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Lambert: Flynn's Welfare is Important
Friday, 4th Sep 2020 10:30

Town boss Paul Lambert says he took midfielder Flynn Downes “out of the firing line” ahead of Saturday’s season opener against Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup at Portman Road to give him time to “get his head clear” following the interest from Crystal Palace, despite having planned to field the 21-year-old against the Pirates.

Yesterday, Lambert revealed he had spoken to Downes and had given him a few days off, the academy product having been the subject of rebuffed offers of £1.2 million and £1.6 million from the Eagles before handing in a transfer request.

“What actually happened was that Flynn came to me yesterday and said he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play the game,” Lambert explained at a Zoom press conference this morning.

“I understood it, I took him out of the firing line because his welfare is important to me. If it was me, I’d have played, I think the way it was I’d have played because he was playing well in training and he was playing well in the pre-season games.

“That’s why I’d picked him for the team and then we had to change it, obviously. But I have to look at him in terms of welfare as well.

“He wasn’t in the right frame of mind, he came to me yesterday and told me the way he felt. I’ve got a duty to look after him as a person as well, that’s important.

“I get the thing about Crystal Palace making an offer and it didn’t match the club’s valuation.

“The lad’s only 21 and it’s the first time has happened to him but I [had him down] to play in the game because he was playing well in training and he was playing well in pre-season. But I’ve got a duty of care to him as well and I think that’s important for Flynn himself.

“I’ve given him a few days off to try and get his head clear and I’ll have a chat with him on Monday when he comes back in and until a club puts in an offer for Flynn or any player, then the club will value players how they see fit. The other thing is that Marcus doesn’t have to budge if he doesn’t really want to.”

Asked whether Downes has asked to leave, Lambert said: “I know the transfer request has been put in. But again, he’s 21 years of age. I don’t know who is advising him, I really don’t, but my duty of care to him is huge. Yes, he was playing yesterday, but he came up to me and he said to me he wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

“I did pick him for the team and it’s a hard one for him, but, as I said before, I had to look after him as well.

Town have previously been reported to be targeting around £4 million for Downes with further top-ups almost certainly included in any deal. Claims that Town want £8 million for the England U20 seem unlikely in the current market.

Asked about Downes’s price tag, Lambert said that at present Palace are miles from reaching it as things stand.

“I don’t know any valuation of players any more, just the way the game is,” he continued. “It’s a Premier League team and the money was nowhere near, absolutely nowhere near what I think Flynn could potentially be. Again, [owner] Marcus [Evans] doesn’t have to budge if he doesn’t want to.

“I feel a bit for Flynn because he’s stuck in the middle of the whole thing, I know what it’s like because I’ve been there and seen all those sorts of thing.

“But listen we’ve got a game tomorrow now, we prepare the best for the game. It’s the first competitive game in five months, we’ll try our best to try and get through the tie. We’ll pick a strong team that’s available to us to try and get through.”

Does he still see Downes being an Ipswich player when the window closes in October? “If somebody doesn’t come up with the figure for any player, as I said, the owner doesn’t have to budge, the owner is a wealthy, wealthy guy and he doesn’t have to budge if he feels the offer’s not there. That’s probably the best I can finish on that.”

Town have seven more matches before the transfer window closes, does he expect Downes to be involved in those games?

“Yes, until somebody meets the club’s valuation or puts in a realistic offer for any guy, for any player, Marcus doesn’t have to budge,” he insisted.

“Flynn wasn’t in the right frame of mind and he came to me. But I’d have played [him] because I picked him for the game on Saturday. But also his welfare for me is important.
“I also want players who want to play for the club as well, which is important. He’s a young guy and we have to monitor the situation and I’ll speak to him on Monday.”

If Palace were to reach the Blues valuation, would he hope that the cash raised would be made available to him to strengthen his squad? “You’d like to think so, that’s for sure. You sell any player, you’d like to think it comes back into the club. That’s for sure.

