‘Do I regret it? No I don’t’ – Paul Lambert on his East Anglian derby brawl and a war of words with Farke
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he has no regrets about the flashpoint which led to him being shown a red card in this afternoon’s 3-0 East Anglian derby defeat at Norwich City.
The fiery Scot, who enjoyed three hugely successful seasons in charge of the Blues’ bitter rivals, squared up to City’s assistant head coach Edmund Riemer in the angry aftermath which followed a lunging Jon Nolan challenge right in front of the dugouts.
A steward tried to hold him back during the ensuing touchline melee, then a policeman stepped in to calm things down. Referee Peter Bankes eventually showed Lambert a red card, as well as Norwich’s head of performance Chris Domogalla.
“Listen, you know me, I ain’t going to stand there and watch players run 30 yards to get people booked,” said the Blues boss. “I’m certainly not going to let somebody come into our technical area.
“I don’t even know who it was, I never even saw who it was, but I’m not letting him to come and provoke us.
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“I’ll stand my ground. Do I regret it? No I don’t. I’m certainly not going to have that.
“It was a steward who was actually trying to put his hands on me, which I objected to. The police guy was great. He was totally fine and just trying to disperse it.
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“As I said, I wasn’t just going to stand back and let somebody I didn’t know come in our technical area. I won’t have that.”
He added: “The referee sent off the wrong guy for them. It wasn’t that guy I was arguing with, it was the other lad.
“I don’t have a problem with the red card. Do you know what, I don’t think the referee had a bad game. It was a difficult game for him to manage.”
Norwich manager Daniel Farke said: “Ipswich have so many great lads. They have many, many big personalities and characters on the pitch trying to fight until the end – also the coaching staff.
“I’m full of respect for Paul and his working career. I got the feeling 95 per cent of Ipswich (took the defeat) really, really well. There were one or two guys...
“You can lose the game but you have to show class and quality and style. I was a bit annoyed of how they handled it.
“Of course try everything on the pitch to get under our skin but respect human beings and the words you choose. There are also children around and there are more important things in life than football.
“A big compliment to how the staff and many of their players handled the situation because it was a difficult game for them. I could totally understand if they are nervous. But some of their staff who were not so much in the spotlight, my feeling was they wanted to use today as their big stage to prove something.
“My feeling was you can lose games but show some quality, show some style, show some class. This club, Ipswich, has a big history and 95 per cent of the people involved there do this.”
When those comments were relayed to Lambert, he fumed: “What did he say? What were his words? Take defeat with class – is that what he said?
“I’ve never known a team to take defeat ‘the right way’. As I said, we’re not shrinking violets. I’ll go with anybody when we are playing. We have to try and win.
“I don’t think you can turn around and say that. He doesn’t know the lads.
“If the boot was on the other foot… Maybe it was because things are going Norwich’s way.
“I don’t think he should be commenting on my staff. I don’t think he should be doing that.
“Whether he talks good of me or not that doesn’t matter. I certainly won’t have him saying ‘lack of class’ about my staff. Look at his own staff first before he comments on anybody else.”
Ipswich are now nine points adrift of safety at the foot of the Chamionpship table, while Norwich have opened up a five point gap to third.
On the goading he received from fans of his former club, Lambert said: “That’s football. That’s me coming back. It’s normal stuff.
“This club was in League One when I came back here. Short memories... short memories.”
He added: “They got their breaks at the right times. There was nothing in it, absolutely nothing in it. We came here and played well, we had a lot of the ball and we made it a fight.
“If you looked at the two teams you wouldn’t think there was that disparity – but there is.
“Norwich have a bit of momentum. Are they good enough to do it? I don’t know. Time will tell. I’m sure Leeds, West Brom, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United – all them teams – will have something to say about that.”
He added: “I didn’t want to come here and be a team of shrinking violets. We had a lot of fans coming to watch us. We have to play like that from here on in.
“We have to have that fight and endeavour over the last 15 games.
“We’re a good side when we do knock it around, but you’ve got to have that fight.
“I don’t mind lads making mistakes, I really don’t, but you’ve got to have the fight in you.
“We’re trying everything we can to turn things around. We’ve got a great group of lads who give me everything they’ve got. I can’t ask anymore from them.
“The support has been incredible for a team at the bottom of the table.
“You’re going into a run of midweek games now. We have to keep the belief. I don’t think anybody could point the finger today with the way we played.”