'The support… I just hope to God they'll be there' - Lambert's big wish between now and end of season
PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 March 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
If Paul Lambert could ask one thing of the Ipswich Town fans over the next 11 games it would be to maintain the goodwill they have shown his team over the last four months.
The Blues remain bottom of the Championship and appear destined for relegation following last weekend’s crushing 2-1 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Reading.
Lambert’s side have won just two of his 21 games in charge since replacing Paul Hurst at the end of October, but some improved performances, the Scot’s desire to engage with supporters and club legends and a renewed feeling of togetherness has helped forge a strong relationship between touchline and terrace.
“That’s one thing I can ask for, is to keep that feeling what’s here,” Lambert said, ahead of this weekend’s visit to promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion.
“Over the next few months things will become clear to everybody.
“I think there’s a really strong future for the club because you’ve got some really good young players here.
“They need a little bit of time and patience and strategy. Things will become clear in the next few months.
“The support… I just hope to God they’ll be there. They will be there because it’s a fabulous support.”
More than 23,000 fans were inside Portman Road for Saturday’s loss to Reading, with Lambert frustrated not to have been able to give them the result he feels the supporters deserved.
He said: “We had 23,000 there for a team that’s bottom of the division. That’s more than Burnley had for Crystal Palace (in the Premier League).
“If we can keep that good feeling, everything being okay they’ll come back.
“The football club has got a good feeling around it. It just has to keep that.
“I know the pricing came down (adult tickets were just £12) but you’ve still got to come.
“There’s not one person at this club who can point the finger at the support and say they never got behind us.”
Lambert will return to the touchline for this afternoon’s game after watching the last two matches from the directors box as a result of his red card at Norwich.
“It was horrible,” Lambert said. “I didn’t like being up there. You can’t do nothing. I’m looking forward to jumping around again.”