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Skuse: If Lambert Had Been Appointed Earlier Things Might Have Been Different
Thursday, 14th Mar 2019 19:52

Many Ipswich fans are probably thinking about what might have been had current boss Paul Lambert been appointed last summer – and experienced midfielder Cole Skuse is of the view that things could have worked out very differently.

It was to Paul Hurst, of course, that Town turned to replace the departed Mick McCarthy, only to pull the plug on the ex-Shrewsbury boss after only 149 days in the job, before bringing in Lambert at the end of October, by which time they were already rock-bottom of the Championship with just one win and a total of nine points to their credit.

Not that Lambert, who has only managed two wins from his 23 games in charge, has fared any better – but most fans believe he arrived when it was already too late to turn things round, especially since he was unable to bring in any of his own players until the January transfer window.

Despite so many disappointing results, supporters have been encouraged and entertained by Lambert’s approach and with relegation to League One looking almost certain they are hopeful that Lambert will be able to spearhead a promotion challenge next term.

Skuse said: “It would have been different but the club went down a route they wanted to go down. That was their decision and it’s not something the players get overly involved with. We were as much in the loop, I’m sure, as you guys [the media] were with regard to what was happening.

“It didn’t quite work and Paul Lambert came in. He has put his own spin on things and the vibe is positive but we’re still in the situation we’re in. However, yes, if he had been appointed earlier things might have been different.”

Lambert’s men take on play-off hopefuls Nottingham Forest at Portman Road on Saturday and Skuse and his colleagues, buoyed by five 1-1 draws in their last six outings, are desperate to clinch win number four of the season against a team managed by Martin O’Neill, who is assisted by ex-Town boss Roy Keane, who succeeded Jim Magilton almost 10 years ago.

Skuse added: “Football is a results business and you need to win games, which we haven’t done often enough this season.

“The results haven’t done the performances justice. We’ve played some really good stuff but ultimately you want the win, so it would be nice to get one at the weekend.

“We’ve played really well against teams that have been chasing the top six places and promotion, so we want a result against Forest.”

Meanwhile, Skuse laughed off rumours that he could be moving clubs in the summer after it was spotted by fans that he had put his house on the market, which had led to social media speculation about his future.

“Yes, my house is on the market,” he confirmed, “but only with the intention of buying something else in Ipswich. That’s all I can say about that. The house did go on the market but I’ve got a contract here at Ipswich.

“The only reason we put our house up for sale was to buy a certain house that we like in Ipswich.

“I say we but it’s my wife really! It’s not as if I’ve put it on the market so I can move to Inverness. I’m looking to buy – and stay – in Ipswich.”

Skuse has been at Portman Road since July 2013 when, having turned down a new contract at first club Bristol City that left him available to sign for Town. City fans were generous with their applause on Tuesday evening when he came off the bench in the 75th minute in the sides’ 1-1 draw.

He added: “It’s funny, actually, because when I came into the training ground the next day somebody said ‘Were you getting booed last night when you came on?’ I might well have been but when I was at Bristol City that was my kind of thing – the supporters would shout a prolonged version of my surname.

“So it wasn’t a long boo – I don’t think it was anyway! It was a nice gesture of them to give me that and a ripple of applause.

“It was my first time back there in the role of substitute. I’ve started the other times I’ve gone back, which is kind of different.

“It made more sense for them to do that because I was coming off the bench. It was really nice of them. I was there for a long time and played more than 300 games for them.”

Skuse was actually relegated from the Championship with the Robins before heading across country to East Anglia but, looking back, he admits the circumstances then bear no comparison to how things are at Town as they struggle to avoid a similar fate.

“The year we got relegated at Bristol City you kind of knew from a long way back that it was likely to happen,” he recalled.

“The fans weren’t onside the way they are here. It kind of turned the opposite way, which is why I keep saying why it is such a surreal experience here and you can sometimes get caught up in the fact that you don’t feel as if you are bottom of the league.

“You feel like you’re playing in front of an audience that make you feel like you’re chasing something at the other end of the league so it’s a completely different atmosphere here to Bristol six years ago.”

