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Lambert: Whoever You Are You've Got to Earn the Right
Friday, 14th Feb 2020 12:33

Town boss Paul Lambert reiterated that the Blues have no divine right to finish in League One’s top two this season just because of the size and history of the club in a sometimes tetchy exchange during his morning press conference ahead of the Burton Albion match.

Earlier in the season when Town in form and at the top of the table, various players talked confidently about finishing in the top two. While that was understandable, Lambert was asked whether he fely uncomfortable with that? That that needed to be dampened down?

“Players will [do that] because the experience isn’t there yet, it’s not there with a lot of them,” he said.

“Experience tells you how to keep a lid on it, and the guys have the belief that they were going to finish one, two or in the play-offs or whatever it is and that’s always got to be there, you’ve got to have that belief.

“Whether you want to say it publicly is another matter, or you keep it to yourself. But that comes from experience of handling a situation.”

Questioned further on whether the players were right to believe they should be finishing in the top two given that the club has one of the top wage bills in the division, Lambert responded: “Why? Who’s told you that, that’s nonsense. Nonsense, absolute nonsense you’re talking. Justify that. Why do you say the highest wage bill?”

Is it not one of the highest wage bills? “But how do you know that, tell me the stats. That’s a really poor question that. You can’t compare Ipswich Town’s wages with somebody else, that’s unfair on any other team whatsoever.

“The size of the club you can definitely compare. The size of the club, of Ipswich Town and what happened in the past here, unbelievable this football club. Now and then great, here and now, it’s totally different, it’s a totally different scenario.

“You can’t compare salaries, that’s unfair on any club in this whole division. You can compare the size of the club, 20,000 people, the history gone by, absolutely huge, absolutely huge football club.

“The same with Sunderland, same with Sheffield United, same with Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United – they’ve all been in this division and took two or three years to get out of it.

“So, did they have a divine right? Absolutely they don’t have a divine right [to get promoted]. Everybody wants to beat us because of the size of the club, but I think it’s a really, really sad question that, to compare finances with other clubs, really sad.”

Most of the players in the squad were brought in to play in the Championship so it’s probably not a surprise that there is an expectation among the fans that the squad should be capable of winning automatic promotion.

“Go on, name the players,” Lambert responded. Cole Skuse, Emyr Huws, Kayden Jackson, all the players other than those you recruited in in the summer were brought in to play in the Championship.

“You’d have to ask Paul Hurst about the guys they brought in,” Lambert continued. “Kayden, Jon Nolan, Toto and all those guys did great for us in the Championship.

“Again, the goalscoring, we couldn’t get the goals in to actually give us the victories.

“But the guys gave me everything in their bodies to try and do really well, but we don’t have a divine right to win a league, you’ve got to earn it. But I think that’s a really poor question. There’s no substance to that.”

But he says he empathises with the current downbeat mood of the fanbase with the Blues currently out of the play-off places, given those expectations.

“Absolutely, because of the size of the club and name and badge,” he added. “It’s a huge football with a huge fanbase behind it, huge.

“But financial terms, you know the financial terms. Marcus Evans has come out and said where it’s at the football club. It’s totally different. You have to separate those two things.”

Asked whether the players are frustrated with the current run, knowing they should be capable of better, he said: “The results suggest that it’s been tough. The results at the start of the season were really, really good, and Saturday we did well, we lost to Peterborough and Rotherham and drew at Wimbledon.

“But that’s football, you’ve got to earn the right to get through, it doesn’t matter what club you’re at, you’ve got to earn the right.

“It doesn’t matter, wherever you are, what size of club you’re at, whether you’re at a top, top club and top of divisions, you’ve got to earn the right to win a game, it’s not going to come to you because of what name you are, that doesn’t work.”

Do they feel frustrated that fans are questioning their ability because of the position they’re in, most people would say it was one of the best squads in the division.

“Who says that? That’s your scenario. You’re talking absolute nonsense this morning! Have you been drinking this morning!”

A lot of people have looked at this squad and said it was one of the best in the division, I think you’ve said that, haven’t you?

“I’ve got my own beliefs with the guys, but they’ve still go to earn their right. I could turn around and say that phone’s better than that phone, but it doesn’t matter, you’ve got to earn the right, you’ve got to go and play the game and win games.

