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Ipswich Town 0 v 0 Gillingham
SkyBet League One
Thursday, 26th December 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: If They Want to Go and Employ Another Manager, No Problem
Thursday, 26th Dec 2019 19:09

Boss Paul Lambert appeared to call his Blues future into question following his side’s 0-0 home draw with Gillingham.

Lambert’s press conference after the game started relatively uneventfully with the manager expressing his pride in his players for not hiding during a frustrating afternoon.

“I’m really proud of them because they kept on playing the ball, that’s what I’m of, I’m really proud of them,” he said.

“Difficult conditions, the crowd was edgy, one bad pass and it gets edgy. I’m really proud of them.

“I said to them at half-time, it doesn’t matter what you do as a footballer, keep taking that ball. I don’t care, take the ball in a phone box when there’s five guys around you, you keep taking it. Keep taking the ball because that shows bravery in itself.

“And I’m proud of them that they did that. A lot of young guys out there and it’s not easy when you’re a big club and you’re expected to win every time. You need people to take the ball.

“In the second half I thought we did that, towards the end of the first half, 15 or 20 minutes at the end of the first half we took the ball and that’s something I’m really proud of.”

Asked why he felt his team had started the game so slowly, he said: “It can happen, it can happen. You don’t have a divine right, you see the table, we’re sitting second. It’s incredible, sitting second and the support’s fabulous, 22,000 here, absolutely unbelievable.

“As I said before when I first came in there was 12 or 13,000, now we’ve 7,000 more which is incredible, season tickets are flying through the roof.

“There are a lot of good things happening, everybody wants us to win, but there are a helluva lot of good things here, that’s for sure.

“But because of the size of the club and the name of the club, if it was that easy Sunderland would have got out of it, Sheffield United would have got out of it in less than six years.

“It’s a difficult league, but we’re sitting second, so we’re in a good place. We just need to finish it off.

“But what I’m really proud of, as I said before, is everybody taking that ball and nobody hiding. That for me is the mark of a footballer.

“When you do that and there are people round about you and there’s an expectancy level, incredible. I know that because I played with huge, huge clubs.”

Although Town didn’t register a shot on target they had one or two decent chances and Lambert says the players might have made different choices.

“We had good opportunities, we had great chances to pull the trigger, especially Kayden and Judgey, they had great chances to pull the trigger,” he said.

“But the lads made decisions that only they can see. They have to make the decisions, that’s decision-making, that’s all that is.

“I think if you said to Kayden to go and do it again he’d probably shoot, if you said to Judgey he’d probably go and shoot but the guys are trying not to be selfish, which is good. They see their team-mate in a better position maybe to score and they try to make the right move.”

Was there some nervousness in those situations given the current run of form with the Blues without League One in six?

“As I said before, we’re sitting second, that’s the thing I can’t quite get my head round,” Lambert responded.

“It’s how you want to view it, we sit second, we’re in a really good place, there’s a helluva lot of football to be played here.

“The lads will come back strongly. This stops that run of two defeats in a row. Clean sheet, really incredible conditions as well.

“But regarding the bravery with the ball, I’m delighted with that. Not happy with the draw but it’s a start, it stops that mini [run of two league] defeats. Really happy that we never hid from the ball.”

After it was pointed out that Town have now taken only 10 points from their last 10 matches, which is hardly the form required to win promotion, Lambert seemed, out of nothing, to call his Blues’ future into question.

“If they want to go and employ another manager, no problem,” he said, surprising reporters. “I’ll go, it’s not a problem for me to go. I’ll leave tomorrow or I’ll leave the next day, it’s not a problem.

“Ipswich Town is the most important thing, not me. So if I go tomorrow or next week or whatever happens, the club is in a really good place. It’s sitting second in the table and we’re not even halfway through.

“What the lads [have done since] the start of the season has been incredible. From being relegated and the club being like an absolute morgue with 12,000 people in it, to where it is now.

“If I left tomorrow, I don’t know when I’ll leave, Ipswich Town is the most important thing. So if they bring in someone else that’s not a problem.”

It was pointed out that him saying that would raise a lot of questions, he added: “No it doesn’t, it doesn’t raise questions. I’m a realist in football. I’m not going to sit and tell you lies, I’m not going to sit and tell you anything else. I’m a realist, I’m not a fantasist. I’m a realist because I’ve won things.”

