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Lambert: Relegation Gut-Wrenching
Saturday, 13th Apr 2019 18:22

Boss Paul Lambert admitted relegation to League One is “gut-wrenching” and “horrible” but insisting there is much to look forward to at Town, who drop into the third tier for the first time in 62 years.

“It was a game of two halves,” Lambert said when asked about the 1-1 draw with the Midlanders which confirmed Town’s demotion after 17 years in the Championship.

“Birmingham were better than us in the first half and I thought we were better than them in the second half.

“But you’re going to get that with young players at times. You’ve got to remember their kids who have come through academy football and into the first team.

“Number one, they’re going to learn on the job, and that’s the only way they’re going to learn.

“Number two, it’s not as if they’ve been bought from other teams and have experience of the Championship, they haven’t some of them.

“Fleetingly they’ve had one or two games but the majority have been thrown in and that’s why I think there are a lot of good things to look forward to.

“You analyse it, as I’ve said before, your season starts in June or July when you start pre-season, that’s to be ready for a whole season.

“It doesn’t start in August, it doesn’t start in November, December. I’m absolutely gutted for everybody at the stadium.

“The supporters have been unreal, that’s just unreal what’s going on, they put a lot of supporters to shame the way they are. It’s phenomenal, overwhelming. Again, you saw it at the end of the game, it’s incredible the support.

“We’ll analyse what went wrong but I can’t comment on what happened previous to my time, I can only say what happened in November since we’ve been here. We’re gutted for everybody, supporters, players, staff at the training ground, everybody.

“On the flipside of it, there’s so much to look forward to here, there really is. It’s exciting. I think what I can see, it might take a bit of time, but sometimes you’re going to get performances like that with young players. But all credit to them in the second half, we were excellent.”

Asked how he feels now relegation has finally been confirmed mathematically, he said: “It’s gut-wrenching, it’s horrible. You can’t put into words what it sounds like. It’s like a blow. But again the support’s incredible, absolutely incredible.”

He says it was a very quiet dressing room after the match. “Of course, what do you expect? They feel it, it’s difficult to explain. There are a lot of young kids who have never experienced it before, some of the older lads maybe haven’t either.

“But they’re older and they know, but the young ones don’t really know. It might not feel like it at this moment in time but it’ll be an incredible learning curve and they’ll come back stronger for it. They really will, they’ll come back stronger.

“As I said before, my own view at the minute of this club is that it could be brilliant again because of what can happen. It might take a little bit of time but there could be so much good here.”

Looking forward, Lambert was asked whether he now can’t wait for pre-season ahead of 2019/20 to start.

“Whether transfers come in or not, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he reflected. “I think the club needs a couple of bodies in to try and help and try and freshen things up.

“Some lads will move, the loan lads will probably go back, that’s normal, so the turnover is quite big, but again, as I said before, there’s a lot of good things here to look forward to.

“And the supporters with the players, there’s a major connection there, it’s an incredible connection now. The secret is to keep it and I think that’s important.

Does he see the club’s transfer business as evolution rather than revolution? “It can’t be [the latter] because you can’t expect to go down into League One and spend £5 million on a player, can you? That’s impossible.

“There’s got to be a plan here and a strategy which I’m pretty sure will happen and probably it’ll be quite clear in the next few weeks what’s going to happen.

“If you’re looking for an overhaul and buying players at £5 million, £6 million, £10 million, it’s not going to happen, it’s impossible.

“We’ll see how the young ones progress with the experienced lads that are here and build the club in the right manner.

“If you keep getting in loans you’re going to be in the same position. It’s not my way the loans, as I’ve always said.

“Other managers make a go of it. In my view I just want to build the football club the right way.”

Reflecting further on where Town’s season went so awry, he added: “What I said was your season starts in July. I don’t know what happened in July, I don’t know what happened in August, I don’t know what happened in September and October.

“I really don’t know and I’m not going to be unfair to anybody because I can’t comment on those months as I wasn’t here.

“But if you’re a footballer, and I was one a long time myself, I know when I hit July, I knew what I’d expect of myself as an individual and of my team-mates and my clubs.

“I knew what was at stake so I never came into any season with my eyes closed, I knew what I had to do as an individual and if I wasn’t prepared for the season, then the only fault was my own fault. It wasn’t the manager’s, it was my own fault.”

Did he expect to keep Town up when he was appointed on October 27th, two days after Paul Hurst’s sacking?

“Of course you do,” he said. Everybody would tell you the same. I’ve spoken to loads of managers before, a lot of managers don’t take jobs during the season because there are so many things you have to sift through and turn it over.

“I can understand that, that can happen. Everybody always thinks they can do something. But what I can’t fault is the level of support, the players’ effort and commitment and everything else.

“There are a lot of young guys who have come out of academy football and been thrown right in. This team’s going to be really good. You give them a little bit of time and develop and the supporters with the way they are, it could be really good.

“And if we start winning games in League One, you won’t get a ticket, you’ll fill it, that’s how passionate the support is.

