Lambert: Ten Years is Far Too Long
Thursday, 7th Feb 2019 17:32
Town boss Paul Lambert says 10 years is too long for Blues supporters to have to wait for a derby victory over local rivals Norwich City. Table-propping Town travel to Carrow Road to face the league-leading Canaries at Carrow Road on Sunday.
Asked for his thoughts on Sunday’s game, his first return to his old club Norwich as Blues boss, Lambert said: “The same way as every week! Is it different this week? For other people maybe.
“I have my own feeling, I know the game, I’ve been involved in derbies, I know derbies like the back of my hand.
“I’ve played in some ferocious ones, some really big ones where it’s incredible what’s at stake. I know derby games, but it’s a game we have to go and try and win.
“It’s 10 years since this club beat them, so we have to go and try and win and we’ll do all we can to win.”
Lambert has stressed to his players that Town’s last win against the Canaries - the 3-2 win at Portman Road in April 2009 under Jim Magilton’s management - is too long ago.
“Somewhere, some time that’s got to change,” he insisted. “We’ll go there, we have a game plan to try and win.
“It’ll be a difficult game but any given game you can win. And a derby game, it doesn’t matter who’s on top, who’s at the bottom, anybody can win it.”
He added: “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a difficult game for both sets of players. It’s a hard, hard game. We have to try and win, and that’s what we’ll go there to try and do.”
Lambert, who wouldn’t be drawn into talking about his spell as Norwich boss between August 2009 and June 2012 during which time he took the Canaries up two divisions, continued to try to play down the significance of the match.
“I’d be looking forward to any other game,” he added. “It’s [people] outside that put the animosity on it, it doesn’t faze me. I can’t wait to go.”
He says he’s tried not to involve himself in the pre-match derby chatter: “I shut myself off from it, I don’t get caught up in the emotion of it. I know, you don’t need to tell me. I know exactly what it entails.
“I’ve been involved in derbies before and I’ve never really changed my way of thinking about them or anything like that. I’m keeping my cards close to my chest, but I know what a derby means to people, so I’ll be ready for it.”
Town go into the game very much underdogs, although Lambert questions whether that’s ever quite the case in a derby match.
“Probably no such thing,” he reflected. “As I said before, I’ve been favourites and lost and been underdogs and won them, so let’s see what happens on the day.”
Would he take a point from Sunday’s match? “No, I want to win and I’ll go there and will try and win.”
Lambert says he has no intention of tempering his attacking approach, despite Norwich leading the table: “No, I’m going to go to try and win. Let’s see what happens.”
Told he’s sounding confident, he added: “I’m most confident. I’m going to try everything I can to try and win, my career’s been like that, I’m used to winning as a player, I had good spells at certain clubs. I’m going there to try and win.”
If Town do finally end their near-decade-long wait for a derby win - and a 13-year hiatus since their last victory at Carrow Road, the 2-1 win in February 2006 under Joe Royle - he said: “It’ll be brilliant for them. Ten years, as I said before, that’s far too long and we have to turn that somewhere, and that’s a good place to start.”
And the win would be worth more than just three points in terms of momentum and feel-good factor as Town try to make up the eight-point gap to safety.
“I get that, 100 per cent,” he continued. “For Ipswich fans, if we can get a result against them then I’m pretty sure they’ll be over the moon with it.”
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