Asked whether he was saying he believes he is in danger of the sack, he said: “Maybe. Maybe, you don’t know. It’s not something I’ll lose sleep over, put it that way.”


Why wouldn’t he lose sleep over it, surely his pride would be dented? “That happened long ago, that. Football management you just get on with it. I don’t lose any sleep whatsoever. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Has owner Marcus Evans has given any indication that that might happen? “Marcus has been brilliant, Marcus is a brilliant owner, nothing like that. But I know how football works, I’m not silly.”

Is he speaking in a wider context rather than specifically about his current situation, knowing that managers on bad runs lose their jobs?

“Ay, absolutely no worries,” he added. “I could get my jacket today and leave. Who is going to stop me?”

Asked what that would achieve, he responded: “Ipswich trying to win the league.”

Is he getting exasperated with the atmosphere around the club? “No, the club has come a long way in the year we’ve been here. It’s come a helluva long way. There was so much wrong with it. There was so much wrong, you only see the surface of it.”

Questioned on whether he was contradicting himself to some degree, saying that and but also that he could get his coat and go tomorrow, he said: “Yes, if Marcus wants me out, that’s no problem. That’s what I’m saying, I don’t have a problem. If Marcus says to go or [general manager of football operations] Lee [O'Neill] says go.”

Asked why he is even talking along those lines, he said: “Because it might happen. Nobody knows. Nobody knows, do they?”

But is he anticipating that? “I always think you’re one game away from the sack. I always think that.”

That’s just his fatalistic view? “Because I’ve been in the game since I started football when I was 15.”

But nothing in the conversations that he has had with Marcus or with Lee have suggested that that’s on the cards? “No, those two guys have been really good. They’ve been really, really good.”

And he’s not thinking of picking up his coat of his own volition? “I don’t know. I’ll wait and see.”

Asked whether he is considering his position, he said otherwise: “No, no, no.”

Lambert previously left Blackburn out of the blue, but he says he’s fine: “No, I feel good.”

When it was pointed out that it was odd to say what he’s said when he’s done a lot to turn the club around, put thousands on the gate and are second, although without a win in the league for a while. All that and yet he’s talking as if you may not be here.

“Nobody knows,” he added. “I’m not important to the club. The football club is the most important factor. A manager only helps to a certain point and they drive it. It’s not a big issue, it’s not an issue.”

After it was pointed out that it would be an issue with supporters, he responded: “This is what I’m saying to you, the support is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And they’ve been brilliant to me since I’ve been here, so I don’t have any qualms about that.

“I’m not the most important factor. If I’m not the guy to take Ipswich up, somebody else comes in - brilliant, absolutely brilliant.”

He must believe he’s the man to take the Blues up? “I’ve got my own thoughts on things. I’ve got my own thoughts on things, I’ve got my own ideas on things. Some things I agree with, some things I don’t agree with.”

When he says some things he agrees with and some he doesn't, is he referring to the way the club is run?

“No, what I say about Marcus is that he’s been great since I’ve been at the club,” he added.

“We have a good laugh, contrary to what everybody thinks. We have some good laughs but we also have some serious moments. He’s been really fair with me, really good with me on a lot of things.”

And he hasn’t mentioned him leaving the club, hasn’t said he's two games away, needs to win next two or anything like that?

“I think he gave me one and a half games," Lambert joked. "No, he’s never said anything like that. He’s been as good as gold that way.”

When Evans’s record of sticking by managers and giving them time was cited, Lambert said: “He didn’t with Paul Hurst, did he? Big Mick did a fabulous job here, fabulous job.”

Before that Paul Jewell and Roy Keane were given time - “Paul did great” - and Ipswich is a club where managers are allowed time.

“Don’t say secure because there’s no such word as secure in football,” Lambert interjected.



But is it not unsettling for fans and players if he is calling his position into doubt? “The fans and the players will always go on, that’s always the case. They’ll always go on.

“They’re the most important factor at the football club, it’s not me, it’s the players and the supporters, and I always say that, and I always will say that. That’s the most important thing. My time as a player has gone, I don’t know, 2005.”

