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Lambert Expresses Transfer Frustrations: It's the Way the Club's Run
Friday, 2nd Aug 2019 11:34

Town boss Paul Lambert expressed his frustrations with the incoming transfer situation at his first press conference of the new season this morning, citing “the way the club’s run” for the lack of new signings.

Having said he hoped to make three permanent additions last week, Town have added keeper Will Norris on loan to replace Bartosz Bialkowski, who has joined Millwall on a similar basis, while another loan deal, the signing of Lions striker Tom Elliott, broke down due to concerns regarding his hamstring injury.

While trialist central defender James Wilson is set to sign a short-term deal until January today, Lambert says nothing else is currently in the pipeline.

“No, there's no one coming in which is frustrating,” he said. “But that's football here, and as I said before, we identified guys and it's not materialised, so that's where we are.”

Is that going to change over the course of the next few weeks? "I really don't know."

What's the issue been? Players asking for too much money, clubs asking for too much money? “Work it out yourself, you work it out yourself.”

A lack of budget here? A lack of investment? “You work it yourself; they're not coming and that's the way it is. We have to go with what we've got, the lads will give us everything, they're really young, but they're ready for the game.”

Is he surprised that it has been difficult to bring players in? “It's the way the club's run, it's the way it is.”

After admitting that the squad needs a bit of help - “Of course we do” - Lambert was asked whether he needs more funds from the owner.

“We've brought in two free transfers and one loan and maybe one short-term, you don't need to be Einstein to see what it is,” he responded.

Asked whether that is enough to get out of League One, Lambert gave a perhaps sobering assessment: “No it's not, absolutely not.”

He added: “I'm not happy with the situation and the way things are. I've said before that the club is a brilliant club and it's got a brilliant fanbase behind it with lads that need a bit of help. We can't sit here and say it's right what's happening.”

Does Lambert believe that the slowness in getting deals done is down to the structure of the club with owner Marcus Evans in charge of transfer negotiations rather than a sporting director/director of football or a chief executive?

“I don’t know because I’ve not been here too long, you’ll know better than I do, I don’t know how it kind of works,” he said. “But I’ve been at a lot of clubs and played at a lot of clubs so, maybe it is the way here.”

Does the owner being involved in his other businesses a factor in deals not getting done as quickly as he would like? “I don’t know, I really don’t. I don’t know. All I’m interested in is the football club, all I’m interested in is the club - the club, the team, the support.

“That’s everything, no outside influence on anything else or anything else on the outside, it’s the football club that’s the most important.”

He says Evans is aware of his frustrations - “Yes” - and asked whether he is willing to do something about it said: “I don't know. I need to ask him that as well.”

Regarding his relationship with the Blues’ owner, he continued: “It's good. He says his bit and I say my bit, and somewhere along the line we try and meet in the middle.”

Asked if the pair are currently on a different page with the regard to the transfer situation, he said: “No, you're saying that, you can't allege that, we're not on a different page, the two of us know exactly how it is, but it's not my money.”

Given the lack of available funds, might he have to sell in order to buy? “There could be a bit of that, but we have to wait and see.”

But he says the players he has, he wants to keep: “Yeah, that's exactly it. But that's the challenge of management at times, I don't mind that and that can happen, it's the size of the club and expectancy level is really big.

“The history and what happened in the past attached to it with a great team and lads that have been promoted here and the great UEFA Cup team.

“The history of the club is huge, and quite rightly it should have that feeling about it, but if you have to sell to bring people in then, I'm pretty sure that's going to be a factor.”

But he says there’s been little interest in his players this summer in any case: “Apart from Judgey, I've not heard too much.”

Lambert says he still wants to bring in those three players with Town having until September 2nd to add to the squad: “Yes, but they're not going to come in before tomorrow, that's for sure.

"Then hopefully [Jon] Nolan and [Gwion] Edwards start to come back, and then Toto [Nsiala]. Luke [Chambers] will be back, so hopefully, we'll get one or two back and become stronger.”

Lambert played down the chances of former loanee Will Keane coming into his thoughts: “Will did really well and got a really bad injury with his hamstring.

“I don't know what he's been doing training-wise, or if he's been training with a team or individually, you can't compare training individually to a team, it's impossible because you'll never get the fitness back.

“So, even if we were to sign Will Keane the number of weeks it would take him to get up to speed could easily be into September, eight or nine games. So the likelihood would be no.”

He dismissed the suggestion that he might not have sold Ellis Harrison if he’d known there would be a struggle to bring in additions.

“Ellis had to go, that was important for Ellis, and I don't want to keep someone here that wants to go or finds themselves down the pecking order, whatever it is you don't want that to happen,” he said.

“[James] Norwood’s come in and been unbelievable for us, [Kayden] Jackson’s playing well, Idris [El Mizouni] is stepping up to the plate, so there are options, but we still need a little bit of help there.”

Would Harrison have been the third choice striker if he’d remained at the club? “No, because everybody starts on a clean slate at the start of the season.

“It’s who performs in the pre-season games and you think, 'He's playing well, we can go with him,' so everybody would have been an equal.”