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Cakeman added 20:16 - Mar 14
All if’s and buts but I am sure things would be much different if Paul Lambert was with us back in August. All we can do now though is to look forward to the August coming.

oioihardy added 21:39 - Mar 14
Before anyone says look at lamberts record there was x amount of points he could of won. Please use the brain in your head and think. He was walking into a team with 0 confidence. No game plan. A unbalanced squad. No goals in the team. Most importantly a team that was used to losing. He wound change that whilst it’s mid seasons. Next season is when we judge lambert. Coyb (I support lambert btw!!)

Mullet added 21:56 - Mar 14
One day people will realise the value and debt owed to Skuse and Chambers during those months that saw us relegated.

Mick is the only manager we've had who could have come in and undone Hurst's mess, and that was only because we got shot in the first place.

Lambert's had the potential to do it, and he's given it a good go and come up short. We have to stick with him this summer and all of next season if things at board level don't change.

Daleyitfc added 22:53 - Mar 14
Hurst's average : 0.64 points per game
Lambert's average : 0.64 points per game
AND Lambert would never have been accepted by the fans if appointed instead of Hurst.
Basically, it's now 6 rubbish manager appointments in a row.

tetchris added 23:22 - Mar 14
Skuse clearly not a fan of hursts

braveblue added 05:19 - Mar 15
Skuse should look at his performance level this season and accept he is not good enough. Our midfield looks good only when he does not play. Dig at Hurst but nothing about Evans selling the talent!!

jong75 added 06:28 - Mar 15
So bored with all the spin coming out of Portman road. There were enough games for us to get out of trouble under lambert but not good enough to turn it around. We had to win games not get draws. Rotherham and millwall both winning away midweek, thats fight.

Len_Brennan added 06:41 - Mar 15
@Dalyitfc: Why do you think Lambert would never have been accepted by the fans had he been appointed instead of Hurst, considering the fact that he has been accepted by the fans after Hurst, despite that his overall record is no better & he will almost certainly be the manager who takes us down to the 3rd tier?
Arguably he would have done a far better job than Hurst, kept us above the relegation zone while having us playing a brand of football that most of us on here were looking for - something we wanted McCarthy out for, because he was giving us putrid football.

slade1 added 08:06 - Mar 15
@Dalyitfc, Comparing Hursts and Lamberts points per game is ridicules tbh.

Lambert came in to sort Hursts mess out. Look what Lambert inherited, a total disaster of a football team that will take another couple of transfer windows to put right, not just the one he has had so far.

I don't think anyone would have or could have done what Lambert has done so far in the way he has the team playing really good entertaining football, engaged with the fans and got the feel good feeling back at portman road.

OwainG1992 added 08:13 - Mar 15
And if my Aunt had a d*ck she'd be my uncle!

herfie added 09:26 - Mar 15
Hindsight is a quality that ME possesses in spades!

Regrets, he’s had a few.......,

But continuously looking into the rear view mirror is only of benefit if it ensures that the same mistakes, and poor judgements, are not repeated, repeated, repeated......

Let’s get max benefit from the remaining games, using them as the foundations for next term.

TimmyH added 10:14 - Mar 15
and if my mum had married Brad Pitt I might be better looking...what a pointless thread, you could say this about anything - Lambert hasn't improved results has he?

dirtydingusmagee added 10:17 - Mar 15
Fact is, we will never know, however, Lambert has set out from day one to address all thats been wrong, Hurst just thought he knew it all ,brought lower league players in in vain hope of getting to Prem ,f#cked everything up from day one. We are down ,but we are in better hands over all [Evans aside] than we were.The mood around the club is better than for a long time even though we are going down . Wont be a quick return imo,but certainly feel Lambert is our man .

blueboy1981 added 17:47 - Mar 15
...... good post Dingus' - apart from the fact that quite a few Owners spring to mind, that I would prefer Evans to any day.


blueboy1981 added 17:47 - Mar 15
...... good post Dingus' - apart from the fact that quite a few Owners spring to mind, that I would prefer Evans to any day.


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