‘I’m a real Glasgow man... I just wished him Happy Birthday’ – Lambert on his spat with Evans after Town’s 1-0 win at Gillingham
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert suggested Gillingham counterpart Steve Evans needed a lesson in etiquette following his side’s 1-0 win at Priestfield this afternoon.
Kane Vincent-Young's first half goal was enough to secure the Blues another hard-fought win on the road, extend an unbeaten start to the campaign to nine games and lift them back to the summit of the League One table.
Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor spent the majority of the game bouncing around their technical area, shouting at the officials, players and opposition bench. Come the full-time whistle, Evans refused to shake the hand of Lambert and the latter subsequently had to be held back by fitness coach Jim Henry.
Asked what was said to his fellow Scot, Lambert grinned and replied: "I just wished him Happy Birthday! It was Glasgow talk, you know.
"Put it this way, if I was a Gillingham supporter I'd rather watch what's happening in the technical area. It's more exciting. Fair play to Gillingham, I thought their lads had a good game."
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He added: "I've been in the Premier League so I know how etiquette works in the technical area. I've had my own argy-bargys, but I know how etiquette works. If Steve wants to do that then no problem.
"You don't do that (refuse to shake hands). Maybe that's a Glasgow thing and I've forgotten because I've been away for so long? No, actually, I'm a real Glasgow man. I'm from Parkhead so I know how it works."
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This was a club-record equalling fifth league clean sheet in a row for Ipswich. They stood up to Gillingham's direct and physical approach well and scored a goal of real quality to secure all three points, Vincent-Young heading home at the far post following a lengthy spell of possession in the 32nd minute.
"I thought we deserved to win the game," said Lambert. "I thought we were outstanding. It could have been two or three. (Alan) Judgey has hit the post and Nolo (Jon Nolan) had a chance.
"They never really caused us too much of a problem. They surprised me with the way they played. They were really, really direct and physical. I thought they would have played a it more football than they did because they have got good footballers. Ben Pringle has been around, the lad (Mark) Byrne is a good footballer, but they went a bit direct.
"Maybe they thought they could outmuscle us, but we stood up to it really well and some of the football we played was really, really good."
He continued: "I thought the tackle from Luke Chambers in the second half was brilliant. I thought the three of them at the back (Chambers, Luke Woolfenden and James Wilson) were very, very good.
"We dominated the game and had a lot of the ball. It's a tough place to play. The grass is long, there must have been a spit of water on the pitch, which made it difficult, so I'm delighted with the team.
"The move for the goal was outstanding with the amount of passes in it. Andre (Dozzell) ignited it with a ball around the corner, then it's Kayden's (Jackson) cross and Kane... *blows cheeks out*. Well, if there's a better right-back out there then I'd like to see them.
"He's been brilliant, he really has. He gives us another dimension offensively. The goal was just reward for how well he's played. He's a young guy who's come up through Colchester, Marcus (Evans) has done great getting him and he started so well."
On playing Judge in a free role up alongside striker Kayden Jackson, Lambert explained: "We analysed Gillingham the other day and I just thought Judgey coming into little pockets would be hard for them to pick up. So it proved, I thought he had a good game. He did everything right with the chance and was denied by the post."
With three of Town's wins having come by a 1-0 scoreline, Lambert said: "We're never going to have games all our way. Why should we, just because we're Ipswich Town? If it was that easy then Sunderland would have done it last year and Leeds United would have done it all those years ago in this division. It's a difficult league and we're winning games.
"Anybody will tell you that one of the best results in the game is 1-0. If you said I could win every game 1-0 then I'd bite your hand off.
"Being top is great viewing for everybody, but you don't win a title in September, you win it in May. What we've done is get off to a brilliant start after a hard season. All credit to the team for turning it around and getting that winning mentality.
"Whether I make changes or change systems, everybody is thriving. I said everybody would have to get game time and that's what's happening. Now we look forward to a free week this week."
Once again, Town packed out an away end with supporters. Having had more than 3,000 at MK Dons in midweek, the Blues took their full allocation of 2,179 today.
At the end, Lambert led his team over to the visiting supporters hand-in-hand and, in scenes generally seen on the continent, acknowledged them with a collective raising and dropping of the arms.
"I used to do that in front of one of the greatest ends in the world (Borussia Dortmund), so I know it works," he said. "I know if you get wins it can get everybody involved; the players, the staff and the supporters. It's the German way and I know the club has got a connection with (Fortuna) Dusseldorf.
"It's something I suggested last night and it was brilliant.
"A lot of hard work has gone into engaging with the supporters. We had to find out what happened before. I have to say they have been absolutely brilliant. We're taking our allocation everywhere we've been and I can't thank them enough."
He added: "I'd love to know when this place had an atmosphere like that last. Ipswich fans are making an atmospheres wherever they go - it's absolutely brilliant.
"The club is absolutely vibrant. What a place to play with that support behind you. It's fabulous.
"Every time we play is like that. MK Dons was the same, Peterborough, Burton... We've got a big target on our backs, everybody wants to beat us, but so far so good."
Following his press conference, Lambert issued a statement through the club website denying claims made by Evans, in which the Gillingham boss said Lambert had said 'something that would concern someone in the street, never mind a professional football manager trying to win a game'.
"I have seen Steve Evans' comments and they are disgraceful and a load of lies," Lambert said in the statement.
"The abuse that was coming from their bench was vile."I have worked in the Premier League and I'm competitive and gone up against some great managers but I have always shown total respect throughout my career.
"I went to shake hands with Steve Evans at the end of the game and his assistant but they waved me away. That's up to them but it shows a lack of respect and it's not how I play the game.
"As for saying I spoke to one of the players the way he has suggested, complete rubbish and lies. I would never talk to a player like that. I went around saying 'well played' to their players after the game.
"What's been said by Steve Evans is a disgrace and what I and my assistant Stuart Taylor had to put up with on the touchline was a disgrace as well."