Lambert Has Handed Evans List of January Targets
Thursday, 6th Dec 2018 16:13
Boss Paul Lambert has revealed he has given owner Marcus Evans a list of the players he wants in January and says loans may be more realistic than permanent signings. He says Evans will be taking a more hands-on role going forward.
Lambert says he is confident that Evans will put his hand in his pocket to fund the January signings he wants, the club having dismissed reports that the owner has put Town up for sale.
“Since I’ve been to this club, I think Marcus Evans has been brilliant with me,” Lambert said. “I think he’s probably more hands-on now than you guys [the media] see from the outside.
“But I think in the moment that I speak to you he’s right behind it and he knows exactly the situation at the club, it’s his club, nobody can take that away from him.
“I know the reports [regarding the club being for sale] were fired back at you, so to speak. No, I think he knows the situation. He’s not a silly guy, he knows exactly what’s right and wrong and I think the football club will be in a better place.”
Has he been given a budget to work within by Evans or told there is a set number of players he can signing in January?
“No, I just gave a list. Do you want the list as well? Messi, Ronaldo, Buffon, I’ll give you those three," he joked. "I’ll go for those three first.
“I give him a list so everybody knows the list that we’re trying to get in and let’s see if we can get them in.”
Lambert says Town have to attempt to get those players in as soon as the window opens: “We’ll have to try and get a few in on that first [day of the window] to give us a help. You don’t want to prolong it, but we’ll try and get them in. We’ve identified guys to hopefully come in and if we get them in we’ll be a lot stronger.
“If you don’t get them in early you could lose another four games, five games in January so we have to try and get them in.
“We’ve got a big squad here, too many players. I’ve said before, you can’t bring in 10 or 12 players in one hit, in one season, nobody does that. Two or three maybe, but not 12, and lads who are unaccustomed to playing in the league, it doesn’t make sense. I think the players that do come in here, I’m pretty sure they know the league.”
Does he get the sense that the players he’s targeting will be willing to come to a club bottom of the Championship seven points plus goal difference from safety?
“You’ve got to try and sell it the best you can to the lads,” he said. “I think the important thing is that if you get lads in here, they’re obviously not going to be part of their own parent club or whatever the case may be.
“But the ones that come here will have to have the hunger to go and do it as well. You’re putting people there in the forefront to go and try and perform. I think anybody that knows me they will enjoy playing under me, that’s for sure, but it’s up to us to try and get them in.”
He admits it might be that it’s loan players he brings in rather than permanent additions: “It might well be some of that but, to be honest, that doesn’t bother me one bit. We have to get lads with a bit more experience in here that know that game a little bit, that have got a little bit of know-how at certain times.
“As I say, we need a little bit of help, at this minute in time, whether they’re loans or permanent [doesn’t bother me].
“Permanent will be difficult because it’s a really strange time of the season but loans… they could be from Mars for all I care as long as I know they know the league and they can actually perform in it.
“The lads need a little bit of help and if we can keep that going, then let’s see what happens.”
While the injured Jon Walters’s loan from Burnley will end in January and Jordan Graham’s spell from Wolves is set to be cut short, the Blues still have four players on loan - including Janoi Donacien who continues to wait for confirmation of his permanent leave to remain which will make his switch from Accrington full-time - with only five permitted in a matchday squad.
Lambert admits he may have to make some decisions regarding the loanees already at the club with Tayo Edun, currently out with an eye injury, appearing likely to return to Fulham having not featured since the change of manager.
“As you said, there are decisions we’ll have to make on what’s happening here, but that’s football you make decisions every day in the game,” he said.
“I said before, right or wrong, I’ll make [decisions that] I think are right for this football club, not for anything else, what’s right for this football club.”
Regarding the reports that Evans is looking to sell the club, Lambert says it’s not something he discussed with the Blues owner.
“No, I don’t [say to] owners, ‘Are you going to sell or are you going to keep it?’“ he said. “Marcus is a really clever man with the businesses he’s got and everything he’s done.
“But while he’s the custodian of the football club, he’s in charge of it, it’s his baby as such. We had conversations, he asked my opinion on what I thought of it and where I saw it going and what potentially can happen.
“Regarding his situation, I think that’s a private issue for him and how he feels but the conversations I’ve had with him, he’s been brilliant, he really has, he’s right behind it.
“Everything we’ve asked to try and help, he’s answered, ‘Yes, no problem’ so I think you’ll see him more hands on. You’ll have covered it for longer than I’ve been here, so I certainly think he’ll be more hands-on.”
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