“It’s a massive club and it’s got a fanbase behind it and if you start to win games on a regular basis then you’ll do well to get in.”

Birmingham manager Garry Monk felt his team ought to have been out of sight having dominated the opening period.

“That's overriding factor for us, especially in the first half. We created enough chances to be in a really comfortable position.

“At any level, especially in this league, if you don’t take your chances you leave yourself open to that fight back.

“I said in the build-up to this game one thing Ipswich are doing is fighting and we left ourselves open to that fight in the second half with the scoreline still only being 1-0 by not being clinical enough.

“That’s the difference today, we weren’t clinical enough and even with that fight back from Ipswich in that second half, we still created three really, really good chances that we should have taken

"But we didn’t and that was the big difference for ourselves from taking three points and ending up with one.”

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BossMan added 18:29 - Apr 13
Sadly results under Lambert have not been good enough.
6

osseyseleven added 18:39 - Apr 13
EVANS GO.........club has been destroyed from top to bottom during his 10 years as owner........we may never come back from this .......Evans can only afford a league 1 club and that is what he has got.........everyone needs to get used to that.
-4

muccletonjoe added 18:39 - Apr 13
I think the second half had more to do with the change in formation . Which you , Mr Lambert, got wrong AGAIN !!!!
8

jabberjackson added 18:40 - Apr 13
Onwards and upwards, eh...
I am so much prouder to be an Ipswich fan, even today, than I ever was at any point in the last 2 seasons
Strange but true,
And I know I am not alone

20

unknown100 added 18:41 - Apr 13
Perhaps 2 up front all season would have made a difference
11

chopra777 added 18:42 - Apr 13
The inevitable has happened start the rebuild next week. Time to show our promising youngsters some game time. Relegation is hard to take but the MM boo boys have got what they deserved. League one champions 2020.

-18

tractorollson added 18:46 - Apr 13
I think we should for a manager who is ipswich through and through now, bring back Burley with Matt Holland as coach.
-12

pennblue added 18:49 - Apr 13
This club has been in a downward spiral many years before Paul Lamber turned up.
24

barrystedmunds added 18:53 - Apr 13
Chopra77, let it go!😞
16

brian_a_mul added 19:08 - Apr 13
The challange will be keeping our best young players, I would expect real interest in Downes, Lankester and Bish from Championship clubs. It will be difficult to turn down any cash that comes our way with income set to seriously drop. We could get 5 to 6mil for these three lads combined. The vulchers will start circling very soon, I hope MM is brave enough to beat them off
3

brian_a_mul added 19:08 - Apr 13
ME, not MM lol
1

Talbs77 added 19:14 - Apr 13
This week has been weird with us getting major column and airspace in the national press for all the wrong reasons.

Lots of them dancing on our graves as they all loved Mick and saw us nasty Ipswich fans driving out a manager who did nothing but treat fans with contempt for 2 years.

I’ve been an Ipswich fan for 31 years and can honestly say I have never felt more proud of my fellow fans in the North than I did today.

It’s been a painful, hurtful season but you know what, I feel like we have got our Ipswich back.

Yes I agree most of the blame lyes with an owner who has made nothing but disastrous decisions over 15 years but now is not the time.

I will be renewing my season ticket whatever the prices, it’s my club, this is our club, we win and lose together and I know when the joy comes, it will be or the more sweeter for the fans who were there today.

I am Ipswich till I die. Remember today when we are celebrating in front of the twin hall.

Keep blue....keep the faith. As the song goes, “we’ll support the Ipswich if we’re down or if we’re up”.

22

ITFCsince73 added 19:17 - Apr 13
Down with no fight is the biggest concern right now. Forget next season.
If these players are a core of our squad next season, then we will seriously struggle.
The last 10 games needs serious address. Where have our so called leaders been?
Clearly the whole squad do not appreciate the consequences of what’s happened today.
Today’s squad would struggle with a league 2 promotion push, never mind league 1.
Evans, Lambert and Captain fantastic = The blind leading the blind.
-7

Tractorboy1985 added 19:20 - Apr 13
Brian Mul... yet another fan who’s absolutely deluded!!! 5-6 million for 3 players?? Our whole squad is not worth 5-6 million! That is why we are going down my friend! I am a realist and I’m afraid there is too much hype surrounding these ‘youngsters’ !! Bishop.. yes.. if he gets a good pre season into him he really could be a match winner in league one.. Dozzell I’ve not seen enough.. even in a pre season friendly against kings lynn he hardly stood out head and shoulders above the rest! Lankester has shown great promise but it’s too much pressure to put on an 18 year old! Lots of potential though.. Downes for me very very very over hyped! If these youngsters were as good as PR Paul has been saying surely we would have won more games against very average championship teams! Let’s get a grip.. Marcus Evans has destroyed this club from top to bottom and sadly I cannot see it coming back whilst he remains at the helm! I will continue to support my beloved Ipswich though as the club is far more important than that pathetic weasel of a man! We’ll never die! ITFC FOREVER
3

northblue added 19:23 - Apr 13
I see the moaners are on here. If u know what should be done why aren't you managers? Poor first half but great improvement 2nd.
9

