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O'Neill Not Expecting Busy Transfer Window
Tuesday, 31st Dec 2019 16:11

General manager of football operations Lee O’Neill is expecting a quiet January transfer window, but expects one or two of the Blues’ younger players to go out on loan to gain experience. O'Neill also says owner Marcus Evans is pleased with the club's position going into the second half of the campaign, despite the recent downturn in form.

The January transfer window opens at midnight with Town already having announced one deal, the signing of free agent Levi Andoh, a 19-year-old right-back who will join up with the development squad having been offered an 18-month contract having impressed on trial earlier in the season.

“We’re always looking out there to see in what areas we could strengthen the squad,” O’Neill told iFollow Ipswich. “We’ve got a big squad and I think we’ve got a healthy squad.

“I was only watching training yesterday with [academy head of player and coaching development] Bryan [Klug] and the team that aren’t even starting today are in a very healthy position to be League One starters.

“We have to look at our squad in general. We will keep looking to see if there are those players that can make the difference.

“But it's exciting for us is that we’ve got Freddie Sears just about back, Teddy Bishop just about back and obviously Kane Vincent-Young’s not a million miles away.

“They’re three important players that are adding to the squad that haven’t been [involved in] the first half of the season, so any players that we are looking at would have to be better than we’ve got.”

He he expects loan moves for the younger players on the fringes of the squad, such as Armando Dobra, Idris El Mizouni, Harry Wright, Ben Folami, Ben Morris, Aaron Drinan, Brett McGavin, Tommy Hughes and Bailey Clements, to be more common than switches in or out for senior players.

“If we look at the loan market for our existing players as part of their education, young players, because if we look at well how well Luke Woolfenden’s done this season, I think it’s a credit to the plan that was put in place with what he did at Bromley and Swindon when he got those loan experiences,” he added.

“It’s something we will look at for our younger players, so it could be busy on that front. But I’m not expecting a massively busy transfer [window in terms] of players in and out, but at the same time not taking our eye off the ball about what players are out there.

“We’ve got a very good recruitment system in place at the moment and we’ll keep looking to see where we can add some strength.”

While acknowledging that form over the last 10 games has been far from ideal, O’Neill says owner Marcus Evans is pleased with the Blues’ overall current situation sitting fourth in the table going into the second half of the season.

“Absolutely delighted to be in the position we’re in now,” he said. “When we talked about it at the end of last season, if someone had said ‘Christmas Day, Boxing Day you’ll be in second position, had been in first for a period of time, in a really healthy position for the second half of the season’, he would have snapped your hand off.

“We’ve given ourselves a really good chance to kick on for 2020 and from my point of view and Marcus’s point of view, we’re behind everything, we’re really trying hard, whether that’s meetings at the training ground, attending games or whether that’s meetings with Paul in general, we’re all on the same page and we know what the plan is.”

He added: “To reiterate the point I made earlier on, we’re 100 per cent behind [Paul] and the players to try and achieve the goal, which is to try and get promoted as soon as possible. It might take time but we want to achieve it as soon as possible.”

And if promotion isn’t achieved this season, would that be disastrous? “I think we’ll all reflect on it [if Town aren’t in that position] at the end of the season when we can be judged on what’s happened this season. If we weren’t able to successfully get promoted we’ll have to look at a few things that we’ve done through the course of this year.

“When you say disastrous, would it be that we’ve got a lot of young players that have played and played really well and made a lot of appearances? Has the style of football improved? Has the entertainment value gone up? There are a lot of things that we can add in to that assessment of whether it’s been a successful season or not.

“We’re only halfway through that initial first stage of it and the plan is not just one season, we’ve got to look a little bit further beyond that, the second, the third and the fourth year, to build that team that Paul wants isn’t going happen overnight.

“Mistakes will be made on the pitch, players are only human and mistakes will be made off the pitch, staff and people who work for the club are only human at the same time.

“We try and make as few as them as possible and make sure that over a short period of time we can deliver on those objectives as quickly as possible.

“But it is important to say that it’s not an easy task because everyone would be doing it if it was the case.”

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jas0999 added 16:19 - Dec 31
A few years ago Evans made a huge mistake and failed to back MM with a couple of quality additions when top of the championship. We ended up scraping a play off place and failed to gain promotion.

Let’s hope the club back PL. Not millions (we can’t afford it) but a couple of decent additions. Of course, off loading some of the squad players would also be necessary and potentially challenging.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 16:20 - Dec 31
Marcus, I've told the fans that the squads so good it doesn't need strengthening like you said. Do I get my present now?

Bluearmy_81 added 16:52 - Dec 31
Joke club learning nothing. Keep gobbling lickspittals...

dirtydingusmagee added 16:58 - Dec 31
jas0999,exactly, Evans ducked it and f####d it last time, will have learn from his mistake, on past record i doubt it, we DO need to bring in a couple of good players, problem is he wont spend out, and any player to leave that we wouldnt miss [and there are several] are worth sod all .That is the predicament we are now in ,and could well mean a long stay in this div.

herfie added 17:01 - Dec 31
Sorry, Lee, that really is a lesson in how to try and cast pearls before swine! Oink, oink!🐖🤗

runningout added 17:03 - Dec 31
Non existent scouting network for too long. As said before how knowledgable are our owner and co on the football front. Please please please give us a clue????

muhrensleftfoot added 17:04 - Dec 31
With good management, consistent team selection and tactics, our current squad is easily good enough to win this league. There's not another manager in league one who wouldn't swap squads with us. Paul Lambert needs to sort it out PDQ

dirtydingusmagee added 17:06 - Dec 31
It WILL be disastrous ,if we fail to get promoted, no way will support remain as good as it is now, gate will probably drop 50%, less cash coming in means even less to go out and the downward spiral will continue. DONT BLOW IT AGAIN .

