NEW Year's Day.

A time for resolutions, fresh starts and positivity; a chance to look forward with optimism and enthusiasm.

In the case of Ipswich Town, it's about a future with boss Paul Lambert firmly at the helm. The man with both hands on the tiller, following news of his bumper contract extension, tying him to Portman Road until 2025.

Personally, I was surprised by the timing of the announcement (and even more bewildered by last week's comments about his future at the club).

It felt odd, given the team's slump in form, winless run and apparent shift in attitude among many supporters towards the Town boss.

It's hardly a fillip heading into 2020.

That said, please don't think I'm anti-Lambert. That's not the case but, for me, the jury's still out.

In many ways, certainly off the pitch, he's done a stupendous job.

The connection between the team and supporters is the strongest it's been for years (albeit tarnished by recent results and performances).

You only have to look at the consistently-high home attendances to see that the fans are right behind their team.

Lambert has been pivotal to that and his rousing rhetoric and stirring soundbites have been the glue behind the unity.

As I've said previously, his best work has come with a microphone in front of him.

However, I do have reservations about the team's progress - or lack of it - on the pitch.

Lambert doesn't appear to know his strongest side or formation and his constant tinkering is irritating.

I was amazed by the patience and goodwill he received last season.

Despite having more than 30 games to revive and rejuvenate Town, he had little impact.

There was barely any tangible progress and the team dropped through the relegation trapdoor with a whimper, without a fight.

In terms of results, Town made a dream start in League One but were you blown away by the quality of their football?

They ground out results, to their credit, but it wasn't exactly inspiring and, sadly, it wasn't sustainable either, as proven by the barren run before and over Christmas.

Everyone will have their own opinions and I truly hope Lambert is the man to bring success to Portman Road.

As I say, he's brought people together again and that's no mean feat, when you consider the increasingly-toxic relationships that developed towards the end of the previous regime.

Now my hope is that we see genuine progress on the pitch.

Get the performances right and the points column and league position will take care of themselves.

Whatever your views on the Town boss, fans must get behind him.

He's the man at the helm and, judging by this week's announcement, he's here for the long haul.