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North Stander: 'I would love to be a fly on the wall during a meeting between Lambert and Evans'

Marcus Evans was in the stands at Burton Albion. Picture PAGEPIX

Marcus Evans was in the stands at Burton Albion. Picture PAGEPIX

It's never dull being an Ipswich fan, is it? Even a very welcome opening day win was surrounded by off-field drama as the manager gave us plenty to worry about, writes North Stander Terry Hunt.

Paul Lambert gives the linesman a hard look at Burton Albion. Picture: PAGEPIXPaul Lambert gives the linesman a hard look at Burton Albion. Picture: PAGEPIX

What was up with Lambert? It was the strangest pre-season press conference I've ever seen. Just at a time when we expected a rallying cry for players and fans alike, he was downbeat to say the least.

It certainly gave the distinct impression that he's less than impressed by owner Marcus Evans' policy on transfers, not exactly splashing the cash on signings.

While I can understand Lambert's frustration, one aspect is beyond me. When a manager signs a contract at a club, surely he sits down with the owner and they agree what the budget and spending policy is?

Presumably that happened when Lambert came to Portman Road last autumn? And I assume he accepted the situation, otherwise he wouldn't have come here. So what's changed since then?

MORE: 'He's frustrated too... but the fans deserve to be kept in the loop' - Lambert wants Evans to address Ipswich support

That's twice now that Lambert's words have led to speculation about his future at the club. Remember the interview last season when he didn't seem to know whether he would be here much longer?

It's really not what we need as we begin the task of trying to escape from League One at the first attempt. I would love to be a fly on the wall during a meeting between Lambert and Evans to understand their working relationship.

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Of course, we're all frustrated by Evans' level of spending. Ultimately, it's why his nearly 12 years of ownership have seen the club steadily decline from Championship play-off contenders to our current plight in what I still call the third division.

But, unfortunately, it's highly unlikely to change anytime soon. In fact, with virtually no TV money in League One, the purse strings will surely be tightened even further.

It will be fascinating to see what happens with Lambert. The truth is I really believe that with everyone fit - he has a squad which is capable of finishing in the top six.

MORE: Andy's Angles: A perfect start, a case for the defence and Flynn for the win - observations from Burton

The win at Burton was a good start against a decent team at this level. Of course, the line-up was much changed from what we were watching during last season.

The two players I'm most excited about aren't new to the club, but they feel like signings. If Emyr Huws can stay fit, he can be a real force. He and Alan Judge are capable of being the best midfield players in the division.

The other player who feels like he's just arrived is Danny Rowe. When I've had the odd glimpse of him, I've always been impressed, and I really couldn't work out why he was sent out on loan last season when we needed all the help we could get! Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do this time around.

MORE:
Player ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in the 1-0 victory at Burton Albion

We also have some great youngsters - Luke Woolfenden and Flynn Downes, for example. I think Woolfenden will be a regular alongside Chambers this season, and Downes can be a terrific, combative force - so long as he keeps the aggression under control!

Plus, of course, we have our magnificent "12th man" in the form of the Blue Army. What a brilliant turn-out at Burton. With a few exceptions - Sunderland and Portsmouth - we can make away matches feel like home games. It must be worth a goal start!

I know there will be those who say I'm living in cloud-cuckoo land, and that I should be focusing on the many problems at our club. I'm certainly not blind to those, but you know what? I'm fed up with all the misery, and if you can't be optimistic at the start of the season, when can you be?

MORE:'It can go either way when you come down... so I'm really, really happy' - Lambert hails Town after Burton win

So, unless and until I have to change, I will stay upbeat. One game, one win, and a clean sheet isn't a bad start, is it? Let's enjoy it - we had precious few opportunities to do that last season!

Next Saturday, of course, sees the ultimate benchmark. Sunderland will be up there challenging for automatic promotion, and it will be fascinating to see how we compete against them. The atmosphere will be fantastic. For 90 minutes at least, we can forget this is League One. Close our eyes, and we can dream it's a Premier League game!

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