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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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90z added 13:24 - Feb 17
Just go!

Paulc added 13:25 - Feb 17
If I was ME I'd square up to PL and wind him up so much he punches me and then sack him for gross misconduct so he doesn't have to pay him off - as this is clearly the PL agenda!

midastouch added 13:26 - Feb 17
Shambert doesn't class them as Ipswich fans? Really? He's even more deluded than I thought. I don't class Lambert as a manager. He's a fraud who's been getting away with failure here for far too long. As a lot of other posters have pointed out time and time again, what's he ever done since Norwich? Sweet FA is the simple answer!!!

And yes Evans is to blame too (his woeful ownership has seen one disappointment after another) but we'd still be higher up the league with a better manager. We should be in the top 6, that's the minimum requirement for this level.

jonbull88 added 13:34 - Feb 17
Don’t defend evans, best way to do that is to just GO!

heathen66 added 13:34 - Feb 17
Unfortunately there is no one at the club capable of doing the necessary 'due diligence' in selecting the next manager.
No one at the club really knows in what direction the club needs / wants to go.
I was watching the pre-match interviews with the Barnsley and Brentford managers this week, and they way they talk and the vision they have for playing football is a million miles from where we are, and how they approach games.
I would like us to to look at these clubs as templates instead of just getting someone Evans has 'heard of' so he must be good.
We need to look at a 2/3 year and 5 year plans.
That means the removing players that don't want to better themselves or cant better themselves, many of whom are out of contract at the end of this season.
Everyone needs to buy into this plan from top to bottom

Pencilpete added 13:40 - Feb 17
I totally get Lambert is not solely to blame for the mess the club is in BUT playing a team of youngsters and loanees was HIS choice he has Jackson, Nolan, Nuws, Nsiala to name a few who are not even involved in the 18 right now - he has experience he can turn to if he wants.

I get we are not Barcelona or PSG or even the might Dortmund but he should be doing ALOT better with this squad of players than he is.

Would a Nigel Pearson, Neil Warnock or Tony Pulis get a better tune out of them ? absolutely.

Murphys_Law added 13:45 - Feb 17
I’m afraid he can complain all he likes about the infrastructure but the fact remains that this squad properly coached and managed is more than capable of a serious challenge in this league. His management is inept and he’s run out of ideas. Evans must know it surely, but it begs the question who would actually want to come here now?

BseaBlue added 13:46 - Feb 17
He was happy to wear his Blue Action pin badge when enticing us all into his PR bullsh1t! How dare he call them 'not real fans'. Get him out now!

StavangerBlue added 13:50 - Feb 17
The telling line is: "...as a football club you have to have a clear plan where you’re going and what you’re doing and structure-wise.".

This highlights my impression of the club which is chaotic and fragmented.

I am thinking off the top of my head there are several approaches here in business management to resolve these types of issues. This is not an uncommon organisational problem where people are pressured to deliver but there is a lack of common understanding from the top of the organisation to the bottom.

It means people have to be grown-ups, get together and be honest and truthful. Agree to work together and believe me that is not easy.


MickMillsTash added 13:58 - Feb 17
There is no reason or excuse for the first half last night.

dougalmcguire added 14:01 - Feb 17
Successive manager's have protected Evans in interviews to the point where you presume it's part of their job description. Jewell, McCarthy and Lambert often spoke about how great Evans was to work for and how supportive he was no matter how results were going on the pitch. In truth if Lambert is sacked (which is most likely to happen at the end of the season if Ipswich finish outside the play offs) the list of realistic candidates to replace him is pretty small.

londontractorboy57 added 14:10 - Feb 17
Meanwhile MM who you melts called a DINO continues to lead Cardiff towards the promised land You got what you wished for !!!!!

exeterblue10 added 14:14 - Feb 17
Has he been at big clubs? I never knew.

