‘This is just my way’ – Lambert insists contrasts with Hurst are not conscious
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert insists he has not consciously set about trying to do the opposite of predecessor Paul Hurst.
The rock-bottom Blues produced a vastly improved performance in Lambert’s first game at the helm when drawing 1-1 at home with Preston last weekend.
Today, they will look to cut the five point gap to Championship safety when taking on fellow-strugglers Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
“If any players make mistakes it’s my fault; it’s no problem, none whatsoever,” said Lambert.
“They have to go and enjoy the game and have to go and play with courage. Any mistakes are my fault, it’s not a problem.
“I’m telling them how to play my way. If they win, they get the credit; if they lose, I’ll take every bit of responsibility.”
That approach is in direct contrast to Hurst, who often spoke about players needing to prove themselves and take more responsibility for the club’s poor run of form.
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Training under Hurst was heavily fitness and gym-based, but Lambert and his new backroom team of Stuart Taylor, Matt Gill, Jim Henry and Jimmy Walker have tried to inject some fun and made the sessions more football orientated.
Lambert’s touchline demeanour has been at odds to Hurst’s too, with the experienced Scot a passionate figure in the technical area at Portman Road last weekend.
“I don’t really ask about or get involved with what happened before because I can’t affect it,” said Lambert, who got the players in earlier for last weekend’s game for some extra team bonding over lunch before inviting club legends Terry Butcher, George Burley and John Wark to watch training on Wednesday.
“There’s no point in comparing. It’s not fair on anybody and I’ve got no grievance against anybody – this is just my way.
“I just see certain things that I think maybe we can get better at or we can work on. The way we have trained and the way I have been that’s the only way I really know.
“I find it very difficult to sit on my backside during games. That’s just me. I’ve said before, I’ll give 100 per cent. I’ll give it everything I’ve got in my heart, the experience, the drama, the whole anger bit, everything.”
Lambert took over at Norwich, Blackburn, Wolves and Stoke midway through seasons after all had got off to bad starts.
Asked how he found the mood at Ipswich compared to those clubs when he first arrived, he replied: “Even at Stoke I had some great guys there, they liked to laugh as well, really good guys, I’m still in contact with one or two of the guys, they text me which is nice.
“But you go in at any club and you have to suss for yourself what’s wrong and what’s right, how you pick them up and what makes them tick and what doesn’t make them tick.
“I think you have to try and suss through that pretty quickly and you tend to find you can push a few buttons more than others. I’ve been really fortunate that I’ve managed some really top, top players.”