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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.”

Photo: TWTD

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trncbluearmy added 17:09 - Jan 10
Sorry Paul but you are wrong, but right to stick up for your incompetent employer.

Out of interest who is to blame for the shambles of the last decade?

Gcon added 17:16 - Jan 10
Evans Out

dubblue added 17:17 - Jan 10
Except for the Dark Lord, ME has not provided sufficient funding for new players. We all know MM operated on a shoe string. Too often the only way a manager could buy new players was after a sale was finalised and often the sale came too late for us to buy a decent replacement - happened with the sale of Murphy and this season withWaghorn/Garner. Sorry Paul on this one happy to disagree.

TimmyH added 17:20 - Jan 10
'Sick and tired' - strange comment, he's only been here a couple of months!
“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" - and that's part of the problem Paul, he hasn't!
But I suppose that's what employee's do - and that's to suckle on the breast of the big boss (well to their face or in public in this case).

bedsitfc added 17:21 - Jan 10
Agree with PL
One person isn’t to blame it’s a collective failure.
ME, MM,PH all made huge errors.
Oh and I am sure PL will but hopefully he will be able to rectify it when he does.

jas0999 added 17:25 - Jan 10
I wouldn’t expect PL to say anything less. However, he has only been here a couple of months. The fans have had to put up with Evans under investment in the playing squad, spin and mismanagement of the club for years.

Evans for me is most certainly to blame.

Campag_Velocet added 17:28 - Jan 10
“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.“

I’m sure this will be news to Mick McCarthy

braveblue added 17:28 - Jan 10
Oh dear Paul. You have been fooled. The summer amount is wrong and less that we brought in. You sound like McCarthy.

ElephantintheRoom added 17:30 - Jan 10
Let's see. Sheepshanks took Town from 5th in the Premier League to relegation and insolvency in a year. He even commissioned two stands with 'income streams separate from football'. He did it by racking up unsustainable debt and high interest loans all of which were paid off by the great bogeyman Evans. Sheepshanks was little more than an Old Etonian Spiv using the club to gladhand his way up the FA ladder. When he left the club owed him nothing except a reputation for being a bit casual with other people's money. Yet those were the good old days and Sheepy is saintly. Evans has put in real money , his money every year for 11 years to keep the club going and is pilloried. Go back a generation and Town built the Pioneer Stan at the very moment the Robson era was ending. Sheer madness -that led to the break up of the team on the cheap to pay for it - but again these were the great days. Evans has never, ever pretended to be overly interested in Ipswich as a football club. His lackeys have been overseers with no football influence. His first was charged with parasitising the olympics.... that too turned to ashes. Keane seemed an insane appointment - yet people on here were highly enthusiastic, same with MM.... same with Hurst.....same with Lambert. It's not all down to the owner - it's down to poor managers not being up to the job and a long term decline in a changing football environment in which Town have been left far behind. The decline began 39 years ago...

Bert added 17:31 - Jan 10
Well said Mr Lambert. OK, Evans has not invested like many owners but he does listen to his managers. The one time he listened to fans he got it wrong ! As for Milne, he was Evan’s eyes and ears, a gentleman but not a football fan. He did what the owner wanted and at his age I hope he enjoys retirement.

IpswichFuture added 17:32 - Jan 10
So Paul, let's just think this through logically. If you're right (which you're not) - and it's only the managers who are to blame for getting us in this situation by spending the owner's money badly, it would suggest that we've had the wrong managers in charge. And who is to blame for appointing the managers? Doesn't that have something to do with the owner?


shakytown added 17:33 - Jan 10
I actually think the money was there for Mccarthy he was just to pigheaded and stubborn to use any of it. Why else do we still not have a proper right back when he had to put a centre back there for 2 years.

Saxonblue74 added 17:36 - Jan 10
If it were as simple as ME buying us into the premier league I'm sure we would have been there 10 years ago. He has invested in the club at whatever level sees fit/ is able. His fortune is indeed large on paper, who are we to speculate how much of this is at his disposal into what is afterall a consistently loss making enterprise? ITFC has been on the slide since the 1980's, does anyone recall the debt for the Pioneer stand which was significant at the time? I personally work in construction and as such don't feel adequately equipped to analyse the financial structure of a business on this scale. ME however is a hugely successful business man and hopefully will continue for many years to come to keep our club afloat. I do feel there has been some naiveity along the way and, without doubt, some ill judgement on the managerial front but working with PL the two of them will guide us to security once more - not greatness, those days have passed, but security.

RobsonWark added 17:44 - Jan 10
Did anyone else watch Cleaning Up on ITV last night? Was that Paul Hurst playing Sheridan Smith's husband? hmmmmm....

blue2357 added 17:58 - Jan 10
I`m glad that Marcus Evans apparently is going to have a more hands on approach. What is a more hands on approach? Don`t press the panic button yet. All is not lost...the world isn`t going to end because of our situation. Get down to Portman Rd and shout your lungs out AND LIFT THE TEAM TO WIN! But i ask again, what is a more hands on approach Marcus?

LWNR2013 added 18:28 - Jan 10
I’m sick and tired of toxic-obnoxious!! Agree with blue2357

LWNR2013 added 18:31 - Jan 10
What is more hands on........? Smelling the coffee (s**t) for himself maybe?

sixtyblue added 18:59 - Jan 10
Elephant in the room. Spot on,Sheepshanks was no messiah.

bedsitfc added 19:10 - Jan 10
With ME taking a more hands on approach he may see things that can be done better and more efficiently on the business side. Commercial sales etc can expect to be scrutinised.
He may fill holes in the system where we are losing money or not making enough thus creating a bigger transfer budget.

Dissboyitfc added 19:35 - Jan 10
Elephantintheroom...you make some very good points! I am not an evans fan nor am i a slater. But your post makes no mention of any mistakes, His first being and could have been his biggest was sacking Magilton.

I would love to know how many who slag him off for not spending his own money, actually never put a penny into the club themselves.

I am actually enjoying going to portman rd again.

jackson added 20:58 - Jan 10
Its all in "the timing". Evans has a habit of going awol at just the wrong time. Had he invested at the key moments when Ip were in with a real shot at going up, things might have been different. Had he sacked Magilton earlier - or not at all - same difference. Had Evans never hired Keane - or backed him when he really needed it, same yet again. Lambert or Jack Ross hired last summer and we would probably be top 6 by now. But it was not to be - Its just been a shambolic chemistry, LOUSY timing. In consequence, at age 60, i am for the first time in my entire lifetime looking at an ITFC train-wreck

Northstandveteran added 21:16 - Jan 10
Sheepshanks was great fun in Luxembourg when we played f.c Beggen though wasn't he?
Dancing in the square pre match with the fans 😁
Completely irrelevant admittedly 😂

chorltonskylineblue added 21:27 - Jan 10
Can't see where the "£8 or 9m on transfers last summer" was spent, unless fees were misreported. I make it more like £5.5. We received more in players going out - Webster, Waghorn & Garner (which was more like £8-9m and presumably on higher wages as more experienced).

LWNR2013 added 21:53 - Jan 10
Transfer fees plus agent fees plus salaries. Morelike 10 mil

Pedlarjak added 22:40 - Jan 10
One of the main tasks of the owner is to select a manager. Let us examine the record of Marcus Evans here - would we agree 3 disasters out of 4? Note exactly a success ?

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