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Lambert: I Protected Randy Lerner at Villa For a Long Time, I Can't Do That Again
Wednesday, 17th Feb 2021 12:26

Boss Paul Lambert says he can’t repeat his Aston Villa experience where he feels he protected owner Randy Lerner at Town, adding that he believes the Blue Action members who took part in Monday’s training ground demonstration weren’t “true Ipswich fans”.

Under-fire Lambert spoke on talkSPORT regarding Monday’s protest which saw training suspended for 10 minutes after a flare led to some signage catching fire.

“It was what you can imagine, if you don’t get results, the pressure comes and it comes and it’s normal,” he said.

“The scenes at the training ground the other day, I don’t think it was true Ipswich fans, I think that’s one thing to say. I don’t think that’s the way it should have been dealt with or anything like that.

“We had a young team out last night, we were actually training against a younger team and it’s probably the first time they’ve probably seen things like that and were wondering what’s actually going on, what football is about.

“In a way it can be a good thing for them because they can see the pitfalls of football if things don’t go right for their own careers, they can see a lot of stuff there. But morally it was wrong what they did, but, as I say, I don’t class them as real Ipswich fans.”

Explaining further, he added: “We were training and we were doing shape work the day before the game. It was behind the goal and I didn’t really know about it until I could smell smoke and I thought somebody must be burning something here.

“And I turned around and I’ve seen the flags and the flares and these sorts of thing. It’s never nice, it doesn’t matter how old you are, but we had a lot of young players playing and it might have been their first time experiencing that.

“But, as I said before, I don’t class them as Ipswich fans. I thought it was wrong, what actually happened.”

Reflecting on how the season has progressed and having to use a lot of young players before Christmas, he said: “At one stage of the season we had 10 lads out injured and we were playing academy kids in there. I think that gets swept under the carpet because there were a lot of injuries to bigger players for us, and we found that tough.

“We came through that little period and we got them all back and then the pandemic, we had a few games missing [due to positive Covid tests] so we had to play catch-up.

“You have to adjust to it, I think that’s every manager’s challenge, you have to adjust to things like that. I don’t mind that, if a kid is good enough, you play them, but it’s such a big club that you need a bit of help.”

Asked what’s behind the disharmony at the club which goes back beyond his time as manager, he said: “I think there’s a lot of frustration. The great era with Terry Butcher, who works at the club, who has been great, John Wark, who has been great, Paul Mariner, who has been great. I met Thijssen and Muhren, guys like that. Alan Brazil I’ve spoken to. Great players, what they did for that club has been incredible.

“That was 40 years ago and they’ve got to move on with respect to the history of the club and you have to live up to it. You can’t get away from them because what those lads all achieved.

“But as a football club you have to have a clear plan where you’re going and what you’re doing and structure-wise.

“Marcus Evans has put an incredible amount of money into the football club. I understand that, it’s a hard, hard gig running a football club because of the amount of money they must put in is incredible.

“But you need an infrastructure where everybody at Ipswich Town has to get round a table and say ‘Where are we going here? What are we doing? What’s the infrastructure here?’. Because this needs to stop, this needs to stop.”

Quizzed on whether Evans is open to that, he added: “We have to have dialogue, we have to have a discussion. I’m not going to come here [and criticise him] because he’s always been good with me, he tells me how it is, we have dialogue. But the football club needs him to say what’s going to happen with the structure. I think that’s the way it should be.

“The big thing for me is I did the same at Aston Villa, protected Randy Lerner for a long, long time. It was like a lamb to a slaughter what was happening there.

“I can’t do that again, I can’t go through that again. There’s got to be a structure where everybody gets around a table.

“Everybody’s to blame, everybody, not one person where you can turn around and say you’re blaming that one or that one. Everybody has to look at themselves, look in the mirror and say where it went wrong. And I think that’s the big thing for Ipswich.”

He added: “I’ve not shied away from anything, even the clubs I played with, they were huge clubs with massive success, and the players I’ve played against, the countries I’ve played in and all those sorts of thing.

“I’ve seen what it’s like at the top, I’ve seen how those structures work in football clubs. I’ve taken people from Ipswich over to Dortmund to have a look at it to see how their story went, so it’s not as if I don’t know exactly where it’s fell from. You’re trying to put everything in place but you can only do it so far.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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ITFCsince67 added 12:32 - Feb 17
And they be the facts whether we like it or not.

TractorCam added 12:36 - Feb 17
"Not true fans" Strange, he was very keen on them when they produced a big banner with his face on.

Also nice of him to deflect the blame back to Evans, well done Simon Jordan for telling him to stop blaming everyone else.

cressi added 12:37 - Feb 17
Absolute rubbish Lambert
Two years down the line shape lol you are clueless 5 transfer windows excuse excuse excuse your job is to get the side to perform to their full ability you have the biggest squad in league one its everyone's fault but your own. It is time to leave NOW

DutchTractorboy added 12:38 - Feb 17
In other circumstances, I would have laughed out loud. Now I see him mentioning Dortmund again and I just cry.

Please leave.

deliasplums added 12:38 - Feb 17
This is becoming a farce. Evans, you gave him the contract, you terminate it.

Bazza8564 added 12:42 - Feb 17
This headline actually reads "Mr Evans, please sack me".

