Sears: Boss Has Given Me a New Lease of Life
Thursday, 7th Feb 2019 17:20
Freddie Sears has hailed the impact of manager Paul Lambert since he joined Town in October and admitted he was thinking before his arrival that he might have to leave the club.
Lambert has only won two of his 16 games in charge and the next big test comes on Sunday when he takes his team to one of his former clubs, league leaders Norwich.
Sears said: “He has had a really big impact. He’s been brilliant since he’s come in. It must be tough for him as well, with us losing games, but he’s trying to get a squad together now.
“He signed a lot of boys in the January window and now it’s about getting them up to fitness.
“They haven’t really played much football but the gaffer has been brilliant. He’s lifted everyone, he’s got his own ideas and everyone is behind him at the minute.”
But Sears knows as well as anyone that Town must turn things round and produce some very different results if they are going to climb off the bottom of the league and make up the eight-point gap between themselves and Championship safety.
He added: “It’s not just the manager, it’s the players too. We all need results and everyone is trying their best to get them, but for whatever reason it’s not happening at the minute.
“The players have to take full responsibility for the way the club is right now. We’re the ones on the pitch.
“It’s been a difficult season in terms of how many players we’ve had. I’m not sure of the exact number but I’d say there have been well over 30 players used in the first team this season.
“That’s tough because we’ve gone from two or three seasons where we’ve had a squad of 18-20 players and that’s all that’s been used.
“We had a big change in the summer and it didn’t work out, and now we’ve had another change. Everyone has tried their best but it’s tough and we’ve just got to keep going.
“But the gaffer has been brilliant for me. He’s given me a bit of freedom, a new lease of life you could say, because there have been times when I’ve thought ‘That’s me done here. I’ve had enough of it’.
“At the start of the season I was in the stands for the first derby – not involved – and I was thinking ‘This isn’t me, I don’t want to be doing this’.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him and I think everyone would agree with that. The gaffer’s been there and done it. As a player he won the Champions League and you can’t do much better than that. Everyone is behind them and we’ve got to get the wins now.”
Recalling the 1-1 derby draw in September the ex-West Ham and Colchester player added: “That was a real low point for me because you want to be involved in these big games.
“When you get the fixtures in the summer the first one you look for is Ipswich against Norwich.
“You look for the dates, see whether you’re home or away and they’re the games you want to be involved in.
“Obviously, it was a great disappointment not to be involved in the first derby of the season but hopefully I will be on Sunday and we’ll get one over them.”
Sears regularly played in a wide role when Mick McCarthy, who brought him to Portman Road in January 2015, was in charge, and he has been used similarly by Lambert, rather through the middle in his preferred position.
He was asked if it frustrated him that Lambert brought in new strikers during the January transfer window and they have been utilised in central roles. “It’s tough but I’m enjoying it to be fair,” he added. “I’d sacrificed myself for the team any day of the week.
“Collin [Quaner] has come in and doesn’t look as fit as he could be at the minute, and Keano [Will Keane] has also come in and is trying to get up to fitness.
“It’s tough for the boys because they’re trying to do it in such a small space of time and it’s time we don’t really have. But they’re working hard and we are all pushing in the right direction.”
Does the threat of relegation to League One scare 29-year-old Sears, who will be at the club next season after Town decided in December to trigger the extra-year option clause in his contract? He said: “I think it scares everyone. It doesn’t just affect the players, there’s the manager, the coaching staff and everyone else at the club, plus the fans and people around the town.
“Obviously, we don’t want to get relegated, but we’ve got to try to get out of this. We’re eight points off it at the minute and it’s going to be tough, but there’s still 48 points to play for.
“I remember West Ham years ago being way off it, yet it ended up being a great escape because they won seven of their last nine games.
“The week coming up, with three games, could be massive for us. But it comes down to winning games and if we don’t we’re not going to get out of it.”
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