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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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BettyBlue added 15:25 - Feb 17
2.5 years in charge and your plan/strategy can't beat a bottom four club in league one at home.

you couldn't even score a goal.

not taking responsibility for that ?

Lambert you're a coward, hiding behind everyone else...

BettyBlue added 15:30 - Feb 17
i hope you thought the plan was fine when you signed your 5 year contract .....

or was it

Money, money, or money that convinced you??

Gcon added 15:33 - Feb 17
Still not a squeak from our esteemed owner?

Given his complete lack of interest in the future of this club it really wouldn't surprise me if he is totally unaware we had a game last night.

Worst performance in years, blatant unrest amongst players, manager behaving like he has lost the will to live yet zero response from Evans...

RegencyBlue added 15:37 - Feb 17
Can’t believe how many of our fans are giving Evans a free ride on this! Yes, Lambert has to go but this club’s problems go way back before his arrival and will carry on long after he goes.

Somebody described the clubs current predicament as being like a person with a gangrenous leg. First you have to remove the leg (Lambert) then you deal with the infection (Evans). Failure to do both doesn’t end well.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 15:44 - Feb 17
I think we had a plan - sort of - when Lambert was appointed. It's just that the plan hasn't worked out (again).

BobbyBell added 15:51 - Feb 17
With the club in the state it's in who would want to buy the debt? Only a true blue fan with £100 million to spare. Does anyone fit that bill? I think Evans has us in a no hope situation now despite the money he invested especially in the early years. Unless Ed Sheeran becomes ten times richer very quickly the slide will continue.

warktheline added 15:58 - Feb 17
AGAIN I state, putting aside Lambert's managerial record, he’s actually ( the best he can ) showing fans how rotten our club is! No manager will succeed here, whilst Evans continually tightens their working ‘parameters’ ! An obvious example is last season Lambert played with 2 wingbacks, Vincent Young and Garbutt, and this season due to ‘parameters’ was forced to use two ‘granddads’ ( chambers/ward ) .....no manager will surpass McCarthy’s era ( despite of style etc ) he got the best out of ‘journeymen, injury prone, freebies, loans’! AND that last sentence is key, that’s about all any manager can expect in regards to players, from Marcus Evans!!!!!!!

Robert_Garrett added 16:06 - Feb 17
Mich McCarthy was free now he is doing wonders at cardiff with Kieffer Moore. Bring back Mick campaign starts now? How about a bucket for a whip round to buy a centre forward? Anybody thought of getting around a table and thrashing the problems out? Throwing smoke bombs doesnt resolve anything nor does the constant Narwich mumbling. Supporters are what the word says "SUPPORTERS" - com'n lets be having you!!!!

therein61 added 16:12 - Feb 17
He just can't get it into his thick head, his job is to manage players and getting them to play for him and win matches, he has failed alarmingly and is in brackets with his deflection towards upstairs looking for a pay off, back to his job description failings he has now banished Jackson and Nolan to train with the under 23's(at least they win games) which brings forth more positive proof of dressing room(which he lost months ago) unrest which is ruining the club on the park, he has boxed himself into a corner which does not show much intelligence as there is only one outcome bye bye!!!!!!!

KernewekBlue added 16:12 - Feb 17
As I have said previously here on many, many occasions, the buck stops firmly and squarely at the feet of Marcus Evans.

Whether you like it or not, he has been the complete ruination of our club.

End of!

BettyBlue added 16:13 - Feb 17
You're right Lambert, we're not supporters.

Not anymore.


BlueWax added 16:16 - Feb 17
Simon Jordan...telling it straight on Talk Sport.
PL says he doesn't care what others think...trust me he will respond to SJ criticism but we all know who is right!

BangaloreBlues added 16:26 - Feb 17
The last week I've been taking a step back and asking, "What the hell is going on?"

And I do not have an answer to that.

What is clear is that the players are not performing on the pitch, and that can only be down to the manager. It seems he is deflecting his own abysmal performances away from the pitch, and making us look elsewhere for the problem - "It's not just me, it's because the structure is wrong that I can't do my job properly." Well, that is a load of nonsense.

However, what he has done is highlighted the fact that there are some serious problems with the club. While it may be apparent due to our downward slide over many seasons, what is screaming out at me is that there are many more issues going on than any of us know. ME seems pretty silent at the moment, and one has to wonder where he is right now or what he is thinking.

