SATURDAY’S sorry defeat against Reading was a watershed moment for Ipswich Town.

Both in the short-term and glimpsing into the future.

In the immediate aftermath, it confirmed what many have feared – or known – for weeks. That the Blues are heading into League One.

With the writing on the wall, losing effectively confirmed the inevitable. Relegation.

There’s no way back from here, even if the mathematics suggest a glimmer of hope.

However, Saturday’s defeat was also a pivotal, groundbreaking moment in terms of the long-term plan.

Now’s the time to press the reboot button, for the rebuild to begin and for a different, positive approach.

Off the pitch, the club need to think carefully about their pricing structure next season. They need to get it right.

And on the pitch, it’s time for a fresh mentality - one that puts the emphasis firmly on making a strong start in League One.

There’s no time to dwell on what might have been. The damage has been done.

Instead, Paul Lambert must build a strong, cohesive squad, giving maximum game-time to players who will be here next season – not loanees parachuted in to arrest the slide.

Town have 11 games left and while I hate the thought of going down with a whimper, I’d take that if it means being stronger and better equipped in August.

Lambert’s best bet, surely, is to build a side around the club’s most prized young talent – Myles Kenlock, Teddy Bishop, Flynn Downes, Andre Dozzell and Jack Lankester.

I’d add Tristan Nydam, Josh Emmanuel and Luke Woolfenden to that mix, maybe even keeper Harry Wright and, when they’re back from long-term injury, Ben Folami and Ben Morris.

Give them wings, let them fly and allow talented young players who supporters can identify with become the future of Ipswich Town.

Likewise, someone like Jon Nolan.

Not a product of the club’s youth system, obviously, and hardly wet behind the ears at 26.

However, he’s shown his potential and pedigree in recent weeks and deserves a prominent role going forward.

Lambert also needs to give careful consideration to the senior players he wants to keep.

Alan Judge needs to top that list.

The mercurial Irishman is only contracted until the end of this season, with the option of a further year.

However, Town need to keep him because even in dismal circumstances, in a poor side, he’s shone. There’s no doubt he’ll be a star in League One.

I’d also try and keep Hull loanee Will Keane, who will undoubtedly score and create goals at the level below, and defenders Matt Pennington and James Bree, who have been dependable since joining from Everton and Aston Villa respectively.

Others must go, though.

I wouldn’t give any more minutes to defensive quartet Jonas Knudsen, Jordan Spence, Callum Elder or James Collins (decent but injury-prone).

Trevoh Chalobah will presumably head back to Chelsea and someone like Tom Adeyemi will almost certainly depart after an injury-cursed spell since joining in 2017.

It promises to be a busy and significant summer at Portman Road.

It’s time for clarity and clear-thinking to ensure a flying start in a tough league.

But for me the shake-up must begin right now, not June.

It’s time for big, bold decisions because despite the current doom and gloom, the future can and will be bright.