Lambert: Have a Drink on Me
Friday, 9th Aug 2019 12:01
Town boss Paul Lambert has put cash behind the bar so the first 125 fans entering the FanZone on Saturday can have a drink on him as a thank-you for their support. “It's just a thanks really, a thanks from me because I've said before the support has been great for myself and the staff.”
Lambert praised the fans for their backing last season despite the Blues finishing bottom of the Championship and dropping into League One and they showed their support over the summer by taking season ticket sales near to the 12,500 mark. A crowd of around 23,500 is expected on Saturday.
The Town boss met with the Blue Action group again in the week ahead of Portman Road’s first game of the new campaign, as big a fixture as there’ll be in the division this season.
He added: “The supporters are unrivalled. As I’ve said before, without them you don’t have a game. The way they turn up in their numbers is incredible really.
“I saw it last season, the way they were. I had meetings with some of the guys who have been great, really, really good.
“There’s new fans coming to the stadium, I think it’s important. The Community Trust I think is huge, however demolished that needs their head read. I think it was an absolute disgrace that this happened to this area.
“If think if the football club does well then the town does well, it goes hand in hand. There are a lot of things slowly but surely getting better.
“As I said, a lot of new fans coming, a lot of younger fans coming, which is great because they’re the next generation of the club. You need them, long after I’m away, you need the bedrock of the support and what’s happened here has been unbelievable and I think the great thing about it is that they’re getting a reputation now, the Ipswich fans.
“Not just here, I’ve been in Germany in the last few weeks, the same thing, they see it themselves, the German people see it, what happened last year with being relegated and the support they had was incredible.
“I know how much the support means to the club, we had to find out why it did diminish and why there was a lack of an atmosphere in the stadium, what was going wrong with it.”
Asked what the fans told him, he added: “I won’t say it publicly what’s happened but the great thing was that I had a chat with the lads and found out. They probably didn’t really tell me much that I didn’t think was wrong myself.
“I’ve been in the game long enough to work out where it goes wrong. There’s got to be an interaction, there’s there’s got to be between the football club and the support, there’s got to be, that’s a must.
“And the way they’ve come back to us, or the way they’ve been, has been absolutely brilliant. The atmosphere at the stadium is absolutely brilliant.
“As I’ve said before, come and have a really good time. I wouldn’t want to go to any stadium and pay £30 and sit there on my backside and criticise somebody, I’d actually get a sore head around that, just criticising somebody, criticising somebody, I want to go there and have a great time whether I drink outside or whether I smoke outside, I want to get in the stadium and bounce around a bit and we have to give the supporters that.
“I was fortunate enough to play in a country which is renowned for atmospheres, so I’m pretty sure if I paid money I’d make sure I was going in there and having a right good time.
“And that’s what we’ve tried to say to the guys and girls that come, go and have a great time. And you go in the North Stand and, yeah, it’ll be great.”
Lambert says it can make a difference to players: “I’d rather have it than not. It’s brilliant. You get it going, you get it rocking, you run a bit faster, you go that extra yard. It’s amazing what an adrenaline rush does for you or a crowd does for you.
“That’s the biggest compliment I can give them that the atmosphere in the stadium now has turned right on its head. It’s great when you’re at home and you have that backing, it’s great.”
Lambert says he’ll play a brand of front foot, attacking football which will encourage fans to keep coming to Portman Road.
“Yes, that’s it and they come and have a great time themselves, whether that’s kids or parents or grandparents, it doesn’t matter what walk of life, just come and have a right good time and we’ll try and give you something that we can,” he continued.
“It mightn’t always work but let’s give it a go. Let’s give it a go and we go all guns blazing and, as I say, who dares wins really.”
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