Asked whether he would you like to stay to the end of the season if he can to see what happens, he said: “I’d love to see the club go up in any factor, whether I’m here or not. I’d love to see the club in the Premier League, it’s that good with the support it’s got behind it.

“And hopefully one day that will happen, because it’s a brilliant club, it really is, it’s a great club and I hate seeing the way it is in the division it’s in, but it is. It’s a brilliant football club to be at, definitely.”

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OwainG1992 added 19:11 - Dec 26
This doesn't sound great to be honest.
5

carlo88 added 19:13 - Dec 26
You get to a certain stage in your career when you won't take any criticism, think you've done enough to justify doing things your way, or even you rest on your past achievements. I think PL has reached that stage.
14

LonE17Blue added 19:15 - Dec 26
What a load of old waffle!
16

TimmyH added 19:19 - Dec 26
“Difficult conditions, the crowd was edgy, one bad pass and it gets edgy. I’m really proud of them.
“I’m really proud of them because they kept on playing the ball, that’s what I’m of, I’m really proud of them,” he said. - Well that's setting the bar low!

Personally not bothered whether PL goes...in fact Burley/Butcher/Holland combo would do me now we're in the third tier. Lambert was appointed last November enough time to see us out of relegation but arguably as bad as Hurst, but would like to see him see the full season out and see what materialises which gives him a fair crack of the whip.
-2

blue86 added 19:21 - Dec 26
I actually dont really want another manager paul. However, from your comments you sound like an oh woah is me type, get a grip man! Maybe lambert and Evan's have clashed over spending in jan or something? God knows. If we stop the rotating, and stop going on about how many top clubs you have played for, and instead settle on a consistent first 11, and get this run be behind us, I would like you to stay. If not, shut the door behind you, the ball is in your court. But saying things like this in the media is a little bit stupid eh?
9

Dolphinblue added 19:21 - Dec 26
With you bunch of whingers im not surprised......what a joke u lot are.....2nd in league, 22,000 crowd, trying to play decent football. GET A GRIP AND SUPPORT YOUR CLUB!
1

MrTown added 19:22 - Dec 26
They don’t go and want the ball, the team is going back to front far too much. Aimless long balls.

I’d almost say our biggest problem is that players don’t want the ball, they run away rather than come towards the ball, no movement, very static from the players.

Would like to see Lambert stay and and sort this bad form out, but not interested in him trying to play the fans and ME.
22

jas0999 added 19:22 - Dec 26
Who knows what his motivation to do this is: thinking of walking away? Unhappy at boos? Deflecting terrible performance, squad rotation and tactic questions? Urging Evans to back him in transfer window? Knows that Evans is planning to sell assets? Knows that Evans won’t invest? Having an off day? Perhaps feeling under the weather?

Perhaps a mixture of all?
15

VanDusen added 19:23 - Dec 26
Who could blame him. Ropey patch at the mo but we're second and I fancy us to push on once we get that elusive win. 2nd at halfway is easily well above where I thought we'd be pre-season but seems we're so used to it going wrong these days we're at risk of panicking. Hopefully a morale boosting win at Lincoln and then deserved revenge for the total robbery of a point by Wycombe and this will be forgotten in six days. COYB.
10

Mark added 19:24 - Dec 26
He sounds like a man under pressure. We are on a terrible run, the side looks disjointed and poor, and we could easily slide down the table now. Some team selections are baffling, such as choosing Nsiala over Wilson. Opposing teams looks more threatening that we do every week, Gillingham putting us under pressure from the kick off off today. Not good enough.
14

bazgammon added 19:26 - Dec 26
Get McGreal in. Lamberts doesnt sound like he wants to be here. He's either angling for another job or hes butt hurt from criticism from one win in 12. and hes overall stats which are awful tbh.
5

bomber21 added 19:26 - Dec 26
Is he smoking something illegal,that's a weird interview,not sure who was managing this side would be able to turn it around,you have a squad of not very talented individuals,should read footballers but not convinced some of them are,lol.
3

leftie1972 added 19:28 - Dec 26
Confidence is gradually becoming an issue for both Lambert and his players. That’s what will decide this league. At the start of the season we were playing with an element of flair and confidence that has gradually been eroded by the needless squad rotation. PL seems to be questioning himself more than his players!
3