He says he’s not seen anything of the £450,000 from Harrison’s sale to Portsmouth with much of it having gone to his former club Bristol Rovers.

“Ellis Harrison money went back to Bristol Rovers,” he said. “How much of it? All of it. So there’s no money that’s come in.”

Asked how that worked, he added: “The sell-on thing or whatever it is, it goes back, it doesn't come in here. If he came in here then I’m pretty sure I’d have spent it. Have you seen me buy anybody?”

The Blues have also received significant sell-ons from Matt Clarke’s switch from Portsmouth to Brighton and Tyrone Mings’s move from AFC Bournemouth to Aston Villa, while they could land another windfall of around £1 million with Adam Webster expected to join the Seagulls from Bristol City for a fee in excess of £20 million and another £325,000 with Kieffer Moore expected to join Wigan from Barnsley for £4 million.

“Mings, Clarke, maybe Webster, we haven’t bought one player,” the Blues boss continued. “I don’t know if the money has come in, nobody has told me it has come in. I don’t know.”

He added: “Whatever way those deals were structured before I came in, whenever the money comes in, it could be three years’ time down the line, four years down the line, it could be now, I don’t know.

"But you haven’t seen one player I’ve bought, I’ve not bought a player.”

However, having said in the past that he was initially reticent about taking the job due to his previous Norwich City connections, he says he has no regrets.

“No, I wouldn’t have changed for the world to be in front of the support," he added.

"The support’s been brilliant. The feeling towards us as staff since we came in, I think it's been unrivalled, I think that’s been apparent.

“I would never change the support for all the money in the world because they’ve been brilliant with me.

“Frustration at the way that things probably don’t get done as quick as the way [I would like], but that’s football. But it’s certainly a little bit different but the support I wouldn’t change.”

Meanwhile, we understand claims in the Turkish media claiming Trabzonspor are trying to sign Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski on a permanent basis despite his loan move to Millwall having been completed earlier in the week are wide of the mark.

Photo: TWTD

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afrodids added 11:38 - Aug 2
Groundhog day!

stopmoaning added 11:40 - Aug 2
Not a happy man! Evans has to make a sign now, buy a player for a significant fee.

StringerBell added 11:41 - Aug 2
'It's the way the club's [been] run [down]' - there, fixed it for you Paul. That's what you really meant.

PortmanTerrorist added 11:42 - Aug 2
Body language, tone of response, message he was relaying....none of it good.

Does not have the demeanour of someone who will stick around if we make a bad start and gets no more support from ME......and who can blame him. Team, those that are fit, will need to step up, starting tomorrow, to maybe avoid things coming to a head. Perhaps it is a little mind game to get the lads sharper.....but doubt it. ME has clearly let him and the Club down (again) and he wants us to know it!

Gforce added 11:47 - Aug 2
We've got two hopes of promotion with the current defence and only one decent striker.
We could be stuck in this league for many years,I'm sad to say.

StokeHigh97 added 11:48 - Aug 2
Any optimism for a New Season has evaporated during this press conference I did wonder at 1 point if he was going to walk out as he is clearly so frustrated at lack of signings & squad depth interesting as Marcus Evans is at the club I was told today he can't have enjoyed Lamberts comments but I'm afraid Lambert is fully justified in his criticism to go into a new season so short of players is not good enough especially as it happened last season when Hurst didn't have defensive cover at Centre Half against Blackburn: I can only see this going 1 way if no signings by end of the month & poor start I can see Lambert leaving: we all know Evans needs to sell up but who's out there wanting to invest we can only hope there is someone otherwise we're going to be a league 1 club or lower for some time: I honestly thought signing Norwood early was a sign of intendbut Evans has glued the wallet shut: it was the most depressing pre-season press conference I've ever seen & I hate to think what he would say if we can't sign Wilson in time for Burton! DISAPPOINTING

mow_the_lawn added 11:48 - Aug 2
Get he’s massively frustrated but he knew and knows how the finances worked when he took the role and how it is now we’re in league one. If we have to sell Dozzell for example for a few million to raise money for an aged right back and centre half, I’d rather stick with what we’ve got now to start the season. We just need a month or two to get our short term injured back.

Essexnblue added 11:48 - Aug 2
That was probably the most negative speech or news conference I have ever seen at ITFC
There is obviously a failing between O'Neiil, Evans and the management team.
If we get beat tomorrow, its possible that we may be looking for a new manager next week.
He lightened up a bit towards the end but is clearly unhappy with the lack of investment or action on that front.

BlueBlood90 added 11:50 - Aug 2
He's clearly not happy and rightfully so. The way Evans runs this club is nothing short of appalling. I can see PL leaving the club if his transfer targets are still being ignored by the end of the deadline.