Bobbiesboys added 14:22 - Feb 17
We all know there are major problems at the club, but there is no way it runs right through the club as the U23 and U18 teams are both currently second in their leagues with the U18's sitting one point off top position with two games in hand. So we do have a great deal of talent and excellent coaches in the club and I do believe we also have some decent players in the first team but unfortunately due to poor management and coaching from the first team manager and coaching staff and the general management of the club at the top we are now in a spiral downwards which can only be rectified with a complete clear out from the top down to the U23's coaches. I feel we could do a lot worse than having Messrs Dyer and Butcher running the first team.

Esseeja added 14:29 - Feb 17
@Londontractorboy57 That Cardiff squad is 8 times better than what he ever had at the helm with us, we didn't want to draw 0-0 at home to Burton in a game we deserved to lose if it wasn't for Bialkowski and lose 3-0 at home to Hull, a one man team at the time. His style of play was so boring to watch and there weren't any fans interested to pay to watch the style of play he inherited, his time was up, face it.

eddiespearitt03 added 14:29 - Feb 17
Oh, only now does Lambert mention that the structure is wrong !!!! . He had been quite happy blagging Evans into an extended contract knowing dam well a manager has to work under the failed expertise of Marcus Evans. It is only about taking the contract and taking the money. A disease that is rife at this club. The Paul Lambert record at this club says it all. He never turned this club,s fortunes around when he first arrived. There has been no progress in League One. The club is now a soulless pit of despair. It reflects on the town as a whole.

peewee added 14:32 - Feb 17
Mick covered for him but knew what he was doing with a few gems out of bargain basement , even if the tactics hurt my neck, Hurst came in tore the team apart. lambert now has the issues of league 1 wage cap years of underfunding and seeming like he's to stubborn to admit he's wrong. He's fallen out with players and playing with one up front. If we sack lambert who would want to come to town l?

peewee added 14:32 - Feb 17
Mick covered for him but knew what he was doing with a few gems out of bargain basement , even if the tactics hurt my neck, Hurst came in tore the team apart. lambert now has the issues of league 1 wage cap years of underfunding and seeming like he's to stubborn to admit he's wrong. He's fallen out with players and playing with one up front. If we sack lambert who would want to come to town l?

Len_Brennan added 14:46 - Feb 17
I tend to skip past any posts on here that use the expression 'so called fans' when looking to dismiss the arguments & criticisms of other fans that they disagree with; I'm sure as hell not going to accept it from Lambert. You may not fully agree with the measures taken by Blue Action, but they are certainly real fans of this club & they are trying to publically vocalise the genuine frustration & bewilderment of the majority of our supporters, who are denied the normal match day forum to express those feelings, due to covid.

Dear_oh_Dear added 14:52 - Feb 17
They were true Ipswich fans, expressing correctly their dissatisfaction in now the only way they can in Communist Britain

Lathers added 14:55 - Feb 17
Fair play to Lambert, he is a clever and manipulative SOB. He knows his time is almost up and he is engineering his inevitable sacking to make it look like it was for anything other than footballing reasons. I actually think his behavioural traits would interest a criminal profiler. Having said that, Evans does need to cut his losses, write off as much debt as he can stomach and find someone with an ounce of footballing knowledge to buy this club.

blueconscience added 15:00 - Feb 17
If you don’t want to “protect” Evans, how about you just leave?

Edmundo added 15:11 - Feb 17
Lambert is right, but who is the core? In a Football Club, it's the owner, CEO, Directors, and manager. Surely to God they can get on Zoom and get some direction? If not, the top of this pyramid need to act on those not willing. Trouble is, if the owner won't collaborate... and therein lies the problem. Marcus, sell or just leave a note saying that you are leaving the club to people who care.

Tractorboy58 added 15:16 - Feb 17
I don't want to hear about infrastructure, 5 year plans or green shoots ! I just want a well motivated and managed team that wins games. This is a results game and over his 2 years the results have not been good enough ..end of story ! Just go !!

SheptonMalletBlue added 15:16 - Feb 17
Londontractorboy, why don't you go and support Cardiff, you seem to be in love with Dino?!!

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