Fuller Flavour: ‘If we stay up it will be 100% because of Lambert’
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Karl Fuller reflects on the Reading draw, plus the generosity of Ipswich Town fans
Two games for Paul Lambert and two games unbeaten.
That’s my glass half-full assessment of his tenure so far. If your glass is half empty, then I suspect you’ll by citing two winless games as your reasoning.
Granted, games against Preston and Reading needed to yield more than two points given our precarious position and I do accept that.
However, Lambert has got an enormous job on his hands to rectify everything that was wrong before he arrived. If we stay up, it will be 100% because of him. If we end the season relegated, the percentage of blame that I would lay firmly at his feet would be a big fat zero.
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I saw a bit of an improvement against Preston and by all accounts from many of those fans present at Reading, the first-half saw some of the best football witnessed for years by a Town side.
For whatever reason that Lambert will no doubt find, we just could not sustain our pressure in the second period.
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But once more, signs of improvement in the short space of time since his arrival.
There are difficult games on the horizon, but I trust Lambert to use this next international break wisely and hope that we can come back stronger than we usually do of late after a break. Keep in touch must be our focus until January.
I didn’t expect much at Reading to be honest. It’s not usually the best of hunting grounds when it matters.
Last season’s 4-0 win there was fantastic but in what was ultimately a dead rubber for us. When it has been all to play for, it’s not normally been a kind place. I’m not saying that I would have taken a draw there before the start, but I certainly wasn’t confident of gaining much else purely based on previous experiences.
Another reason why Lambert has pleased me was for inviting some of our ex-players to the club last week to preside over training and for lunch.
But not just any ex-players, real legends of our club. I know there will be some criticism for us harping on about our ‘good old days’ but they don’t come much bigger than George Burley, John Wark and Terry Butcher.
Having spent an evening with the latter two back in May, I saw first-hand what the club means to these players.
They literally bleed the club and it’s scandalous really that we don’t have some of the players of Sir Bobby’s era involved more at the club in some capacity.
What Lambert has tried to achieve here in my eyes is to try and buy into what our club is about, the history it is steeped in, and what it should mean to play for Ipswich Town.
Nobody will ever bring the Robson era back to us. As fans we understand that.
The money in the game now has seen to that. But what can be done is the core values that existed and have been dormant for too many years can be reinvigorated and Lambert is showing desire at least to rebuild us as much as possible as a club.
Making other people happy is less common in life today as it should be, and I was heartened last week to see my twin girls enjoy putting together a Christmas shoebox each for less fortunate children in Romania – a task that they undertake every year.
I thought that if a pair of 12-year-olds can make someone happy then I should be able to do so too.
On Saturday morning, I put a message out on Twitter that I wanted to buy a pair of tickets for Town’s game against West Brom on Friday, November 23, for someone who ordinarily couldn’t afford to go.
I know it’s a game where the club have made a very generous decision to sell tickets cheaper than usual but even so, I just wanted to make someone happy.
Before Saturday evening was out, I’d had £200 donated by several other Town fans wanting to do the same.
The response has been utterly fantastic and if anyone else would like to do the same, then please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.