Orraman added 11:51 - Aug 2
This gives the impression that all is not well behind the scenes. Listening to this was about as negative as reading most of the posts on this site. It may be a ploy on the part of PL - time will tell. I am however still looking forward to the new season and, ever the optimist, I will continue to believe we will go up. Every true fan, apart from the obvious moaners who post on here, should be approaching the new season with positive anticipation. COYB

Tractorboy1985 added 11:55 - Aug 2
And there we have it ladies and gentlemen... our hopeless spineless faceless owner has once again let down a manager! He has destroyed this club.. I was hopeful after the Norwood signing who I believe will be a terrific signing but we need more.. a lot MORE! Some of our own are clearly not good enough to compete in a competitive League 1 and lambert knows it! Screamed for help since May but once again the worst owner in English football... yes he’s worse than Mike Ashley has failed AGAIN! A season ticket holder years ago and a proud one I decided to renew as all us fans need to pull together in the toughest times (if we’re down or if we’re up) and I’ll be there next Saturday cheering on the lads with everything I’ve got but I simply detest what Marcus Evans has done to this club! #EVANSOUT

Littleun added 11:55 - Aug 2
Maybe he's just not a morning person?!?! 😂 Let's just hope the young lads come on this season, looks like they might get plenty of opportunity. COYB

bushhillblue added 11:56 - Aug 2
Pl has done a great pr performance at ipswich and i no hes had no money etc but is he really. That good. As a football. Manager. His past records. Aren't. Great scum exected do we play any better. Any system. Any idea dont drop players some of his signins amaze me injury. Prone journey. Men at best i think hes laying. The groudwork for an early exit. If things. Don't. Start well please prove me wrong ill be there Saturday hoping

TheHound added 11:56 - Aug 2
Bloody hell not what you want to see the day before the season starts......

Nobbysnuts added 11:58 - Aug 2
He's not happy. His body language says it all and who can blame him. No backing at all. Its must be so frustrating.

MichaelRockyLavelle added 11:58 - Aug 2
It's infuriating that the only two managers Evans has properly backed financially, have been the worst two managers of his reign.
Keane spent millions on wash ups & might have beens
Hurst spunked loads on lower league players

Yet McCarthy was forced to play with pennies, and now Lambert isn't even getting that.

Pathetically short sighted financial management from Evans. It's genuinely surprising he actually has a successful business in anything.

Lightningboy added 11:58 - Aug 2
Very sobering interview on the eve of what could/should be a bright new dawn for our club.

Marcus Evans has been a frickin disaster for our club since day 1..the lack of investment in a club of our size is nothing short of a disgrace..I don’t think anyone was expecting or wanting us to spend 3 or 4 million this summer but you would’ve expected around 500 - 750k being made available for 2 or 3 signings that could be the difference between promotion or toying with another relegation.

I hope Lambert doesn’t walk because god help us if he does.

Our owner is an embarrassment.

Some things never change.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 12:01 - Aug 2
Proof will be how we start the season. Do well and hopefully hit the ground running, we will be ok. However, based on this press conference, a lot could change very quickly if we start badly.

beornioblue added 12:02 - Aug 2
we will lose Lambert next due to Evans ownership

we should still have enough to get out of L1 but all the big talk to get the season tickets sold has basically been a complete f$£king lie!!

PL asked for 3 permanent signings and has got next to nothing apart from Norwood

utter utter Joke

I will still be there but the optimism wont be at all ....what a mess

runningout added 12:02 - Aug 2
if it’s a ploy from PL, it’s a good one. Not exactly filling myself with confidence. Looks like worth putting your money on Burton tomorrow. The injuries tell a very sad story.... if I’m wrong there are players who don’t deserve to be at ITFC in terms of attitude. What would Mr Bobby Robson think of the wasters

Tractorboy1985 added 12:04 - Aug 2
I could just about stomach going down thinking we would rebuild and breed some of the better youngsters but we need a TEAM to rebuild.. NOT short term signings or loans! He’s not learnt from previous mistakes! Quick fixes all the bl00dy time!! Hopefully butcher has taken this job in China to try and persuade a wealthy businessman to take us over! We start badly and I can see it turning very toxic! I hope I’m wrong I really do but how anyone can be optimistic after reading what lambert has said?

DJ27 added 12:05 - Aug 2
This is depressing.

MichaelRockyLavelle added 12:05 - Aug 2
Arguably the two most important signings of the close season haven't been filled.
An experienced left footed CB to balance the defense (finally replacing Berra & Smith)
And a large target man striker (finally replacing Daryl Murphy)

Yes we needed a poacher and a left footed winger/midfielder

But to not have those two key positions filled for a season in League 1 is utter madness
We should have gone for Tom Eaves unrelentingly and Tilt

Suffolkboy added 12:07 - Aug 2
Yes, we do need to be positive ; but what's very disturbing is the apparent lack of commitment from ME , no public appearance , no public re- affirmation of his intent or understanding AND little evidence at all that he understands , or wants to understand , how much he needs to be involved .Equally , and it may be just his style , there’s little evidence of proper man management ,with PL left to field the questioning and not given the weapons to defend the position .Woe are we !
Step up Mr Evans , tell us what is and what is not possible ; being a mushroom is horrible for any supporter !

runningout added 12:08 - Aug 2
Wrong and clueless people at our club doing or seems to be NOT doing the transfer dealing. League 2 here we come. “Not a joke”

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