“The biggest thing that we’ve got is the expectancy level. If you ask Sunderland, if you ask Leeds United, if you ask any of the clubs, they will say exactly the same thing, they’d say the expectancy level, that’s the number one issue. You’ve got to handle the expectancy level at the football club because of the size of it.

“That’s the only thing that this club, with the name that it’s got and the history that it’s got behind it, has to live up to, and what happened in the past.”

Photo: TWTD

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Devereuxxx added 12:40 - Feb 14
Blimey, Paul Lambert sounds all over the place!

Comparing wage budgets seems to me a perfectly fair way to see if a club/squad is underperforming. Resource allocation is key at this level, and if we have the highest wage bill and are sitting in 7th - that indicates a problem.

And the whole 'earning the right thing' is a bit bizarre. Having expectations is no bad thing. Anyone with an ounce of football knowledge could look at our squad this season and say we've underachieved.

Radlett_blue added 12:48 - Feb 14
Lambert really is losing it. He has presided over a 3 month run of relegation form as we slide out of even the play off zone. However, he takes no responsibility, although clearly we do have one of the largest wage bills in the league. Either this squad isn't good enough for promotion or Lambert isn't getting the best out of them. The more this goes on, the more I wonder why Evans gave him a 5 year contract.

ernie added 12:50 - Feb 14
He has lost the plot completely

SouperJim added 13:02 - Feb 14
So after years of the wage bill being justification for us being unable to compete in the championship, now it's not fair justification for us expecting to be a top side in league one? Ridiculous aggressive response from Lambert, take a bit of bloody responsibility man!

Suffolkboy added 13:08 - Feb 14
Boy is it about time PL ‘ lost his cool ‘ with the sometimes moronic , repetitive ,trivial questions designed only to stir and promote controversy for the sake of the Media ( and therefore supposedly create yet more of the same for the sake of sentimental clap trap ) !
Can’t blame the Press etc , it’s what they get paid for but the readers ought to have the good sense to read it all sprinkled with a fair dose of salt !
This forum becomes too often a devastatingly negative scenario where participants almost vie to condemn the a Club , the players and each other !
Let’s be rational , well committed supporters !

SouperJim added 13:10 - Feb 14
Also, he keeps banging on about having to earn the right, like that's some kind of defence? You're not earning it Paul! Nowhere near! It doesn't matter what we're called, what the badge looks like or what we've done in the past, right now we are nowhere near good enough to get out of this division and the buck stop s with you. Rather than going off on one at journalists asking perfectly legitimate questions maybe you should instead acknowledge that we've been absolutely shocking of late and your own performance simply hasn't been good enough.

jonnysuave added 13:15 - Feb 14
He's so prickly and needs to both expect and learn how to deal with awkward questions when results on the pitch are as they are.

Fans, like the local press as well as all at the club want us to perform as well as they can. With the record in the last 20 games he has to have a positive response when his team and its organisation are questionned. Not let himself get his back up so easily.

It's often the beginning of the end these types of press conferences - In our case a protracted 5 year one.


ChrisFelix added 13:18 - Feb 14
You have the players, it's all about picking the right ones. Get the balance correct & dont play negative midfielders who have no chance of creating or scoring goals ll

r2d2 added 13:25 - Feb 14
5 m

Westy added 13:26 - Feb 14
You mean like Will Norris had earned the right when Holy had done nothing wrong.

Gcon added 13:28 - Feb 14
Listen to Suffolkboy - He talks sense. ^^^

r2d2 added 13:28 - Feb 14
5 more years of this nonsense. Lambert you have lost the plot. I dont want to hear what Leeds, Sheffield United, Notts Forest etc did or didnt do. Its about Town getting out of this awful sh!te division. Excuse after excuse. Just do one.

SouperJim added 13:39 - Feb 14
Suffolkboy you are like the violinist playing on while the titanic sinks. They are perfectly reasonable questions and Lambert's attempts to fight off justified criticism with overly aggressive responses show him up for what he is - a manager who has lost his way and is out of his depth.

But yeah, he played for Borussia Dortmund, so that's ok then. Five more years of this ineptitude? No thanks.

StringerBell added 13:52 - Feb 14
How about you showing you've earned the right to continue managing our football club PR Paul?

