Lambert: I Don't See Football Returning as Soon as June
Friday, 10th Apr 2020 08:48
Town boss Paul Lambert says he’s sceptical that football will be able to return in June as the EFL currently plan with other big sporting events later in the year already having been postponed.
Yesterday, a letter from the EFL to clubs was leaked suggesting that their current intention is to get fixtures back under way in June behind closed doors with players provisionally set to return to training on May 16th
Football has been suspended since Friday 14th March and like the rest of the population, Lambert and his squad are currently spending their time at home.
“Like everybody else I’m staying in the house, you can’t do anything, can you?” Lambert said. “It’s a crime, it’s terrible what’s happening, really is terrible.”
He says the players haven’t been asked to do too much in terms of fitness while they’re away with Lambert’s bigger concern their mental well-being.
“Not really, we’ve had dialogue online with the lads just to make sure they’re alright mentally, I think that’s the biggest thing for me is their mental state, that they’re going to be OK because they’re confined to their houses, confined to their families,” he said.
“The fitness thing, they’ll do little bits themselves from what they’ve done in the past, but we can’t do anything with them really at all, we’ve just got to monitor them and make sure mentally they’re OK.
“We had a wee chat with some of them yesterday online, just a general chat to see how they’re getting on.
“They’re doing alright, the lads are doing OK. I’ve another little call with some of them this morning in their groups.
“They’re doing alright, and that’s the youngest kids as well, that’s important. People forget that the younger kids are in digs, which is hard going, very, very tough.”
As reported last week, Lambert has joined his squad and his coaches and the club’s off-field staff in ringing elderly pensioners to check how they’re getting on during the crisis.
“I’ve done them myself as well,” he said. “I think it was a great idea to phone some of the season ticket holders, the older generation.
“I’ve done it myself and some of the banter with them was pretty good actually, it was quite funny.
“I think that was important and it wasn’t anything to do with [selling] season tickets, nothing like that, it was just to see how they are, make sure they’re alright, the older generation.
“If the club can do anything it can to help the community [it will]. As I said when I first came in, it’s a one club town and it can pull together and times like this will definitely pull it together and I know Portman Road has been offered to the NHS, which I think is great.
“The training ground’s been open to the NHS for training practices if they want to use it. It pulls everybody together at a really hard time.”
Asked what football should do going forward, Lambert said he’s not convinced it can return as quickly as is presently hoped.
“This is new to everybody this, the thing that I get frustrated about is that there are more important things than sport as everybody knows, lives are more important than anything else.
“But if you’re talking about just a sporting aspect of the world, they keep on putting dates on it, so it’s the 30th April, then it’s the 16th May, I think it will go longer than that.
“I don’t see it. They’ve cancelled Wimbledon in July, they’ve cancelled The Open in July. How can you try and fit football in before those two massive events.
“I think it’s really frustrating when people keep setting dates and then it keeps getting moved and getting moved.
“I’d like to see the season finish because we’ve still got a really good chance [of making the play-offs], we’ll have everybody back fit. It’s a chance for everybody to get going again, but whether that’s going to take place over people’s lives, I’m not so sure. I think the have to sort what’s happening in the world, let alone anything else.”
He added: “I understand the financial ramifications of how it can work, especially the Premier League, they can lose so much money to Sky and BT. I get all that, but it affects everybody. It affects the Championship, it affects League One, it affects League Two, the National Leagues, the leagues below.
“It affects everybody and what I think is that if you do it for one league, you have to do it for everybody. I think it’s got to go right across the board, I don’t think there can be any disparity where we can start there, or start there, we get the season finished or don’t get the season finished, we start next season.
“It’s a knock-on effect. When do you start next season? When does it actually start? Do you get a break? Do you not get a break?
“How many subs can you use going back into this period, because when you get into pre-season we play two teams, we have 11 guys who start the first 45 minutes and 11 guys who come on for the next 45 minutes. It’s a really a difficult situation for the world of football.”
Lambert is disappointed for ITFC Women, whose season has already been declared null and void with them top of FAWNL Division One South East
“I think that’s the frustrating thing. Joe [Sheehan, manager] and Paige [Shorten, assistant] at the club did great there. But, as I said before, nobody’s encountered this before, not one person in the world has encountered this virus, it’s new to everybody.
“Somebody has to make a decision somewhere to say either ‘OK, we wait and it goes, then we play’ or they say ‘We don’t play’.
“I get everybody’s point of view and I try and look at it from every angle and you never really come up with the right answer because somebody somewhere’s not going to be happy with the decision that’s made.
“The financial ramifications are massive, they’re huge. As I say there’s no right answer and there’s not a wrong answer but I think if a decision is made everybody has to abide by it.
"Whether this season prolongs or it doesn’t prolong, there are so many hurdles you have to get over to get to a decision that most people are going to be happy with. And this is worldwide, it’s not just in Britain.”
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 278 bloggers
Here We Go by tractorboykent
For a club recently described as Britain’s unhappiest, it may seem odd that Town fans are suddenly awash with optimism now that the deal is done.
One of the Strongest Squads? by NormEmerges
I keep hearing that ITFC has one of the strongest squads in League One. It’s certainly true that we have one of the biggest squads, but strongest? I would assume ‘strongest’ to mean ‘includes higher quality players for this league’. What do the facts tell us?
Tractor Boy on a Mission by wadey
As some of you may be aware, we lost our little boy Tyler on 1st April 2012, aged just 15 months old. There was no cause declared and he just passed away in his sleep. Since then, I’ve tried to raise as much money for charity in memory of him.
Damned Lies and Football Statistics? by bluesman
Football is possibly the most observed sport of all time, and there is plenty of statistical information available in the public domain to make some informed observations about clubs and managers, and their performance over the years.
From Marcus's Side of the Fence by essexccc
Most of the thinking, including my own, around the possible sale of the club, has quite naturally focused on the possibilities from the club's and supporters' points of view.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]