‘You think we’re Barcelona!’ – Lambert doesn’t want pundits to get too excited (or be too critical)
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert doesn’t want pundits to be overly positive or critical about his side’s unbeaten start to the League One season.
The table-topping Blues, who have won seven and drawn three games so far, take on third-place Fleetwood Town in North Lancashire this afternoon (3pm).
Asked if he could understand why fans were getting excited, dreaming of promotion and the title, Lambert said: "You guys (the media) fuel it as well! You think we're Barcelona at the moment! It makes me laugh when I see some of your stuff.
"There has to be a realism as well. I told you before there will be bumps along the way.
"I don't care what anyone says, the biggest thing for me is bringing the fans back to the stadium and the town back to the club. The fans are on the crest of the wave and that, for me, has been the biggest achievement of the whole thing.
"The results have been brilliant and hopefully we can carry it on, but the biggest thing for me is getting the support back and connected with the club."
It was then put to Lambert that not everyone had hailed his team's performances as Barcelona-like so far. Indeed, there has been a sense in many quarters that the Blues still have a couple more gears to go up.
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Even captain Luke Chambers admitted recently that the team needs to 'try and nail down a 90 minute performance'.
"Name me one game where a team has dominated for 90 minutes?" said Lambert. "I'll tell you how many I've seen... none.
"That's in my playing career or in my management career. I've never dominated a game for 90 minutes and it's never going to happen.
"The closest I've seen to perfection would be Barcelona when Pep (Guardiola) was there or the Brazil team from the 1982 World Cup.
"If it happens I hope I'm in the stadium to witness it because it would be great to watch."
A win today could see Town open up a seven-point cushion to the play-off places. Defeat would see the gap close to just a point heading into an international break.
Former Blues boss Mick McCarthy would often say 'if you offered me a point now I wouldn't get on the bus', but Lambert baulks when asked if, hypothetically, he would take a draw instead of playing at Highbury.
"No, we go to try and win," he said.
"I've been involved in games most of my career, be it at Dortmund or at Celtic, where people expect you to win. It's been like that most of my life, home or away, and I'll always try to win. I won't change.
"It's a difficult game for us but a difficult one for them too. The only thing that's different is that it's an away game, but we won't change."