“But I understand the whole pandemic thing’s crashed into everything here and that’s a dialogue [which would have to take place], it’s a not a normal situation, this is certainly not normal.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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Ipswichbusiness added 10:35 - Sep 4
“I don’t know who is advising him ...”

Really? You don’t know who is advising one of your best players? Don’t you think that you should know that?

Have you tried asking him?

BeattiesBackPocket added 10:40 - Sep 4
How is having more time to yourself to dwell on a situation going to help instead of getting out there playing your ar$e off and letting would be buyers see you’re worth that money? He is only 21 and I hope the fans don’t give him stick for this but I just don’t get this decision 🤷‍♂️

Terry_Nutkins added 10:42 - Sep 4
When I read this, a manager looking after a a young guy's wellbeing and speaking to him privately and doing the the right thing I thought...well I think anyone would find it hard to find something to complain about here in any of this.

Then first message from Ipswichbusiness ....

Terry_Nutkins added 10:42 - Sep 4
...and the second....

Surco72 added 10:46 - Sep 4
Basically Lambert you wanted him to play and have been told not to let him in case he gets an injury and the deal falls through .
Club yet again releasing player of the year , continued lack of ambition . Squad is weaker than last season as happens year after year

SamWhiteUK added 10:47 - Sep 4
This interview says the same two things about 8 times each.

rabbit added 10:55 - Sep 4
You are quite right SamW; that in my opinion is because he was asked the same question by the interviewers, we really need a higher standard of interviewers in general in this Country I certainly don't restrict it to the local media!

Ipswichbusiness added 10:56 - Sep 4
Terry Nutkins, if I was a football manager ((I’m not) then I would expect to know everything about all my players. If he doesn’t know that then asking in the course of a conversation, “Who is advising you?” would seem to be a simple and obvious thing to do.

Also, if there is an issue then I would want to speak with the adviser myself.

Razor added 11:00 - Sep 4
Perhaps buy him a lollipop and a bag of sweeties?

Terry_Nutkins added 11:01 - Sep 4
Ioswichbusiness - Lambert knows exactly who is advising him. It's a loosely concealed dig at that person and basically read between the lines his opinion on that advice.

That's not in doubt.

WorcesterBlue added 11:14 - Sep 4
I've lost faith in Lambert (for on the pitch reasons) but I have to agree with Terry_Nutkins here - this is just good management of an unfortunate situation. Flynn has just got a new agent - that always means the player has had his head turned and is wanting to leave. Hopefully Flynn will have the maturity to see the positives if this doesn't come off and from what I hear from him I think he will. And maybe review his choice of agent, who like all the others in this - I use the term loosely - "profession" will be interested in his commission rather than the well-being and long term prospects of the player. For my part, Flynn should stay and be the lynchpin of a midfield with his mates Dozzell, Bishop and Huws and rip this division up playing football the Ipswich way. But maybe he already knows from Lambert that the likes of Nolan and Skuse are going to be starters and thinks, ????? to this I too have lost faith in the manager...

Ipswichbusiness added 11:15 - Sep 4
Terry Nutkins; if you’re right and if there really is an issue then having a public dig at the player’s adviser is unlikely to calm things down.

Michael101 added 11:33 - Sep 4
The main question is will be be here come oct15?? .don't think he will be but hope I'm wrong,the wife reckons I usually am.

Suffolkboy added 11:35 - Sep 4
A load of misconceived nonsense hoping everyone will swallow it and he’ll be briefly spared the close examination PL deserves .
I stick by yesterday’s post ; FD is big enough and old enough to be able to look after himself — he did and appointed a new agent !He is however still our player and does not deserve any special favours because he’s got himself into a situation he says he’s finding difficult to handle : grow up and get on with earning your crust ,honour your team mates by contributing to this seasons efforts ,which ,if you don’t understand , are starting and very important : give up the totally immature reaction and sulk ,stop playing negotiating games and be a real man !
As to PL and denial of knowledge of values and prices , unfortunately he appears ill equipped to either draw a line under the issue , OR construct a covering argument/ counterpoint .
Pretty watery pastel coloured pictures being touted for ‘sale ‘ to the unwary it seems .
I do hope this isn’t going to reflect PL’s wishy washy ,dodgy management style and approach this season .
We need strength and positivity ,optimism and hope - in the words of the song “ accentuate the positive , eliminate the negative and don’t mess with Mr In between “ .
Mr L this is a hard professional business , tough decisions every day ,not a home for the bewildered and softies .

