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Lambert: Everybody at the Club is Suffering
Wednesday, 4th Mar 2020 00:38

Boss Paul Lambert admitted everyone at Town is suffering after the Blues fell to a dismal 1-0 home defeat to Fleetwood at a late press conference having spoken to his players at length in the dressing room after the match.

Sub Ched Evans netted the only goal of the match five minutes before half-time with the Blues rarely looking like getting back on terms as the Portman Road crowd turn hostile towards Lambert and owner Marcus Evans with Town’s promotion ambitions now looking in tatters.

“Everybody’s suffering, without a doubt everybody’s suffering, the whole football club, supporters, players, staff. Everybody’s suffering, press guys because the club’s not winning,” Lambert said.

“The first half, I don’t think was good enough. The second half was better, we had a few chances to get a goal back, but it never happened.

“They controlled the game in the first half, I don’t think we penetrated enough in the first half, so we changed it in the second.

“We lost our whole midfield from Saturday due to injury and suspension, which didn’t help us. Young Brett [McGavin] had to come in and did well, he was drafted in this morning.

“But the club, we have to win games, the expectancy level is huge on us, and we’re finding that hard to deal with.”

Lambert had said it was a must-win game and with nine games left he knows time is running out for the Blues.

“We have to win now. We have to win most of the games, we have to win to give us any sort of chance to get in that play-off,” he conceded.

“But you never quit, you never give in, you’ve always got to get that feeling, when adversity hits you you have to come through it.

“They might not feel like it at the minute but when they do come through it they’ll be better players for it, especially the younger guys. Even the older guys, they’ve taken a helluva lot of responsibility on their shoulders.

“Because the weight [of the pressure] to win a title is totally different from just trying to stay in another league. The difference between going to win something and having to try and win something is totally different from mid-table.”

Lambert and the squad were roundly booed at the end when they walked to salute the Sir Bobby Robson Stand but regardless of the reception the Blues boss believes it was important for his players to acknowledge the supporters.

“Even though they weren’t having it, they have to go and appreciate the support,” he continued. “We have to appreciate the support. As I said before, you have to appreciate the support, the support comes in its numbers to win, you have to take it.

“As I said to the lads, ‘Take it, what’s happening at the minute, and come through it. As long as you never, ever quit, that is the most important thing. Don’t quit, because you’ll come through it’. Whenever that is that they come through it, one month, two months, three months, four years, five years. If you come through it, you’re a better player for it.”

Regarding the crowd reaction, he added: “It’s not the first time I’ve ever had that in my life. From a footballer’s point of view, I’ve played for massive clubs where your life, not just the football, your life was under scrutiny.

“The pressure at the clubs I’ve played with was astronomical, your life was under scrutiny, not just on the football pitch. For me as a person, I can handle nearly most things.”

But he admits his players aren’t as used to it: “They’re not, you’re 100 per cent right. For some of them it’s the first time it’s happened to them. The first time they’ve experienced this suffering and what it’s like.

“But when you do come through it you’ll be 100 times a better player because you’ll know what to expect when you don’t perform, especially when you’re at a big club.

“And you’re right what you’re saying, it’s the first time of asking for some of those guys. When you’re going for a title or you’re expected to win a title, it doesn’t matter what league you’re in, the pressure is totally different from staying in a league. Totally different.

“Survival is different, sitting in mid-table is totally different but when you’re asked to go and win a title or promotion, it’s a totally different thing, especially if you’ve not experienced it before and if you’ve not been able to handle it before. It’s a totally different make-up.

“And with a fanbase that’s big, you have to get a mindset that’s strong, a strong mentality, be strong-willed through adversity, through good times, even when you do well and you get the praise, let it go, you get criticised, let it go.

“Never ever dwell on it because if you keep on dwelling on things good or bad, if you dwell on things that are good, you might think you’ve arrived. If you dwell on things when you’re bad, it takes you under.

“We’ve got young guys in there who are experiencing for the first time, older guys experiencing it for the first time. So, it’s totally, totally, totally different.”

He says players learn through adversity: “You have to. That’s what makes you as a footballer, that’s what makes you as a person. When you come through these sorts of thing, it does make you better, because I’ve been through it.

“I’ve been through it as a player, I’ve been through it as a manager. One thing you never do is give in, you’ve still got to keep going.”

