Fuller Flavour: Is Lambert really the right man for Town? Here’s what I think...
Me and my big mouth. That we lost 4-0 at Preston can probably be attributed to a comment I made in last week’s column when comparing this season’s relegation with others experienced in my lifetime as a Town fan.
Just to remind you, I wrote: “In 1994/95, it was very similar to this season in that we were a poor outfit and knew we’d be going down long before the time came. But unlike this season, we were getting beaten heavily regularly, often conceding four.”
Lo and behold, the first game after relegation was confirmed, we lose 4-0. In fact, it’s the first time we’ve lost by this scoreline since this weekend a year ago (at home to Aston Villa).
It is so frustrating. After our defeat at Norwich, we went on a run of games where there was some hope for the future with some determined displays.
Yes, those games finished in draws but we took heart in performances against Derby, Stoke, Wigan and especially, the second-half against Forest.
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But we’ve since gone from our worst performance under Paul Lambert (by his own admission) away at Brentford and then have gone and trumped that just over a week later with an even worse display at Preston.
I desperately hope that Friday’s performance can only be put down to a kind of relegation hangover. After what we’d expected for so long was confirmed following the draw with Birmingham, it’s a shame that we could not just end the season there and then.
- 1 Suffolk-based former Marine found dead after 10-month disappearance
- 2 Film crews shooting new Netflix film in Suffolk village
- 3 Matchday Recap: It rains goals at Portman Road as Town hit six
- 4 Two mega prisons for 3,500 inmates set to be built near RAF base
- 5 Delays on Orwell Bridge near Ipswich
- 6 Overturned trailer causing delays on roundabout near Bury St Edmunds
- 7 Air ambulance called to incident on Bury St Edmunds estate
- 8 Rovers bottom, Town starting to click, key men back... is this the night?
- 10 Five people injured in 'violent disorder' at Newmarket racecourse
I appeared on BBC Look East on Monday night to provide my thoughts on relegation. I was also asked the very same question that my Dad had asked me just the evening before: How do I think we’ll get on next season?
That’s the question we’d all like to know as we’ll be stepping into the unknown. I stated that we will need a good start in the first few games. It will not be easy, and the league will be tough.
I think that most Town fans will have their heads screwed on. There won’t be too many that will be thinking that it will be a stroll in the park.
More worryingly, if Friday is anything to go by, our youngsters might struggle more than we’re imagining. And there was an increase in those questioning Lambert’s tactics, his continuation of playing one up front and is he really the right man?
I still say give him a pre-season to settle his own squad and see where we are from there.
I was also asked where it has all gone wrong for Town. It’s another question open for much debate and has been discussed repeatedly by us all. For me, Paul Hurst shoulders much of the blame and of course, so too does Marcus Evans.
I was quizzed over how key the season ticket announcement would be, and I felt that it was imperative that Evans got this right and once details were announced on Wednesday, I thought they were pretty much spot on.
The club does have to look after itself, so there’s no way I was expecting a drop to say around the £200 mark that some were hoping for.
I envisaged a drop of around 10% thus my season ticket costing around £345. So, at £333, I guess I’m happy enough. Especially with a cost per game value being just over £14.
Reaching targets for further discounts would be nice but after Preston and what could happen in the final three games of the season, may put some potential buyers off. Another reason why I wish the season finished straight after the Birmingham game!
Our game against Swansea will be my 700th home game (please don’t ask how I know this) and in the previous 699, I’ve only seen us play Swansea once, an FA Cup win back in 2007.
Sadly, this was the last FA Cup win I have seen from us which is another damning reminder of how far back some of our woes go. Three wins in my last 30 games tells another story of how the rot has been setting in for some time.