good manager recently, either with Ipswich or in his previous role at Stoke.
Has he past his sell by date? He’s not got Ipswich playing significantly better than they were and this could be his second relegation in as many seasons.
Is that the right man to get them back up?
Is he committed to Ipswich, or himself?
Lambert has a Norwich history, but his recent spell at Portman Road has nullified his reputation there. It’s his reputation that is on the line now and there’s got to be a concern he wants to stay put because it is best for him, not the club.
Two relegations look bad on a CV, but in a division with Southend, Gillingham and Accrington Stanley, Ipswich should be big players.
Does he see a Sunderland-style rise and the kudos for him that comes with that as a means of rebuilding his own reputation?
If he does, he should beware. Charlton are proof that being a big name means nothing if you’re not prepared.