dominiciawful added 11:55 - Sep 4
Clegg out

BlueSwede added 11:56 - Sep 4
I think PL knows all about it and also understand all who wants to know all. But totally understand if PL get tired of the questions and his decision to not share everything with the whole world.
And honestly, why should he?

Daleyitfc added 12:05 - Sep 4
Hopefully Downes has had his wages stopped too, for refusing to play.

Nobbysnuts added 12:34 - Sep 4
I wonder if flynn's mummy still wipes his bottom? 💩

BeattiesBackPocket added 12:37 - Sep 4
Terry Nutkins please tell me how this is a private matter when lambert has come out and told the press 😂😭
I work with people who suffer mental health and the worst thing they can do is be stuck on their own dwelling. This guy has a well paid job, he’s 21 so can vote, drink, drive, spend however many months out but still pick up his wages whilst there are people who have just been let go from their jobs recently worrying about how to pay rent, look after their families, being evicted but no let’s all feel sorry for Downes who is also old enough to pick his own agent may I say. Sorry but get out there and earn your money and get your move that way

JCBLUE added 12:57 - Sep 4
Not in the right frame of mind to play??!

Flynn should be told to grow up and honour his contract!!

JDAndCoke added 12:57 - Sep 4
I often find myself agreeing with you Terry Nutkins and am the same on this occasion.

I find it extremely frustrating when people hang on every word and take statements so literally. PL has been asked a lot of questions here about the situation and given us a rough idea of what's happening which is fair enough and more than we sometimes receive from the club. He's hardly going to disclose every detail and I think he's answered how most managers would choose to answer the question. Of course he knows who's advising Flynn, of course he knows how much Flynn is worth and what the club will accept and of course he knows whether the money would be re-invested but there are some things that need to be kept private within a deal.

Bert added 13:08 - Sep 4
There is constant repetition presumably because the questions are repeated. TWTD needs to reflect on how it interviews in the same way as Lambert needs to reflect on how he presents himself. As for Downes own mental health, only he knows how he feels so best to leave it at that. As to who is advising Downes, Lambert would not be expected to actually know the agent but Terry Nutkins is right in his assertion about reading between the lines. Lambert does have a duty of care whereas agents are there to maximise the value for their client.

Orraman added 13:31 - Sep 4
PL states 'If it was me, I'd play'. Yes he would because he was brought up in Glasgow which like any city in these days you had to be strong to survive. I just cannot believe how soft the population has become and it makes me think I am happy to be nearer the end of my life than the beginning ( although many years to go hopefully). We hear of safe spaces for snowflakes at school and universities, biblical students being told that before reading about the crucifixion they may be upset by some of the detail and nearly every TV programme except Peppa Pig has a warning that it contains scenes the viewer may find upsetting.
How long before the ITFC programme warns us that watching Town could lead to depression. I have absolutely no issue with people who have genuine concerns and anxieties and wish them well but I am so glad that the present population did not have to go to war as our parents and grandparents did or we would all be speaking German now.
So get on with it FD. There are many people in dire circumstances who can only dream the life of a footballer but what do you.....sulk

marco007 added 13:39 - Sep 4
aaah poor baby...wrap him up in cotton wool...and give him time off to negotiate a bumper pay deal!
Imagine any other industry where you go to your boss and say that I am thinking of leaving to advance myself and receive more money and the response is..."Go and take a few days off" Are us fans complete and utter mugs????

SheptonMalletBlue added 13:59 - Sep 4
Well done Lambert! Look after the players, sod the club!!!!!!

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