Here the clue. If there's something fundamentally wrong in a team game which is a 100% results business and you're picking the team, its probably you.


Timefliesbyintheblue added 12:44 - Feb 17
A lot of what he says is true, although he must take his share of the responsibility as well. We can all surmise what we think the issues really are, indeed I have my own views.
I would like to suggest, that as supporters we act with the decorum, manners, humility and decency that our club used to be respected for. Some of the derogatory language currently directed at those in charge of our club is making us a laughing stock. It is a level that I for one do not want to stoop to, however angry, frustrated and disappointed I feel.


wewerefamous added 12:46 - Feb 17
It’s taken some time to get to the point of admission that there are issues at the club (even though us fans have known it for years). At least the wound is exposed now and hopefully some major surgery can take place... but I fully expect the wound will become more infected before it is dealt with properly! Sad times ☹️

Bergholtblue added 12:46 - Feb 17
He played for Dortmund? He should have said.

BlueBlood90 added 12:49 - Feb 17
We're rapidly becoming a circus and Evans has to nip it in the bud TODAY.

I thought Jim White was a disgrace. He was only bothered about trying to stick up for his Scottish mate Lambert.

Fair play to Simon Jordan who saw straight through Lambert and called him out on it several times.

StringerBell added 12:52 - Feb 17
Lambert desperately trying to protect his 'brand' - same as last days of McCarthy. Strange how he is fine with the national media but hardly ever turns up to face the local guys.

Of course there is a deep deep malaise at the club - we all know that - but only one guy picks and motivates the team and decides on the tactics. With a squad of our quality any competent Manager would have that team in and around the top 6, not languishing in mid table in the third tier. He has presided over this with his appalling selection and choice of formation.

Just leave.

Bert added 12:52 - Feb 17
Lambert may well be right about the club in general and it is clear that Evans does not have a grip on things and has no leadership skills in the context of a football club. However, he is also deflecting attention away from his own shortcomings which have to be addressed. The club is now in crisis and a solution has to be found and found very quickly.

itfcserbia added 12:56 - Feb 17
It's obvious now that his and Evans' relationship has been broken for some time. He just wants to get back at Evans by making him sack Lambert and pay him out. Bloody obvious as well Evans has ruined the club, especially when you start connecting the dots from MM, Hurst' and PL comments. Probably even before that but who could remember...

TimmyH added 12:58 - Feb 17
“But you need an infrastructure where everybody at Ipswich Town has to get round a table and say ‘Where are we going here? What are we doing? What’s the infrastructure here?’. Because this needs to stop, this needs to stop.” - not again thanks! this just seems a rehash of a number of years ago with Evans 5 point plan that was soon forgotten about...feels like we're covering old ground.

The demise of this club has one significant factor and that's Evans...what has happened in the past 2 seasons of starting well only to fall away isn't to do with the infrastructure at the club but to do with management and staff. Lambert needs to go and Evans needs to start turning a new leaf if he really cares and needs to be more transparent.

WhittonBoy added 12:59 - Feb 17
Has anyone got a link to the whole show?

I hope Simon Jordan put him in his place!

itfcserbia added 12:59 - Feb 17
Probably the best thing PL could do for Town would be to expose Evans and the farce behind the curtains.

Carberry added 13:00 - Feb 17
Simon Jordan saw through this guff completely. Protecting the owner? That's just fantasy land. Always looking for excuses, it must have affected the youngsters when they were training and saw smoke and fire. They weren't the Under 11s were they? Unfortunately none of his experiences at big clubs has brought any success to Ipswich Town, that's the reality.

Dolphinblue added 13:00 - Feb 17
He is right of course and we know it, get rid of Lambert ok but another guy comes in and finds the same issues.......Wow we are in a mess and to just blame the current Manager is a mistake.....

Kropotkin123 added 13:00 - Feb 17
They are Ipswich fans, grow up

groundhog added 13:08 - Feb 17
last one out please turn of the floodlights.

DoseOfReality added 13:14 - Feb 17
Bullsh1t Lambert you are protecting the owner, if not speak up about how bad it really is and why..!!!

DifferentGravy added 13:17 - Feb 17
Just talking utter b*ll*cks.

Purely on the pitch......he has never taken responsibility....ever. Its one excuse after the other. Said results were as a consequence of too many injuries..... players come back and he replaces them with loanees.

Just seems to be trying to force Evans hand now.

With him in charge.....cant see us taking more than a point, maybe two from next three games......and thats our season over

Suffolkboy added 13:18 - Feb 17
Lots deserving attention — has been for too long now !
IF Marcus Evans cannot, or doesn’t want to get more involved regularly in the day to day operations of this part of his business , then the first thing he needs to do is to put in charge a Managing Director who will have a detailed but broad based job description ,given the appropriate authority and responsibility and able therefore to provide a higher level of outright leadership , establishing clarity on all round standards ,BUT also able to provide guidance and authoritative support quietly and firmly !

bluearmy4life added 13:19 - Feb 17
Evans that’s your invitation to pull the plug..... just get it done.

MonkeyAlan added 13:23 - Feb 17
How much longer can all this be allowed to go on? It's like an awful soap opera now. It just rumbles on. Evans is the catalyst. He needs to get off his @rse and sort out this mess for once and for all. Get a proper structure for the club in place man for God sake. And blo0dy well get a grip.

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