Town’s form has seen them win just four of their last 24 in all competitions over 90 minutes, a record which Lambert accepts is far from good enough.

“Absolutely, but you asked me that last week, so it’s exactly the same answer I’ll give you,” he reflected. “It’s not good enough that, for the football club. It’s not good enough for the football club to get relegated from the Championship. That wasn’t good enough.

“It wasn’t good enough for the football club to get relegated but that’s where it is and you can’t change that. The club should be 100 times better than it is at this moment, without a doubt.”

Asked how big a failure it would be not to make the top six, he added: “It’s huge but, as I said before, even at the start of the season we never had a divine right to say we were going to bounce back up. All I said was that we’d give it a right good go and that it would be really, really tough.

“The guys haven’t experienced this type of football before a lot of them. The guys are young.

“The level of expectancy is huge. The only way to deal with that is through experience. They have to experience what they’re going through because it’s not just going to be given to them. They have to experience it.

“But everybody suffers with it. And when you do suffer with it and you do turn the tide, then don’t forget what the feeling’s like because it’s always round the corner.”

Will Keane said on Monday that the players were letting Lambert down, does he believe the players are playing for him at present?

“I think you’re looking for unbelievable negativity with it all,” the Town boss responded. “All I can say is the guys give me everything in training, they do everything I can ever ask of them.

“When they go over the white line they have to go and play. One thing I’ll never do is chastise the players because I know how hard the game is.

“The guys are giving everything they’ve got, they’re busting a gut to try and turn it around. But, as I said, I’ll back them to the hilt, the guys, never chastise them. Yes, we don’t play well, we lose, but I’ll never, ever criticise them.”

At the end as they made their way from the Sir Bobby Robson Stand end back towards the tunnel, Lambert was consoling skipper Luke Chambers who looked distraught.

“Because Luke has been here for a long, long time and the young guys will feel it but so will those guys, the experienced guys, they’ll feel it as well,” Lambert explained.

“It’ll be a new thing for Luke as well, so it’s important that those guys don’t have the feeling just like the young guys because the experienced guys are going through the exact same thing the young guys are going through.

“You can see how disappointed they are, the older guys. We were without eight first team players injured and suspended today and Freddie and Bish just coming back as well and not quite ready to start two games but the two of them did well when they came on.

“But when you wipe out your midfield from Saturday, that’s a big chunk of your team. But we have to win games, I’m not disputing that at all.

“We haven’t performed. Two months ago we were in the top six, had never come out of it from the start. We were top at the end of January.

“Again, the expectance level and I knew this would happen, once guys started to see the finishing line and they get ramped up and ramped up, they have to handle that.

“This club will always have this, that’s not going to go away, it’s always going to have that, it’s always going to have a fanbase.

“As I said before, you have to take the criticism when it comes and you have to take the praise when it comes, but never get too carried away with either of them because the criticism does unbelievably hurt but what you do is you bag it up and once the tide turns, you have to throw it back and hopefully that’s what will happen.”

Does he feel he’s capable of turning it around, the poor run of form having stretched back to November.

“Yes, I’ve been through adversity before,” he insisted. “As I’ve said, the guys give us everything. We have to start to win, that’s not rocket science, we have to start to win games.

“Fleetwood, that attack can score, it was a similar goal against Oxford on that side and we got caught.

“The second half was slightly better because we had chances and Freddie came on and gave us a little bit of impetus on that front. But you’re asking Freddie who has been out for just over a year, the lad hasn’t played many games.

“He did great at Blackpool but I couldn’t really risk him to go again tonight but 45 minutes will have done him the world of good.”

Regarding Cole Skuse and Emyr Huws’s absences and their chances of being fit for Saturday, he said: “Cole was a strange one because we never knew until after the game, and he never knew until after the game that he had a gash in his shin and needed stitches in it, so we couldn’t take the risk with that in case it opened up and got an infection.

“Emyr was right out of the blue this morning with his toe. He went for an x-ray this morning with his toe, so that was a major blow as well. And we have Flynn suspended.

“That was the whole midfield from Saturday, so hopefully we’ll get one or two back on Saturday.

“Kane Vincent-Young’s not too far away, same with Danny Rowe but they’ve been out for a long, long time.

“The bonus is Freddie and Bish coming back and getting more game time. Is that too little, too late? I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see how those guys come through.”

