‘He’ll quickly cut out the silly mistakes’ - Marshall backs Lambert to be a success at Town
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Andy Marshall believes Paul Lambert has all the qualities to be a success as Ipswich Town manager.
Marshall knows Lambert well having worked as his goalkeeper coach at Aston Villa between 2014 and 2015.
He also knows what it’s like to cross the East Anglian football rivalry divide having moved directly from the Canaries to Portman Road as a player in 2001.
“I was a 38-year-old player coming towards the end of my career when he arrived at Aston Villa,” explained Marshall, now the goalkeeper coach under Lee Bowyer at League One side Charlton.
“Even though he let me go, he treated me respectfully, the right way and was decent.
“A year later he ended up bringing me back as goalkeeper coach and I’ll always be thankful to him for giving me that opportunity.”
Marshall, 43, continued: “He’s a really, really, really nice guy; a real funny character. I know that may come as a surprise to those of you who have dealt with him in the media, but he portrays himself as one person publicly and behind closed doors he can be completely different.
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“He was the one who taught me how to act in the role as a coach.
“He likes a laugh and a joke as much as the next person and will speak to you on a level.
“He’ll be meticulous with the coaching and the preparations, extremely meticulous. The style of football will be high press and high intensity I’m sure because that’s what brought him success at Colchester, Norwich and, initially, at Aston Villa.
“He’s brought with Jim Henry (fitness coach) and Stuart Taylor (assistant manager), who I also worked with at Villa. The lads will find the training high intensity. They will be expected to work hard and win the ball back within a certain period of time.
“I have no doubt he will quickly cut out the silly individual mistakes. That will definitely happen.”
Marshall played 195 games for boyhood club Norwich before signing for Ipswich the summer after they had finished fifth in the Premier League under George Burley. He went on to make 53 appearances for the Blues before further spells with Millwall and Coventry.
“Sadly, I think Paul will always have the Norwich always hanging over him there. I speak from experience,” he said.
“One thing that happens in football is that people always look for scapegoats in times of trouble. If they can find someone to pin it all on, then they will do so. That’s the harsh reality.
“I put my head above the parapet and it happened to myself.
“Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t straight away. The fans were great with me at the start and clearly wanted me to succeed. But when things didn’t start going so well for the team, I felt like I became an easy target because of the Norwich past.
“Hopefully that doesn’t happen to Paul.
“The bottom line is if the team is winning games then no-one will care and, right now, fans will know that getting behind the manager is what’s going to provide the best chance of that happening.”
Marshall added: “Can he keep Ipswich up? Time will tell. That depends on whether he’s given the opportunity to put things right. I would imagine Paul will have made sure he’s been given some kind of guarantee of funds for January.
“Ipswich need investment. I went there several times last season and you can see the whole place looks tired, let alone the squad.
“I know the owner puts a lot of money in to keep the club afloat, but to truly move forwards it realistically needs a lot more.”