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Lambert: The Club Needs to Reconnect
Thursday, 10th Jan 2019 17:27

The club’s need to reconnect with its ex-players, its fans and its community is at the heart of manager Paul Lambert’s long-term plans for Town.

“It just needs to reconnect, I think,” he said when asked what he felt is the biggest issue at the club.

“As I said before, I can’t speak for the last manager or anything like that, I can only speak about what I see.

“Mick McCarthy did great here in the time he was here, he did a great job. Paul Hurst came in for a short spell and I don’t know what’s happened there.

“But in my own opinion, and I’m not saying my way is right, I’m not saying it’s wrong, it’s just my way, but if you’ve got one team in the town, it has to pull the supporters back. It has to get the trust back to the club. It has to go into schools, all those sorts of thing have to reconnect.

“It doesn’t make sense, you’ve only got one team in the town and my job is to try and help that as well, not just manage the team but to manage that as well, which I love doing because it’s important to me that the town is behind the team.

“But we also have to recognise that we have to win games to do that. If you’re not winning games then you have to change personnel and players.

“I recognised the football team needed a little bit of help, from lads who knew the division. It’s a short turnaround on it, but at least the lads have come in.”

Since he came to the club Terry Butcher, John Wark, George Burley, Russell Osman and Mick Mills have all been invited to the training ground and the Blues’ 2000 play-off-winning skipper Matt Holland followed in their footsteps earlier in the week.

“Matty came in, we had a good chat, a good guy, I’ve done TV with Matty before,” Lambert said.

“I knew what he was like. He came in and I think he enjoyed it and it was good to see him.

“As I said before about the older generation, the football club’s got to reconnect with the guys, it cannot just ignore it, the guys are part of the history of the club, who did really well for the club. It’s all about reconnecting with everybody.”

Also invited to Playford Road this week for the second time since Lambert took over were the Blue Action fans’ group with the manager wearing one of their pin badges at his pre-match press conference.

“I did [meet with them] because I thought they were brilliant,” he said. “They’re brilliant at the games, they really are and the support they’ve given since we’ve been here has been great.

“I had a chat with the lads on Tuesday night, just hearing how they feel and the atmosphere and what we can try and help them with.

“It’s great, as I said before, a lot of work to be done here, it’s a challenge but the fans have been great, not just that group, everybody, but they’re the focal point of your so-called ‘singing end’ and I think it’s important to hear their views.”

During Saturday’s game the Town support will be augmented by around 60 fans from Fortuna Düsseldorf, making their annual pilgrimage to Portman Road.

Lambert says he’s been made aware of the link between the two sets of fans: “I’ve heard bits and pieces about it and, obviously I know the atmospheres in German football are really, really strong.

“I think the [exchange of] ideas between the two is a really good connection. Maybe the Ipswich fans go over there at certain times, I don’t know, but I think you can learn a lot from each other, different cultures and different atmospheres. So, I’m pretty sure it’ll be lively, that’s for sure. I’m pretty sure it’ll be lively in there.”

He added: “We just have to help the club in a lot of aspects and try and bring everybody together, supporters and everything, that’s really important.

“The supporters are the main thing at the club. Without them we don’t have a game, that’s the bottom line.

“If supporters don’t come to games, we don’t have a game, it’s up to us to get them back in. We have to get the [younger] generation of supporters back in, we have to get back into the community and the trust back into the club.

“You can’t have this town being the way it’s been with the football team, it has to reconnect. We’re slowly but surely getting that back, but we also need to start to win games. Once we do that, this could be a brilliant place.”

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runningout added 17:36 - Jan 10
Lambert seems a breath of fresh air.. This subject has been waining for a long tim

Bert added 17:38 - Jan 10
If Lambert’s words are sincere and he rebuilds our club then he could become one of our best managers. The words must however be replicated on the field. Other clubs have been in the doldrums and risen again with desire, passion ..... and skill. The latter is my worry but I remain a blue through and through.

Suffolkboy added 17:40 - Jan 10
He senses the need for ‘ oneness ‘ which has been missing for so long :and the need for pride to be reflected in everything and everywhere throughout the Club !

ElephantintheRoom added 17:41 - Jan 10
Lambert talks the talk but he needs to walk the walk. I seem to remember him saying short term loans and contracts were utter madness. The conclusion must be he's now gone utterly mad...unless of course he doesnt really mean what he says. Imagine that.

norfsufblue added 17:42 - Jan 10
I like hearing all this and PL is absolutely right but one thing I'd like to see the Club do is encompass the whole of Suffolk as its rightful catchment area... in the past North Suffolk was always well served by the club putting on Course and events in the area but since George Burley left it seems we have given up this region to our rivals.... Ipswich Town is not only a one town club .....its a ONE COUNTY Club and be proud of it!

DoseOfReality added 17:56 - Jan 10
Paul Lamberts ling term plans .. I really hope so Paul you are our only chance .. I hope you stay long enough & get the support you need from the elusive owner

Trac70 added 18:12 - Jan 10
Maybe just me "reading between the lines" but the way PL has been talking in interviews recently and after the "good news" that Milne is leaving the club, I'm thinking MAYBE a director of football is now on the cards (ex player possibly) while PL managers the club to get it back on track??

positivity added 18:25 - Jan 10
all good stuff from lambert here, except "“It just needs to reconnect" “Mick McCarthy did a great job".
mick did well for a season or two, arguably did great then, but did more than any other manager i can remember in DISconnecting the club from the fans...

carlo88 added 18:33 - Jan 10
Just not sure about PL. If he means all this and sticks around next year he could become one of Town's best ever managers. Am a bit concerned though that he seems to have said similar things before, and doesn't seem to hang around long in his roles.

