'We need to lose that tag... this can be a powerful stadium' - Lambert wants an intimidating Portman Road
PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 November 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Paul Lambert wants to change the way opposition teams and fans think about visits to Portman Road, starting with tonight's clash against West Bromwich Albion.
More than 22,000 fans are expected for this evening’s game, thanks to a ticket promotion and charitable donations, with Ipswich boss Lambert calling on those in attendance to play their part as his side bid to climb the table.
Opposing managers have regularly expressed how much they enjoy visits to Suffolk in recent years, with the atmosphere inside Portman Road less than intimidating, with Lambert inviting a group of supporters to the training ground this week to share ideas of how the volume can be ramped up.
“It was important to get their views on it and to get the club moving, because it has to and it can’t stay on this flatline level of ‘oh, it’s Ipswich and we’re nice and easy’ when teams comes,” he said.
“You have to get rid of that tag and you need people to come to Ipswich and think, ‘wow, this is going to be really tough’ and we have to get that feeling back.
“If you go back to the past it had that, so it’s my job to help get it back.
“There’s one team in the town and we need everyone. If we can bring that connection together, and we’re on a little road at the minute to bridge that, then it will be a powerful stadium.
“I think the atmosphere will be great and we have to perform as well. As long as there’s a team who gives it a right good go then they will be right behind us.”
The Blues boss has vowed to go out on the front foot against the promotion-chasing Baggies, who sit fifth in the Championship table and arrive on the back of a 4-1 victory over Leeds United prior to the international break.
“I don’t play any other way, I’ll go for it,” Lambert said.
“We have too many people coming to not try and entertain them. I don’t play the game any other way and there’s no secret I try and play with energy and on the front foot.
“Everybody’s beatable on the day. Over the course of a season I expect them to be high up in the promotion race, but on any given day you can win.
“We’re in the entertainment business and we have to go out, play the way we think we can play and get the crowd onside for the duration of the game.”
Supporters are advised to arrive in plenty of time for tonight’s game due to the increased attendance
2 – Home league wins in 2018 for Town (D10 L6)
4 – Away league wins in 2018 for WBA (D4 L9)
6 – Freddie Sears (two in two under Lambert) has scored in consecutive games on six occasions for Town, but never three in a row
Ipswich Town team news
• Paul Lambert could well name an unchanged team for the second time in a row after encouraging performances in the draws against Preston and Reading.
• Jonas Knudsen (Denmark), Trevoh Chalobah, Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes (England U20s) all came through the international break unscathed.
• Teddy Bishop could return to the bench after playing an hour of a behind-closed-doors game against QPR last week. Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick in that match.
• Ellis Harrison is close to being available again following an ankle injury. Emyr Huws and Tom Adeyemi are unlikely to play again until 2018 as things stand.
West Brom team news
• Following a four-game winless streak (D1 L3), which peaked with a dire 1-0 loss at Hull, manager Darren Moore scrapped his previous
wing-back system. Switching to 4-3-3 led to an impressive 4-1 home win against Leeds prior to the international break.
• The Baggies only had 28% possession in that game, but produced 20 shots thanks to a rapid counter-attacking approach.
• Moore says he will continue to ‘chop and change’ a squad that has serious strength in depth.
Last five finishes: 20th, 10th, 14th, 13th, 17th (all Premier League)
Manager: Darren Moore (Apr ‘18): W13 D6 L7
Last game: W 4-1 Leeds (h)
Form: WLDLL WDWLW
Away league form: P8 W2 D3 L3 F11 L12
Last home attendance: 25,611
Loan players: Adarabioyo (Man City), Barnes (Leicester), Gayle (Newcastle)
Top-scorers: Gayle (9), Rodriguez (8), Barnes (6), Phillips (5)
League ever-presents: Johnstone, Barnes, Rodriguez (17)
Ipswich Town 1 West Brom 0
Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Roy Keane’s men put aside their poor form in the Championship to beat Premier League opposition at Portman Road and set up a Carling Cup two-legged semi-final against Arsenal. Grant Leadbitter scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.
Opposition key man
Scored 23 goals when Newcatsle romped to the Championship title. Already scored nine in 14 during this loan spell. Bagged off the bench last time out. Fully fit again after recent foot injury.
Ipswich Town 18/5
West Brom 19/20
Keith Stroud (Hampshire)
Games: 4, Yellows: 11, Reds: 0
Ipswich Town 1 West Brom 0
Baggies recently lost at Wigan and Hull by this score. Town have improved vastly under Lambert. Crowd could make the difference in a tight affair.