Lambert was asked if he’d seen owner Marcus Evans after the match: “I saw him before the game. I didn’t see him after it. I very rarely see him afterwards because he leaves early or he’s with people but I always speak to him after [matches later on]. I’ll speak to him later tonight or tomorrow, which I always do.”

Asked about the chants and Blue Action banners bearing the words unambitious, underfunded, underachieving and unacceptable in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, Lambert said: “I don’t like seeing things like that to anybody, I don’t think it’s conducive to help everybody, it’s not nice.

“As I said before, if Marcus Evans wasn’t here and there was nobody going to take the club on, where does the club go? What actually happens to it? Same as Bury maybe? I don’t know. Maybe.

“He’s been here 12 years and I don’t know what level he’s put in. One hundred million? I don’t know. People say you don’t own a football club but that’s not the answer.

“As I say, everybody suffers. One guy is to blame or this guy’s to blame, through the years there’s not one blame attached to anybody, this happens, [at] football clubs, it happens.

“As I said before, Sheffield United were in this division for five years, Nottingham Forest have been in it, Leeds United have been in it, Southampton. And some of them it wasn’t the first time of asking, it can take time but you have to take the hit when you’re in it.

“But the thing is that you have to stick everything together and you have to get recruitment and everything right to bounce back up.

“The lads need a little bit of help, there’s no two ways about it, they need a little bit of help.”

Photo: TWTD

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SingBlue added 00:48 - Mar 4
I really felt for McGavin tonight there is no way he should've been out there at the start. To soak up pressure in a must win game you pick your best available experienced 11, if they need subbing after 60 mins or so fair enough but you start with them. This club has spiralled out of control from the top down. Yes we need Evans to underpin the club but it's so fragile we are without footings and it's about to collapse. Lamberts job is now untenable and the faceless owner has not got a clue. What I saw tonight was horrific, all the banners at the ground and bickering on here is of no consequence....we are dead.

shakytown added 00:54 - Mar 4
Tick Tock.

timmy2guns added 00:56 - Mar 4
“Survival is different, sitting in mid-table is totally different but when you're asked to go and win a title or promotion, it's a totally different thing, especially if you've not experienced it before and if you've not been able to handle it before. It's a totally different make-up.

This for me is the saddest part of the whole Post match interview. Don't get me wrong I'm under no illusions as to where we are, but it just goes to show that the club hierarchy, management and players settled for mid table and survival in the championship and the PR machine sold something quite different with us all before last season just hoping we might see some improvement to et back to those playoff runs in the championship. Such regression! Another poster on the other thread is right Evans isn't going anywhere bar a miracle, but the management and players can change so all we can hope for is that he realises this and puts the proper infrastructure around this club to see it actually start progressing again... it's mathematically possible but where is this motivation and streak going to come from...?

Blue_In_Boston added 01:12 - Mar 4
Regardless of the Evans debate, where would we be without him, underfunding etc. The buck stops with the manager, we are still better funded than at least half of those above us. Team selection, rotation, choosing not to play due to international call ups when we were on a roll. All Lamberts doing. Get Warnock in, he makes teams better than the sum of their parts.

Woodbridgian added 01:38 - Mar 4
Everybody's hurting, I bet you can't believe your luck. Grossly underperforming and granted a new 5 year contract.Excuse after excuse YOU are to blame for these clueless performances and if you had a shred of decency you'd walk away...

warwickblue added 01:52 - Mar 4
Lambert's comments merely confirm what McGoldrick said on his departure, and several others have hinted at, which is that mid-table survival in the Championship was all the club ever aspired to under MM.... and in the absence of any other form of motivation, mid-table is all that we can hope for now. The club simply doesn't have a 'winning' mentality.

marco5113 added 02:39 - Mar 4
Personally i think creating a losing mentality in youngsters could damage their confidence and enjoyment of the game. this nonsense of building character even in older players is nonsense. Lambert comments we should have a mentality of never quit, does he not realise the team gave up 2 months ago. A must win game i play attacking football, as i have all my career... yawn. Oh lets play 1 out of form striker upfront on his own who rarely scores? Injuries? Teddy Bishop, Dobra, Wolfenden, Sears all on the bench, so he plays an inexperienced midfielder to sort out and lift a team bereft of confidence. Get Real the season is over.