TheBoyBlue added 13:53 - Feb 14
In a sense, sitting in seventh isn't the issue. It's sitting in seventh after the start we had and how we've end up here and that is all down to Lambert's cockiness with squad rotation and unnecessary international breaks that broke up priceless momentum and confidence.

SamWhiteUK added 14:01 - Feb 14
Well let's start f*cking earning that right then Paul. Start playing f*cking football and scoring some goals, rather than this tippy-tappy, "shyte with no bite" that we saw vs Wimbledon.

We should have one of the strongest squads, but I and many others have no idea what we're actually trying to do once we get out on the pitch

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 14:23 - Feb 14
Suffolk boy - spot on

JewellintheTown added 14:26 - Feb 14
The press - Q: "Do they feel frustrated that fans are questioning their ability because of the position they’re in, most people would say it was one of the best squads in the division.

Lambert: “Who says that? That’s your scenario. You’re talking absolute nonsense this morning! Have you been drinking this morning!”"

I'm sure the players and fans will be motivated by that response.

Orraman added 14:39 - Feb 14
He forgot to say 'Dear oh dear'

ArnieM added 14:40 - Feb 14
Paul Lambert is clearly under pressure, whatever he says. We don’t know what clauses there are in his contract from Evans. What we do know is PL does have a history of “ walking”. If Town do fail t9 get promoted. ( every chance of that now tbh), I can see him doing just that. OR there maybe a get out clause for Evans if promotion is not secured. Which is why so many of you wetting yourselves about a 5 year contract is laughable. I’d have thought you would have understood , that Evans is not a near billionaire by accident . He’s no mug. In fact he’s very shrewd in the business world. We just don’t happen to like it at ITFC.

Whatever people feel about Paul Lambert , I don’t doubt for one minute that his intentions and desire about pulling Town ( Club and team as a whole), have always been sincere. But the keyboard warriors on social media will no doubt have a feeding frenzy if Town don’t go up. Many bigger Clubs than Town have failed in that ambition from League One , so why are we so different ?

dirtydingusmagee added 14:41 - Feb 14
''on Saturday we did well,we lost to Peterborough and Rotherham and drew with WIMBLEDON , LOL LOL ,certainly your expectations are not too high Lambert. Getting a bit prickly at interviews ,now where have I seen that before ? be telling fans to F O next. Massive support 20,000 ,yes most of whom were duped imo, and it wont be 20,000 next season in Lge1 . Whilst on about earning the right , shall we mention that 5 year contract …..thought not .

Bluroo added 14:48 - Feb 14
Lambert has only actually said about 6 things in 18 months and then just repeats them like a broken toy.

"I used to play for and manage really big clubs"
"Lets see where we are in May"
"You have to earn the right"
"The support is brilliant"
"Kids have to learn"
"You heard what Marcus said"

He's saying nothing. Nothing that explains why this team has been in relegation form for half a season.

Its beyond obvious that we have the wrong manager, the sixth wrong one in a row spanning 15 years. Until we get the right one in we're going nowhere but down.

Sm00411 added 14:58 - Feb 14
So it's okay to use the wage bill as an excuse when we're struggling in the Championship? But now he's suggesting it shouldn't have an impact when pur wage bill will be at the top end of League 1?! Paul, take a look at some of the stuff coming out of your mouth - it's not giving the fans any confidence.

Also, you can use Leeds/Sunderland to suit you all you like, but how about the more recent example of Rotherham who are showing how powderpuff this league really is!

SouperJim added 14:59 - Feb 14
ArnieM I fear you give Evans to much credit, let's not forget he's been so shrewd here that he flushed something approaching £100m down the toilet in the hands of Keane and Jewell. He has repeatedly let player contracts run down, failed to sell assets at their peak and either let them go cheaply far too soon or for peanuts far too late. He has largely been hands-off, installed ill equipped figureheads and mouthpieces to run the club, while giving far too much power to managers who have run this club into the dirt. I hesitate to trust him with anything anymore.

Lightningboy added 15:05 - Feb 14
Oooh..beware upsetting the Honeybadger.

You can’t go using the big wage bill = guaranteed success many premier league players are on £100k+ a week and are utter sh1te?..yeah,loads of ‘em...just because you throw money at someone doesn’t guarantee they’ll be any good.

Time for everyone to get back to the “Lambo” mentality from the beginning of the season from here on in & hope for the best...we’re all in this together.



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