BlueandTruesince82 added 18:37 - Jan 10
What ever happens this year I hope he stays.... on the football side he has inherited a sorry state but I think given time and backing he can rebuild, if we go down I feel like he has the character to steer us through what would be the darkest days the club has known.

On the non football side he seems to understand the value of fans and the need to engage and celebrate the history of the club and I think would be a v astute DOF or similar in the future.

More than all of that, he seems to me to be ths most 'Ipswich' manger we have had since Royale, maybe even Burley... he understands the club, its fabric and make up.... regardless of what this season holds as it stands I would love PL to become a long serving manager and then move upstairs as the link between 1st teams ops and owner and to the commercial arm....

All this may change but right now.... its just like he totally gets me 😍🤩😍🤩🤣🤣🤣

Pecker added 18:55 - Jan 10
Saying all the right things Mr Lambert. Feeling the love.

bigolconnor added 19:26 - Jan 10
blueandtruesince82- very amusing sign off. Good post.

TS_ITFC added 20:57 - Jan 10
The club lost connection when it got rid of the charitable trust. Norwich have more of a presence in Suffolk now than ITFC. It's embarrassing.

blueboy1981 added 21:11 - Jan 10
Absolutely right PL.

Another spot on judgement - what a difference a proper Manager makes .

alfromcol added 21:38 - Jan 10
Come on you guys, don't forget us in North Essex. Population of Colchester over 200,000, probably twice this for North Essex. Less than 4000 go to Col U games so plenty . Let's see the club make efforts to connect with all these potential supporters and get them to join us in the short trip down the A12.

Free tickets to N Essex schools will also get parents along as the free ticket recipients can't get to Portman Road on their own!

eddiespearitt03 added 21:42 - Jan 10
It is a pity Marcus Evans has never instigated a stronger bond between the club, the town and the supporter. Whilst McCarthy was embroiled in a tired relationship with some/many supporters Evans should of stepped in with some strong leadership. We have had too many people at the club keeping their heads down and there has been a wall of silence for too long whilst poor football was being rolled out every week. Paul Lambert is slowly realizing the real problems around the club and the squad.

arablue added 01:45 - Jan 11
Dear Mr Lambert.

Well intentioned, well said and well on the way of implementing what was said.

What I can say are these...

What a smart way to run this club, tapping into the love we have for our beloved team, strengthen our affinity for our team and bringing everyone else to be a part of our remind ourselves why we fall in love with our Ipswich Town.

What a smart way to remind us of our great footballing heritage by having our heroes of yesteryears (and they still are our heroes) grace the walkways of our club, to let us know that even in the depth of our despair, those before us have overcome greater challenges and achieve great success beyond the wildest of generations before them.

What a smart way to remind ourselves of exercising humility in wanting to learn how to become better than who we now are.

What a smart way to bring us fans back to the fold and to be the best 12th man/woman we can ever be to our beloved team.

Perhaps going through this pain of staring into relegation, and in most likelihood be relegated, spells not only doom and gloom but maybe, just maybe, is what we have to go through for a better future - where we are now is when and where the seeds of future greatness are being sown.

Only time will tell...

Gcon added 09:04 - Jan 11
Paul Lambert deserves our full support, regardless of where we end up.

However, as far as reconnection goes, we have an owner who is completely detached from the supporters and the local community. His anonymity and refusal to engage with supporters is the driving force in the lack of connection.

I, for one, feel strongly that it is time for new ownership. How much longer are we going to placidly sit back and watch the demise of our club? It's time to say enough is enough.

blueboy1981 added 13:29 - Jan 11
Gcon .......... And where is that new owner coming from ? - wake up, get real. You're like many more, lots of criticism - but NO ALTERNATIVE ANSWERS.

This goes for many - whilst we still have an Owner, and proper Manager - and a CLUB.

You people don't realise how close you are to losing all three ..... !!

SUPPORT DON'T CRITICISE - otherwise you people will be responsible for all three...... !!!

This is NO joke.

blueboy1981 added 13:32 - Jan 11
Get your heads out of your AR*E people - and support the Owner and the Manager - NOW - before it's too late.

ChestnutSe added 15:51 - Jan 11
Need to reduce ticket prices. Need some offers to get kids, younths, lapsed and laps back to the ground. The lack of a consumer/customer/ supporter marketing is dire. The football is important but people just cannot afford the current pricing strategy. Much more imagination needed to get the ground full and get the whole area behind the team. 25,000 screaming, singing and cheering fans wouldn't make a huge difference to the team as well as boosting kit sales, food, programmes, drinks and advertising revenue. It's not rocket science to anybody who has worked in a B2C business.

ChestnutSe added 15:52 - Jan 11
Would (not wouldn't)

cobboldblue added 00:33 - Jan 12
So agree with PL on this, the Club needs to re-engage with the community (Ipswich, Suffolk and North Essex included). MM & TC did a decent job (although not pretty at times) on the pitch but the Club has lost its connection (IMO), I think, to some extent with the community. I could go on for ages about this... but let's win today and be able to walk out of the ground with our heads held high, that will be are start.

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