SuffolkBlue11 added 02:50 - Mar 4
I don't like to comment much because I'm not a football manager and I am not qualified to say anything. But lambert is becoming a big silly
Woolfy Wilson Chambers
KVY huws downes dozzell Garbutt

Thank you

Sm00411 added 03:11 - Mar 4
Losing isn't the worst part, the worst part is Lambert not understanding why we are losing.

"We played well, we were unlucky" is recycled in so many interviews. He just comes across as defeated and hoping that playing the same way will generate a win next week. Its not inspiring.

Also, why are we still sticking with this formation? At the start of the season we played 442 a lot. I understand we're short on strikers right now but we could even try a 433 with Garbutt and Dobra on the wings.

clint_eastwood added 03:13 - Mar 4
You know what,.....and I can't believe I'm saying this, but sometimes I feel like I'd rather have Mick McCarthy back in charge with the team playing pathetic hoof ball in the Championship.

lightingblue added 03:30 - Mar 4
Only been to 1 game over the last 4 seasons. Won't be going for a couple more at this rate

Karlosfandangal added 05:33 - Mar 4
McCarthy was a manager who kept the team in the Championship. He had to go as it became very toxic between him and the fans, plus terrible football and the club was going no where.

We get a manager who had no experience in the Championship and gave him money to build a team He then sold our whole strike force and replaced the team with Div 2 players. We then get rid of him and put in a manager who has tried to get the club back to the good old days with a team of div 2 players

The team we have now is a side bar a few who got relegated and play with no sole so why do we expect the club to go back up. Most of the younger players are playing their first season really.
Money needs to be spent on players like KVY and Norwood type players and let the rest go.
Keane Jackson Chambers Skuse Judge Kenlock Doiceian.

The club need to start again.

tractorboy2421 added 06:07 - Mar 4
"I don't like seeing things like that to anybody, I don't think it's conducive to help everybody, it's not nice."

Tuff s##t you clown, you (yes you) you've caused the signs to go up, with your clueless style of management. We have been patient & still turn out in our thousands.. but there comes a time when enough is enough. All this is down to an idiot in charge

Swailsey added 06:17 - Mar 4
Club out of get our.

cat added 06:39 - Mar 4
Yep the whole club is suffering and it's mostly down to one man, our weak Manager. Last nights selection policy was simply baffling, so IMO lambert should simply go away. Put Butcher is charge for remainder of season, whatever the results, which in all honesty are pretty irrelevant now, least he will put some pride and some fight in the team and then recruit a new manager in the summer. We all know this is very unlikely but after last nights shameful performance, unfortunately toxic times are here again.

jdtractor96 added 06:43 - Mar 4
Sadness is the overriding emotion for me. What a sorry state of affairs this is. I live a couple of hours away and play football on Saturdays, so don't attend many matches at all - only 2 this season plus the pre season tournament in Germany. Match highlights and the occasional midweek ifollow viewing only shows you so much. Huge, huge credit to all you fans that attend week in week out, this must be devastating for you guys. I've supported Lambert from day one and will continue to do so but, sadly, it now seems as though he's lost the majority of the fan base. This is not Lambert's fault. In his defence, once again this season we've had rotten ‘luck' with injuries to key players - KVY, Norwood. On paper we have some good players but, the same as Lambert said when he first took the job, I still think we are massively unbalanced and this still isn't HIS squad - with his hands tied there's only so much he can do. OK people will say ‘work with what you've got' but look at what he inherited!!! Lambert's recruitment, with the funds he's had to work with, has been brilliant. I wonder what the squad would look like if he had the luxury of spending a few million - KVY being his only transfer fee spent, which was still peanuts!
To summarise, last night, shamefully but I think fully justified, I joined the Evans out group on Facebook. I've always appreciated that he ‘loses' a lot of money each year by keeping Town running but for years now his decision making has baffled me - look at when we were top at Christmas under Mick and all we needed was a couple of players to get us over the line. Look at the summer of change when Paul Hurst was brought to the club - we sold and let go of our only assets at the time and tried replacing them with average players from league 1 and 2 who weren't even at the early stages of their careers where they could grow and develop. Nsiala, Donacien, Nolan and Jackson - how many of those would have even made the bench when Mick took us to the playoffs?! How many will we sell for a profit?! Look at this January - right in the promotion mix, injuries to key players, no investment again. Years of underspending under Mick and the poor recruitment of Evans & Hurst in summer of 2018 has got us to where we are now. Evans is a billionaire, one of the richest blokes in the UK for f**k sake. If he's ambitious about ITFC then why hasn't he thrown a couple of million more at it each summer to improve the playing squad? I'm sick to death of this man. #EvansOut

jdtractor96 added 06:45 - Mar 4
Stop blaming the manager! Lambert is not the problem here.