I am deeply concerned that there may be some kind of rapid implosion at the club, that is about to bubble to surface. I am also deeply worried of a Bury-type scenario going on. Sure, that may be a bit over the top considering the finances that ME has been putting in, but what if he was to simply walk away? He said "be careful what you wish for," and that statement has had me worrying a lot. Not due to manager choices, but due to fans wanting him to leave. I agree he has made some awful decisions, but if he does walk then we are doomed as a club, because I cannot see anyone else coming in and investing.

Perhaps I am being pessimistic, but I think it is time we all just take a step back and keep our traps shut for a little while, because it's clear something is about to happen. What that is I do not know, but I can feel it. Anyone else have that sinking feeling?

Umros added 16:27 - Feb 17
Expecting a bigger announcement today from
Mr Invisible. It’s an absolute disgrace that he has not even issued any form of statement on this situation, sacking aside. Oh well, like many others I watch and hope but as I said last night. No more money from me Mr Evans until you engage and sort it out.

Woodbridgian added 16:30 - Feb 17
It seems every day is a new low for this club at the moment. Clearly Lambert wants out but where’s Evans ? Invisible silent and clueless

therein61 added 16:34 - Feb 17
Dear Marcus Evans.
If you do not come out of your secret cupboard and have the balls to do what should have been done months ago then the time is now after this latest statement from a so called manager of this once great club he has proved beyond doubt that he is, tactically inept, has lost the dressing room big time, deflects every error away from himself, behaves like a petulant child with the local media(thank heavens he's now getting well deserved stick nationally) his apathy towards club and fans beggars belief how can he survive any longer, Just to the right thing and end our misery now and give somebody with some positivity to inject into this fast sinking ship.

Bert added 16:41 - Feb 17
Assuming that the ITFC media manager scans these posts as part of his/her job, I would hope that they relay the unrest to their ultimate boss, Marcus Evans. They should also tell him to get down here in person, sort out the obvious issues and communicate with his paying customers. Showing some leadership would be nice. The old Board set up felt the hurt when things were going pair shaped. They were old school, had Cobbold or Sheepshanks to steady the ship and speak for the club. Everyone had a sense of belonging and that is what Evans has to learn.....or find a suitable suitor to run our club. We are all hurting.


runningout added 16:42 - Feb 17
Simon Jordan spot on again in all respects. I know it’s not a necessity to have a interesting humorous coach, but PL is Duller than our George B

IpswichT62OldBoy added 16:50 - Feb 17
Hard to know what more PL could do to get himself sacked short of riding his moped down from Hemsby and p1ssing through MEs letter box at two in the morning.

Actually that seems like a good idea maybe if Blue Action tried that...

tractorboybig added 17:01 - Feb 17
MM FELL on his sword for evans, keane jewell hurst lambert were all crap.....where lies the the cause, fault and instigator?

stiggytrunk1955 added 17:08 - Feb 17
just listened to the interview on talk sport simon jordon spot on

happybeingblue added 17:18 - Feb 17
more rubbish spoken of course they are real fans,they will be here long after you have gone! every thing he says now is nonsense and further embarrrassment to the club

leroy2488 added 17:21 - Feb 17
One breath he’s saying he won’t be a lamb to the slaughter like he was at Villa protecting Randy Lerner.... In the next he’s not blaming Evans.
So what is it, is he going to be a lamb to the slaughter to protect someone, or is he going to actually say what he means and what most fans know anyway?
We know Evans is a terrible owner, we know Lambert is a poor manager, who has no plan B and is too proud to accept when it’s wrong in order to change direction.
This interview says nothing, it threatens too but says nothing, it’s contradictory and goes off on tangents.
Only days ago he couldn’t ask for more, just be honest, if you have something interesting to say please say it.... If not please try and work out why a once pretty good bunch of players are being made to look like the dross of League One, while Evans gets in the blower with his many friends in Football who’ve so far always let him down when telling him which manager to employ

Marinersnose added 17:28 - Feb 17
Wark the line that’s about right. Lambert in the same way as his predecessors has failed to produce the goods. We have a really poor squad of players with maybe three of four capable of playing at a higher level. PL has to go but it won’t make any difference to the clubs plight. Yes a new manager could improve the team tactically but they wouldn’t be in a position to win the league with no backing and a huge squad of overpaid league two players. ME is the issue and since his arrival the rot began to set in. I don’t see a former player improving the performance significantly albeit we’re all sentimental. There has to be a structural change with targets being set for the future and investment promised. These are extremely sad times. Fortunately I’m old enough to have enjoyed the times when we had a team who was respected and feared throughout Europe. TWTD

jas0999 added 17:51 - Feb 17
Lambert wants out. But wants a pay day. Evans should give it to him.

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