TimmyH added 17:08 - Dec 31
Sort of contradicts the 'Evans backing Lambert 100%' article...not really surprising though.

PJH added 17:13 - Dec 31
Disastrous has to be the best and only word that would apply if we do not get promoted this season.

RegencyBlue added 17:24 - Dec 31
Our squad is large but nowhere near as good as some people think. That is a result of years of neglect by Evans, we sell our better players and replace them with ‘cheaper’ ones.

Failure to get out of this Division at the first attempt will be disastrous as the Evans model isn’t going to work long term in League 1 any more than it did in the Championship!

Saxonblue74 added 17:34 - Dec 31
I don't think we need signings in this window. KVY and Bish back along with Freddie up to speed will be enough. Give Huws game time to get him back to his best and he could be the best player in lge1. I agree with getting the lads out on loan with the exception of El Mizouni. I think he should be given a run in the 1st team, exciting and creative, everything we're not right now!

rfretwell added 17:43 - Dec 31
Amazing really from our fans. Few expected us to get automatic promotion given how poor we were last season. But so many of you talk now as though you expect it after such an unexexpectedly good start to this season. Donacian injury severely undermined us at Lincoln. The ref v Wycombe disallowed a perfectly good goal. Fine margins. We have Sears back and he needs time to get fully match fit and sharp. Bishop is back on the grass. KVY is stepping up training. Getting on the players backs and the managers is NOT going to help. Support PL and this will all come good again.

Cloddyseedbed added 17:57 - Dec 31
The ones we need to get rid of nobody will want. The ones we need to keep might/will be sold, that is the reality of ITFC right now. The squad is far too large with too many players of the same standard. That's what has led to unhappy players and performances and nobody knowing what the hell they are doing, so loosing interest. We are paying to many crap players. Not only does the team need a little bit of help with a bit more quality, the manager needs a bit of help too.....but will he listen?

How can managers with little knowledge as they haven't played in Germany, beat us with the strength of our squad, as we keep being told, with their players who we've never heard of? Year on year our playing squad is no nearer to success and falling further behind. You don't need large sums of money, just the right players and the right manager. Have we got that? The last 2 games seem to suggest not. Anybody confident of tomorrows result and the corner being turned, I for one am not.

Mark added 18:00 - Dec 31
How can Evans be "delighted" with 4th position? Unless we win the Play-offs that means at least another season in League One, more financial losses and a harder job to get back to the Championship next season.

azuremerlangus added 18:11 - Dec 31
Depends what you mean be quiet. Would have need a good opportunity to clear some deadwood and maybe bring in one or two "1st 11" type players - mind you, we don't have such a thing these days...

chopra777 added 18:17 - Dec 31
We need to sign Mr Motivator and sell the day dreamers who are damaging the team. Also Mr Fussy team selector needs a NewYears Resolution.

Letchworth_Blue added 18:50 - Dec 31
We keep flogging the same dead donkeys over and over. Why do we seem the only club to keep hold of useless players in the hope they will come good. Get rid if those that cannot perform and get new ones in. O'Neil and Evan's surely must realise this!..

blues1 added 19:05 - Dec 31
Jas0999. Agree with most of ur post, but once again regarding Evan's backing of mm you are wrong. Mm was offered money that january and told Evans he didnt want it as he was happy with the squad he had.

Thetruth added 20:30 - Dec 31
The fact is Lee O’Neill is a yes man, and who takes any view he has on our squad seriously?

ITFCsince73 added 20:50 - Dec 31
Each year there’s more and more so called bigger clubs in L1.
Whoever comes down from the Championship this season will make promotion next season that little bit harder.
I would imagine a Stoke will have large funds. Sunderland will eventually be funded for promotion.
This season is our best chance imo.

dukey44 added 22:28 - Dec 31
Surprise surprise..... NOT....

Dissboyitfc added 23:16 - Dec 31
letchworthblue when you say get rid of the players who arent performing i take it you mean McGoldrick? look at him now, arguably Sheff utd's best player!

I suspect we have others who would go and do a real good job elsewhere and before you say "who" i say Dozzell, got a feeling Wards going to do ok as well! There is enough about this squad to get us promoted! And its Lamberts job to get the best from this squad, currently something he is failing to do!

The rotation policy is really not helping! I dont think When it comes to the business side of things on the pitch that Lambert is a very good manager at all!

ThaiBlue added 06:45 - Jan 1
A quiet january with a couple of young uns going out,do me a favour more than half the 1st team needs to go bloody useless.

BettyBlue added 08:28 - Jan 1
Lee O’Neill is expecting a quiet January transfer window because with the current manager and the weak squad we can't afford to buy enough players to make any difference to our mid table finish.

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