'Why do we have a divine right to go up? We have to earn it' - Lambert on Town's chances as season dawns
PUBLISHED: 05:30 03 August 2019
Paul Lambert is excited as the new season dawns but the Ipswich Town boss has warned realism is needed as the Blues begin their League One journey.
Lambert's side begin their season at Burton this afternoon, with the Suffolk club tipped to be among the third tier's promotion contenders.
But Lambert, who has expressed frustration regarding the club's summer transfer business, has insisted the club have no divine right to promotion.
"Why do we have a divine right to go up, you answer me that?" the Town boss said, when asked if anything but promotion would be classed as failure.
"Sunderland got relegated last year and never got back up and it's a huge club with a huge fanbase.
"You don't have a divine right. You have to earn it. We have to earn the right to go up. What I do know is the club has an unbelievable fanbase behind it that will drive it on, and you can use the emotion of the crowd to drive you on.
"As I've said, we're a really young side with guys that have not done it at this level, guys that have never played at this level let alone anything else. But we're a good side when we're on it, we'll lose games, that's apparent, but we'll also give it a right good go."
This will be the first time Lambert has led a team into an opening-day game since 2014 with Aston Villa.
"The (buzz is the) same as what it was when I started playing professional football when I was 15," he said.
"The same feeling, I love the game, I love the game of football, the adrenaline rush and all of those things.
"The other side of it is a little bit different. But the actual game and being involved with the team and the support is great.
"We'll have a great support up there and we'll be a scalp for a team to beat us, but you have to handle it."
In Burton, the Blues face a solid third-tier outfit who finished ninth last time out.
"It's a tough game, I've got a lot of time for Nigel (Clough, Burton boss), I like the way he goes about it. It's a hard game, small surroundings and things like that. They had a great cup run last season.
"We can only go and try and win. You try and do everything you can to win, and that's what we'll try and do."
- Jon Nolan (calf) and Gwion Edwards (groin) are both out, having not played any minutes during pre-season.
- Luke Chambers is suspended while Toto Nsiala (hamstring), Jack Lankester (back), Freddie Sears (knee), Teddy Bishop (knee) and Tristan Nydam (ankle) are all out.
- Myles Kenlock (illness) and Jordan Roberts (knock) missed the last two pre-season games but could return.
- Tomas Holy, James Norwood, James Wilson and Luke Garbutt could all make their Ipswich Town debuts.