Lambert Sick and Tired of Blame Being Laid at Owner's Door
Thursday, 10th Jan 2019 17:07
Blues boss Paul Lambert says he’s “sick and tired” of the blame for Town’s current position being laid at owner Marcus Evans’s door.
Asked whether he was happy with his January budget at a time when Evans is getting a lot of flak from fans with the Blues bottom of the Championship, 10 points from safety, Lambert said: “If I ask you a question, how much as he invested in the time he's been here? Millions and millions and whatever it is.
“All the owner can do is give the manager the money to go and spend it. It’s up to the manager how he wants to spend it.
“Marcus has done that, he’s backed it, everything that he’s done, ever since I’ve been here, he’s been great. I’ve no problem with that at all.
“I think if you step back and you look at the bigger picture, he gave managers money to go and invest how they wanted to invest.
“You lose a lot of players, it’s up to a manager to go and invest how he wants to invest. You can’t lay the blame at Marcus Evans’s door, that’s for sure.
“I get sick and tired of hearing it because I know how the game works but you can’t, especially when the club spent eight or nine million in the summer.”
Meanwhile, he says MD Ian Milne’s departure at the end of the month, which was confirmed by the club earlier today, won’t really have much of an impact on the playing squad and staff with his role not one involved with the first team day in, day out.
“He’s been really nice we’ve come in here,” Lambert said. “I’ve only known him a short time and I’ve just dropped him a text. I knew last night but I just dropped him a text and I’m pretty sure he’ll get back to me. Football’s a strange game at times.
“He’s been really supportive since I’ve been in here, so good luck to him in his future roles.
“It doesn’t really affect ourselves. Ian’s been really supportive since we came in here. I’ve met him a few times and he’s been really nice, no problem there.
“Obviously Marcus has put his statement out. Marcus is looking like he’s going to be taking up a more hands-on role, which I think is music to everybody’s ears that you’re going to have the boss as such to lead the club because we need him, we need him to lead the club.
“I’m pretty sure that it’s not nice for Ian but the football club I think will have a driver at it and I think that’s what every club needs.”
Lambert dismissed the suggestion that further instability is the last thing the club needs at the present time, that it needs everybody pulling in the same direction.
“I think that’s what the owner’s doing,” Lambert countered. “If you read his statement you’ll see what his thinking is and the club will be driven forward by him, which I think is fantastic for everybody concerned. One singer, one song, as they say, and everybody follows suit and it’ll be a stronger club for it, I’ve got no doubt it’ll be a stronger club.”
Managers no longer run clubs from top to bottom as Sir Bobby Robson did in his day at Portman Road and many now have a large infrastructure around their boss with the continental approach of having a sporting director increasingly common but not a position which has an incumbent at Town.
“[Recently appointed general manager of football operations] Lee [O’Neill] helps me an awful lot, Lee’s been great since I’ve been here. People on the training ground have been fantastic.
“Lee’s been excellent, I’ve a good relationship with Marcus as well. Everybody pulls the same way, there’s never been any negativity or a cross word or anything like that up here since I’ve been in here. Everybody’s been really supportive that way."
He says he also liaises closely with Dave Bowman, whose job title is the director of football but whose role is essentially chief scout.
“I’m sick of talking to Dave!" Lambert joked. "There are times we can talk four or five times a day to try and help here, and that’s what I’m trying to do and we’ll continue to do that.
“Dave’s been great. The thing I’ve found is that everybody’s really supportive and as I said before it’s a great, great club, it really is. It just needs that little bit of help and we’ll try and sort out the things that I think are wrong.”
Asked whether Saturday’s embarrassing 1-0 FA Cup defeat away to League One Accrington worried him, he said: “The big factor for me was that I looked at a football thing and it had the five shocks in the FA Cup and Ipswich weren’t in it.
“So, was it a shock? No, it wasn’t. I said directly after the game that it wasn’t because that’s the way it was.
“We had so many lads who were playing in the lower leagues last season, so it’s not a shock. It just shows me the club needs rebuilding.
“The lads have been great, they need a little bit of time and help with it but we’ve got to sort it out, we’ve got to sort that side of it. Everybody recognises it. There are a lot of lads that were playing that level last year.”
Regarding his post-match comments, he added: “I was frustrated yes, because we had a lot of fans up there. The football doesn’t change, but we had a lot of fans up there and this club hasn’t progressed in an FA Cup tie for about nine years. It’s ludicrous, ridiculous that this club’s not been by that round.
“We had one or two forced [changes] but did it shock me? No, it never shocked me. That’s the reality of it. We had lads that have given us everything, they played in the lower leagues last season a lot of them, a lot of them have never played in this division.
“So, they were playing against lads that probably played against last year. This club should never be in the position that it’s in.”
Has the situation he inherited ultimately been worse than he expected when he took charge? “I think any job you go into whether it’s top, middle or bottom, every job’s a challenge. It’s a brilliant club this, it really is, and my job is to try and sort it out. And we will, we’ll sort this out.
“Sometimes you need to go through a little bit of pain before, but we’ll be a different team on Saturday.
“Results I can never predict but we’ll be ready for that, that’s for sure. And the fans have been brilliant, as I’ve said before, they’ve been great. But I think everybody recognises what’s happened here.”
He concedes that the five January signings funded by Evans need to hit the ground running, which isn’t always easy for players short of match fitness.
“We’ll try, that’s the difficulty of it, but we had to change something,” he reflected. “We had to look at another avenue to go down where we could get a bit of strength into the place, lads that knew the league, lads that know what Championship football is about.
“Collin Quaner’s done it at Premier League level as well, he’s done it at Championship level. Will Keane’s been around the block, he’s been at Man United for a long time, he’s got a great pedigree, so he knows the division as well, so I don’t have a problem there at all.
“Hopefully Cole Skuse will be back, Emyr Huws will be back, so we’re starting to get lads back in, and we look a bigger side.”
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