‘The club needs a cleanse... in a couple of months you’ll know what’s happening’ - Lambert’s ‘exciting’ vision for Town
PUBLISHED: 17:01 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:46 08 March 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Manager Paul Lambert has outlined what he thinks needs to be done as part of his Ipswich Town rebuild with the club seemingly heading for League One.
How disappointed have you been by results since you took over?
PL: Massively, but there are two ways to look at it.
Yes, it’s a results business, but we have been playing well. We’ve just let ourselves down in both boxes – both in terms of defending and not taking out chances.
If you take away goals we are a good side, but you’ve got to score and you’ve got to keep them out. That’s not going to change, so we have to be more clinical in both boxes.
What I do know is you have a better chance of winning when you’re playing well as apposed to backs-to-the-wall every week and you’re just playing long ball football. I don’t want to play that way.
Long-term it will benefit the club.
Whatever happens this season the club needs a cleanse. We’ll see what happens in the summer.
Could you have done anything differently? Do you analyse your own performances?
PL: You’re never satisfied whether you are winning or losing – never. I don’t think when you win a few games you can say you’ve arrived or think you’re great. I never did that as a player and I’ve not done it as a manager.
The most important people at any football club is the supporters, always will be. Without them you don’t have a game.
We’re just here to try and make the players better people and to try and get them to perform at their highest possible level.
I never sit back and think ‘I got the result’. I just strive to make us the best we can.
Was your appointment more about the rebuilding job, as much as you would have wanted to stay up?
PL: You’d have to ask Marcus (Evans, owner) that!
Listen, whatever happens at the end of the season it’s an absolutely brilliant club. I love being here. I think it’s a great, great club. I think it has the potential to be anything it wants with the fanbase it’s got behind it, the history behind the club, it being a one-team town.
But if you don’t pull it together then it always can drift. And I don’t want it to drift. I want to have a philosophy here where the whole football club plays the same way.
The community work has to be there otherwise you lose a whole generation of supporters, which you should never lose. You’ve got to try and get into schools and get the young ones back – I think that’s important.
Everything needs to be reviewed. It can’t keep doing what it’s doing because it does eventually catch you. We’ve come in at a time where it has caught up.
But I know the bigger picture. I can see it, I can envisage it. I think Marcus is really on it, Lee’s (O’Neill, general manager of football operations) really on it.
I think if you ask anybody they will say mistakes have been made.
It’s up to us to try and help.
At what point do you start planning for next season?
PL: We’ve already started bits here and there.
In a couple of months times you’ll all know exactly what’s happening. That’s all I can say for now.
I think it will be exciting. I think the club will be in a lot better place if there’s a strategy and a plan and everybody buys into it.
Let’s see where it goes.
Is it still too early to throw in the kids and see what they can do?
PL: I’ve chucked in Dozzell, Bishop, Downes, Lankester… I threw them in when we first came in. If I think they are ready it doesn’t matter to me what stage of the season it is or where we’re at.
I’ll throw them in because they are the future of the club. The club will hopefully go that way. You get everything out of them; enthusiasm, endeavour, ability, determination, young legs that can get around the pitch.
It doesn’t matter to me if they come into the team in November or now. If I think they’re ready I’ll throw them in.
Do you already know what’s needed?
PL: You know exactly what you think is needed and how you can make it right. I know exactly where it went wrong with certain things.
There’s no right way and wrong way in football. There’s no right and wrong way to play. It’s just my way. That’s all I’m saying.
You could sit here and talk to someone else who would have a different view on it. You respect everybody’s opinions, but my way is hopefully going to be the right way.
Does that mean there is going to be quite a number of exits this summer?
PL: You’ve got six loans straightaway, more or less, and nobody really knows what’s happening with those lads because they’re not our players. They go back, those guys and some guys are out of contract and might be waiting to see what happens.
There will probably be one or two changes, yeah.
So are you guiding Marcus? Is he taking on board what you’re saying?
PL: He’s been brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
I wouldn’t like to think what he’s put into this club money-wise. It’s his own money and the club is sitting where it is.
That shows you something is not quite working.
I can’t ask any more from Marcus Evans in terms of support, dialogue, anything like that.
He’s the custodian of the club and the club needs him. He’s been really great with me since I’ve been here.
I don’t want him to keep losing money and the sinking and sinking. That’s not right. Something’s got to stop.
I’ll say things to him that I think are right. I won’t hide behind things. You’ve probably guessed my personality!
I’m doing that for the sake of the cub. Not for the sake of me or the staff I’ve brought in. It’s for the good of the club.
I don’t want to see it drift.
If the club is relegated there will be cuts won’t there. The wage bill was more than £18million last year and it can’t be like that in League One…
PL: And rightly so. It’s impossible. Marcus has put a lot of money into the club.
Something has to change somewhere and we can’t carry on doing what we’re doing or there is no Ipswich Town. I don’t want that. Nobody wants that.
We’ve been doing it this way so let’s try another way. We have really good young players here and we need to have a strategy and a plan going forward.
Nobody can point the finger at the owner.
My idea, which I have already relayed to Marcus and Lee, I think will definitely benefit the whole club if everybody buys into it. It could be really exciting.
But it can’t keep doing what it’s doing.