Wacko added 19:29 - Dec 26
He comes across as an absolute arshole
8

Len_Brennan added 19:33 - Dec 26
I'm delighted the reporters called him out on his bullsh#t here. He sounds like an insecure, controlling partner here; with his threats of leaving out of nowhere, in order to avoid taking responsibility for what he has or has not done & hoping to avoid any similar questions been asked in the future.
Yes he has done a number of good things to the benefit of the club; but this crap we can do without. More to the point, we have a number of midfielders without creative ability, currently fit; why are they not able to show that often enough in his teams & why are our strikers edgy as hell when opportunities do come?
35

Taricco_Fan added 19:37 - Dec 26
Here we go...

Sounds like he's not far short of going full McCarthy.
5

delias_cheesy_flaps added 19:38 - Dec 26
The only good thing today was to see Freddy Sears back on the pitch.

I had the misfortune to decide to attend today’s game and even being plied with copious amounts of alcohol in the box next door to Marcus Evans didn’t soften the blow of watching such a bunch of inept so called professional footballers blindly kick to nobody in blue for 95% of the match. Totally embarrassing performance by players and management team alike!

I believe it’s just 3 home wins in 26 home games under Lambert or thereabouts which if right is pathetic!
13

muhrensleftfoot added 19:39 - Dec 26
Massive ego. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Ridiculous comments from him. So childish.
24

runningout added 19:54 - Dec 26
Wish some do away with the thought of George Burley returning as coach. Don’t go there again. Butcher is a big no no too
6

tractorboybig added 19:54 - Dec 26
f ooff please
-8

Buryblue78 added 19:57 - Dec 26
I do feel for PL even though many on here don't
We all want to win (apart from those who will always want MM back) and some feel a divine right to success
It must be hard to be obliged to attend those inane press conferences with ridiculous questions that he gets every few days
He's wastes dozens of hours of his life on that and that comes through if you read between the lines

I feel that one of his problems is that his best team doesn't pick itself and thats down to the players
I,m not sure his best spine of the team even picks itself(on merit)
None of them stand out week in week out
Most of them flatter to deceive and although PL praises them every week I feel they all have a bit more to offer to help him and the team
Maybe it's a byproduct of searching for "gems" in the lower leagues and developing our own
I,m not sure

But one thing I am certain of is that if you can't make their keeper pull off a save or even throw his cap on one then you won't win a game and the good work done will be undone and gates will slide back to where they were

Please prove me wrong PL and ME and invest in a shot at goal!
16

Bluearmy_81 added 19:57 - Dec 26
What complete bollox. If Evans was a brilliant owner it wouldn't have taken him 13 years to take us to div 3. End of...
12

EssexTractor added 19:59 - Dec 26

Ipswich Town supporters have been as fair as any set of supporters with their managers.
But supporters fell into a huge slump in the dying days of MM and became almost comatose when PH took the reins ..
When PL arrived and through quite clever PR spin he restored the spirits because we wanted them restored
We forgave him relegation because we blamed his predecessors.
For first time in 60 years we slumped to Division Three.
We applauded the signing of KVY ( sadly though not a participant)
But with all his experience of having played for " big clubs" we thought he had the talent for lifting our wonderful club out of the quagmire.
His words have now become repetitive after every match , except to say " I Paul Lambert was at fault"
The entertainment factor was an important factor that we really cried out for.. The coming to the Stadium for the next match because the last one was so good..look at this seasons home results at PR..who now goes home relishing the next match except now out of blind loyalty.
Lambert decried Hursts abilities but played 5 of his signings today..none of whom played any better than under Hurst..so have we progressed , I think not..and we are in a lower League...
Second we maybe, but as supporters we did not go home today smiling and skipping in the streets.
Can PL make that happen , the next month very important to find the answer.




30

SickParrot added 20:02 - Dec 26
Perhaps he knows that his rotation policy has killed our momentum and confidence but he is too stubborn to admit it, so if he leaves now and we don't get promoted under a new manager he will be able to say that we were 2nd when he left!
11

nthstd added 20:10 - Dec 26
Having watched some utterly atrocious football in the last 4-6 games it so bloody disheartening, his tactics are awful. His rotation squad approach is awful. Pick a dam squad fine tune it and play it. For the record I bought my exeter ticket today!
17


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