Lambert wants positive send-off before the work steps up
Paul Lambert says it is imperative Wolves finish the season in positive fashion against Preston on Sunday (12 noon) – as he looks ahead to a summer reshaping of the squad.
Wolves round off a varied 2016/17 campaign against Preston after which the work will begin in earnest to fashion a squad which can improve from this season and challenge at the higher end of the Sky Bet Championship table next time around.
“You’ve got to try and finish off with a win and a good performance at home,” says the Head Coach.
“It’s sometimes difficult in end-of-season games when you can’t go up or down, it’s human nature.
“It’s not just us, I’ve spoken to different managers and they think the same, it’s hard.
“But at home it’s important to finish off with a good win if we can.
“We’re up against a team that’s had a good season but we’re at home and we’ll try everything we can to win.
“Plus your home games are vital – home form will dictate how you do next season.
“We’ve got to get that freshness and exuberance of going to win games at home.
“That’s where your fanbase watches you – that will dictate where you finish.”
Lambert says he has been pleased with initial discussions about squad reshaping plans, with targets identified for Wolves to try and bring in during the summer.
He has repeated that players will be tracked at home and abroad, with the ability of being able to thrive in the tough environment of the Championship the key priority.
“It doesn’t matter to me where players come from, not at all,” he said.
“As long as I know they can do it, it doesn’t matter where they come from.
“This will be the second season (for owners Fosun), everyone will be in a better place for it.
“Everybody knows the league, Saturday-Tuesday games, different ways of playing, different tactical things you need, look at different ways of approaching 46 games.
“The meetings have been good. We’ve identified people that will hopefully come in and help us.
“Jeff (Shi) has been great - what’s happened in the past has happened, no problem.
“We’re in the league again and this summer we have to get it going.
“We need players to help. You’ve got to have a freshness to it, that’s vital to the club and the supporters as well.
“A lot of lads have been here a number of years and they’ve carried the shirt along the way, as they say, but they need a wee bit of help.
“It’s up to us and the club to get them in. You’ve got a rough idea of what way you want to play and it’s important to build a close-knit team.”
Lambert will also put any personal plans for a break on hold until decisions have been made on players’ futures, with plenty of discussions taking place once the season is over.
“It’s important after the season that you get everything done here first before having a break, that’s my concentration, to try and strengthen the club,” he says.
“If we do that we’ll be in a better place come the start of the season.
“I’ll review everybody with Kevin (Thelwell) and take it from there.
“There’s a lot of work to do! But that’s the job, it’s not caught me by surprise.
“There are a lot of decisions to make – there are too many players here. We’ve got ones out on loan as well and some of them can’t get in their loan team.
“It’s difficult but as a manager you have to make those decisions, good or bad.”