Saxonblue74 added 06:51 - Mar 4
He's even beginning to contradict his own decisions now! He really has lost the plot. I am not usually a big advocate of managerial changes, but I think the prompt sacking of Hurst was the right thing to do and Lambert should be next. How can he patronize us by even attempting to justify anything about his team selection, tactics and the evenings "performance"? How dare he claim that "the guys give us everything"? And now he's saying we must start winning games?! Prior to Fleetwood he called that a "must win".......we didn't, so what now?

cooper442 added 07:02 - Mar 4
This man has spent to much time in Norfoik! "the lads will learn from it " Paul we didn't get beaten by Liverpool, United and City it was Oxford, Blackpool and Fleetwood!! ..get your coat and do the right thing!!!

Umros added 07:05 - Mar 4
Can anyone sum up the interview as I can't be bothered to read it. There is only one word needed really beginning in S and ending in T and it ain't Shoot!

therein61 added 07:05 - Mar 4
Clueless tactics, selection,motivation, oh well perhaps we will go up next year, unless this club is shaken up and the dead(excuse makers)wood is cleared out then that is me done i am not spending any more money on the club i love(since 58) which leaves me sad and angry

Len_Brennan added 07:08 - Mar 4
Remember the times, recently, when Lambert would throw a tantrum and it of nowhere suggest that he was going to leave or that ME was going to sack him & he had no problem with that at all? Of course it was when we weren't on a horrible run of results and sinking like a stone then, so he could indulge himself with the probability of getting support for the fans.
Now, when there is a clear justification (need) for him to go, with distraught fans calling for his departure, we see the reality of the man's integrity; no talk of walking away if that's what people want or how it wouldn't cost him a thought. Now that his managerial performance truely calls for it, all we hear is the he's a fighter, not a quitter etc.
He's a charlatan I'm afraid, a king with no clothes. I fell for it under the assumption that it was all coming together before Christmas & we would be settled into a well oiled unit, with injured players coming back to make promotion unstoppable in 2020. Unfortunately, while all our rivals were getting their s*** together during that time, we were getting confused & restricted by formations, unnecessary squad rotations & match cancellation due to the unavailability of reserve loanees. No cohesion, no creativity, no confidence in our goalscoring capabilities, except against kids from Bolton when they were on the brink of collapse - in truth a result which papered over the cracks & distorted our goals for column.
My concerns really took hold away to MK Dons; all the signs were there that night, but the great attendance, the fact we were winning games and that I had a bet on Nolan to score all masked the reality somewhat in the aftermath. Against a very poor side on a slump, we were battered in that second half, when they realised 'hey we have nothing to fear from this Big Club, let's go at them'; we could easily have lost that game & it wouldn't have flattered them. We had nothing in return when they took the game to us, and so it became a regular enough feature; this game of 2 halves performance. The massively damning judgement on Lambert is that he has learnt nothing since then, while pretty much all his rivals have improved their sides, mostly with far inferior squads.

BildestonBlue added 07:09 - Mar 4
Im not the biggest Joey Barton fan but I think his interview before the game regarding Fleetwoods turn in fortunes speaks volumes about the intent at our once thriving club!
In January they had no money to spend yet managed to trim the squad of 2 high earners and replace them with 4 up and coming players, that's ambition whilst working within your restrictions.... how can a club like Fleetwood be doing this and not us? where is the ambition and intent to improve and added to the club continuously?

The Evans/Lambert Regime has nothing about is, boring, lazy and completely ignorant as to what this club needs to move forward.

if relegation wasn't a catalyst last year then I really do despair, what needs to happen before they wake up? it neds to happen now before the club is damaged irreparably.

cromwellblue added 07:10 - Mar 4
We needed everyone to step up last night and take the risks needed to get a win.

Instead you wrap them up in cotton wool and give us the same lame excuses about time out.

You only get match fit by playing!!!


Dissboyitfc added 07:22 - Mar 4
how about leaving then, you have failed!

what about, whilst it is still mathematically possible, getting in someone like warnock and offer them a million pound bonus if they get us promoted. will cost us more to keep in this division!

Just a thought!

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