North Stander: Defeatist? No, but I wasn’t born yesterday, we’re going down... Still, at least we have Paul Lambert
PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:04 20 January 2019
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North Stander Terry Hunt is enjoying Paul Lambert’s respect for the Club, but feels quite simply, Town are going down.
I love the way Paul Lambert is building bridges with the fans, but sadly he can’t hide the grim reality on the pitch. We are truly awful - and doomed.
The Blackburn defeat was like so many away games this season. Little or no creativity, very few chances, and mistakes at the back. Game over.
Lambert’s signings will need time to gel, and time is something we certainly don’t have.
So, barring a miracle, League One here we come.
That gloomy prediction is based not only on the league table but also on our form and performances.
Given that, thank heavens we will still have Lambert in charge when we line up against mighty Accrington and the like next season.
Despite our results, he really is doing a remarkable job in creating a great rapport between team and fans.
In many ways, what is happening is the complete opposite of the last couple of seasons under Mick McCarthy.
Then, we ground out enough results to keep us safe, but the football was mind-numbing and the fans were increasingly alienated.
No-one seemed to value us.
It was ultra-pragmatic, dour fare with the result the only thing that mattered.
Entertain the fans? Don’t bother about that – we got a goalless draw.
The pundits who told us to be careful what we wished for would point out that McCarthy was over-achieving – the league position was better than it should have been, given the budget.
Now, the results are dreadful, but the supporters feel as though they matter.
Lambert is doing all the right things – applauding the fans, publicly thanking us, paying for away travel, inviting club legends to training. It’s absolutely brilliant stuff.
Even old-stagers like McCarthy could learn so much from this.
Of course results are important, but there is more to the relationship between a club and its supporters.
We want our undying loyalty to be recognised and rewarded, not taken for granted.
Well done to Paul Lambert for what he’s done.
He’s given us hope for the future.
I am pretty much resigned to watching League One football next season, but with Lambert at the helm I will feel the club is in safe hands.
Of course, he has one heck of a mess to unravel.
We now have an absolutely massive squad – big on numbers, but desperately short on quality.
What Lambert has to do is trim the numbers down, with most of Hurst’s ill-judged signings heading for the exit door, and focus on quality.
Recent arrivals like Collins and Judge will be ideal for a promotion push from League One. So will Chambers, in what will probably be the final campaign of his Ipswich Town career.
No-one would rate Luke Chambers as the greatest of footballers, but he has certainly been a huge character during some pretty difficult times for the club.
A blend of battle-hardened characters with some of our promising youngsters should set us up in League One. No doubt Lambert will introduce more new faces in the summer.
If you think this is defeatist talk, and I shouldn’t be accepting relegation, I would simply say one thing: We are going down.
I’ve said it all season, and nothing much has changed – we’re not good enough.
We lack quality all over the pitch and our results tell their own desperate story.
Yes, I know and understand the “not over until it’s mathematically impossible” argument.
Brave words, but I wasn’t born yesterday.
So let’s be grateful we have a manager who wants to work with the fans. Let’s be thankful we have a manager who recognises how important our loyalty is.
And let’s get ready to cheer on Paul Lambert’s Blue and White Army in a promotion challenge next season.
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