Bert added 19:24 - Apr 13
Time to stop harping on about what has gone wrong and who is responsible. We all have our opinions but there are positive signs that the club is listening to supporters, has a strategy for next year and a pre season to get to grips with life in League 1. I have supported Town for 50 plus years and have seen the highs and the lows. Relegation hurts but this is my club and like others I feel a renewed sense of belonging. The BR stand did us proud today and with that support and a team that gels we can move away from the last few years and think positive about what awaits. Some folk may not want to be on that journey but I expect similar crowds as last year ... and more if the season ticket price is marketed at retention of those who have stayed loyal and those who want to start a new journey.
7

MichaelRockyLavelle added 19:26 - Apr 13
A sad day for Ipswich Town Football Club, the entire town & county of Suffolk. I'd go as far as saying it's a sad day for the football world.
We've actually played some entertaining football this season, but a combination of mental fragility, a lack of a goal scorer & unfortunate mistakes at the back has been our undoing.
Not to mention chronic under investment for the past decade, and not replacing our key strikers and experienced LCB position.
But crucially our fans have been amazing, and make a proud silver lining to such a dark season.
Taking 1'500+ fans to away performances and out-singing the opposition home crowds, despite being rock-bottom of the league is not normal for a club in this position. Lambert is right.

But one thing Lambert has got horrible wrong is why we haven't been playing 442 consistently - we've always looked much much better this season with 2 up top.
whether that's a flat 4 across midfield or a diamond with Judge/Dozzell at the tip and Skuse/Chalobah at the base

It's a strange time for the club, and we must stick together
Hopefully next season, we will rise from the ashes & our 'tour' of league one will result in us bouncing back with a team full of players (now younger than me!)
Let's get Portman Road rocking.
5

MichaelRockyLavelle added 19:29 - Apr 13
Lambert must play 4-4-2 for the remainder of this season and all of next.

It's been abundantly clear all season that we've played much better with this formation.

Playing 1 up front would have worked if we still had Murphy, but none of our current strikers is competent alone up front. Keane was the only one capable, but looked better in a pair
5

SheptonMalletBlue added 19:32 - Apr 13
Marcus Evans Legacy:
Appointments of the worst managers in clubs history.
Lowest league position for years.
Relegation to the third tier, first time in 62yrs.
Worst run of matches against Norwich City in the history of the fixture.
Probably the worst football played in living memory.
Diabolical record for s once great football club!!!!!
19

dukey44 added 19:36 - Apr 13
Sorry am I missing something? Didn't he have at least 30 games to save us?
9

ITFCsince73 added 19:36 - Apr 13
Bert. It needs harping on about. This is the here and now. We still have games to play this season.
We don’t want an embarrassment turning into worse.
And the club will be listening to supporters if serious investment is made, because clearly what we have at this moment isn’t good enough for the championship or L1.
Lincoln City have a much better squad and starting 11 than we currently have, and by a long way.
4

blue86 added 19:38 - Apr 13
league one here we come! just feels odd because today its 100% confirmed. trying to stay positive, and hope we can bounce straight back. im pleased lambert is here, but straight from the start next season we need results. obviously we will lose some players, but we defo need two strikers, another cb and maybe a winger. Marcus Evans has to take alot of the blame as he makes the decisions at the club, and obviously hurst helped sink us with some shocking recruitment in the summer, with players leaving also. anyway whatever why you look at it and who is to blame, its now in the past and cant be changed unfortunately. paul lambert starting now, dont play anymore loan players, and let judge play in is prefered central attacking mid position! relegation does hurt big time, but we have to hope we will come back stronger. on a final note, one thing i will say that im incredibly proud of is how are fans have kept supporting the whole season, class! wouldnt get that at alot of other clubs! coyb.
2

1psw1ch added 19:38 - Apr 13
sad sad day seeing this club going down but been a sinking ship for a while now ,,,relived it,s finally over and look forward to league 1 next season ,,,coyb
2

ITFCsince73 added 19:49 - Apr 13
20 points from safety beckons, the club needs to put its PR spin into overdrive if it wants season tickets to sell. Even to the dumbest of supporter, what we currently have isn’t going to be good enough, by a long shot.
We need to bring in a hell of a lot of quality, that costs a hell of a lot of money.
We need new team leadership, that we haven’t had.
Now 14 points from safety, that tells me the captaincy needs adressing urgently.
But we’ve just rewarded Chambo, so not sure how that works.
Over to you Evans, hope you’ve got some serious plans lined up....
-2

Suffolkboy added 20:02 - Apr 13
What a terrific level,of loyalty ,love and support was evidenced today , even though we only drew when a victory was within our grasp !
Come on everyone , let’s now quit the blame game : it’ll get nobody anywhere and as PL articulates so fervently there’s an awful lot of promise within our up and coming young squads .
Sure there is much many have yet to,learn , sure they need to muscle up and fill out and strengthen their cores but it will happen !
Onward with positivity can be the ONLY message.
COYB
4


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