‘There’s no two ways about it, we need the fans’ - Lambert’s rallying call ahead of ‘huge’ opener

Paul Lambert has signed a contract to be Ipswich Town manager until 2021. Photo: Ross Halls

Paul Lambert has signed a contract to be Ipswich Town manager until 2021. Photo: Ross Halls - Credit: Archant

Paul Lambert has called on Ipswich Town fans to throw their support behind his team as he begins his rescue mission with a ‘huge’ home clash with Preston.

Paul Lambert Picture: ROSS HALLS

Paul Lambert Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Lambert will be in the home dugout at Portman Road for the first time this afternoon after taking charge of an Ipswich side sitting bottom of the Championship, five points from safety.

The new boss has called for unity as he and his squad bid to avoid the drop, but Lambert knows his players need to give the home crowd something to feed off as they look to move off the foot of the table.

“The next two games (v Preston and away at Reading) are huge,” he said. “Listen, every game is huge in the league whether you are trying to get out the league or stay in it. This is a big football club with a really big fanbase behind it.

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“If they can not judge us on what’s happened before and come and get right behind us then there will be a brilliant atmosphere. I’m pretty sure they will and I don’t have any fear or trepidation that they won’t come out and support the team.

“I saw it myself on Saturday at Millwall where you wouldn’t have thought the fans were supporting a team at the bottom of the table, that’s for sure.

“They were brilliant and if we can get them going (then it will really help). We want fans to enjoy coming to the stadium and not just come feeling like it’s another day at the office.

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“We have to give them something as well but for 90 or 95 minutes we have to ensure they come and enjoy their time as well. They pay big money to come and watch the team and they want to watch them win, so when they’re in the stadium they can enjoy themselves.

“But we have to give them something as well.

“The fans know we’re in a bit of trouble at the moment but there’s a long way to go. We need them, there’s no two ways about it because we really need them.”

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Captain Luke Chambers echoed his new manager’s sentiments.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the fans so far over the last 15 games,” the skipper said.

“There was great optimism at the start of the season and they’ve backed us, backed us, backed us and having 2,000 fans at Millwall was amazing for the players on the pitch.

“Having them support us when things weren’t going well was remarkable and it proved we have one of the best away supports in the league and in the country.

“Hopefully they can continue to do that for us and back us at home, where we’ve not had the best of form over the last few months especially.”