PAUL Lambert has insisted he can turn Blackburn Rovers into promotion challengers if the club decides to ‘go for it’ in the summer.

Rovers will head into Saturday’s East Lancashire derby at Turf Moor on the back of a superb success over one of table-topping Burnley’s title rivals.

Tuesday’s 2-1 home victory over third-placed Middlesbrough hauled the Ewood Park outfit 11 points clear of the relegation places.

Lambert remains ‘sick and tired’ of seeing his side in the wrong half of the table but believes they have improved considerably since his January transfer window dealings.

Rovers have taken 10 points from the last 18 and would have accrued more had they made the most of their chances in the 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough and 1-0 loss at fifth-placed Derby County.

However Lambert has no doubt that his squad requires further strengthening if it is to make a top-six push next season.

“It was a fantastic victory against Middlesbrough and I thought we should have won up at their place as well,” said the Rovers boss.

“We’ve got to get to that level and do it week in and week out. Since I’ve been here we’ve performed against the big clubs but we’ve got to do that against everybody else and we need a squad that can sustain it and that is good enough to do it.

“We’re getting there slowly but the way this club moves in the summer is going to be really important. I honestly believe if we get a fair crack at it then things can happen. The summer window is going to be massive for this club.

“For my own ambition it’s important to try and get this club fighting to get out of this league. That’s what I came here for; to get out of the league at the earliest attempt.

“That’s why I keep saying the summer is important for this club moving forward. Where do we want to go? We either go for it, and see what happens from there, because as I said I’m sick and tired moving about where we are.

“That’s not what I want, or what I came here for, and it’s not what the lads want either, and if I accept that, the lads will accept that.”

Lambert is hoping Rovers owners Venky’s will allow him to make signings for fees in the summer after top-scorer Jordan Rhodes was sold to Middlesbrough for a guaranteed £9m last month.

The striker endured a miserable return to Ewood Park on Tuesday as his new club missed the chance to move above Burnley at the summit.

Lambert reckons Rovers’ rousing performance underlined why he stated before the match that they are now stronger without Rhodes.

He said: “We had to bring a handful of players in to make the team stronger. It was for our own benefit.

“Jordan is a terrific lad and I know what he did for this club but we had to make a decision and Jordan wanted to go anyway and that’s what probably made it a bit easier.”

Lambert, who led Norwich City to the Premier League in 2011, is now turning his full attention to his first East Lancashire derby.

“It’s a game I’m looking forward to,” said the former Borussia Dortmund, Celtic and Scotland midfielder.

“I’ve been involved in some magic derbies myself, but this one is new for me, so I don’t know what to expect, but what I do know is that form goes out of the window. It’s just on that given day.

“We are up against a really good side but we are playing well enough to go and try and win.”