‘There are things I would do differently’ - Lambert on what went wrong and questions over his future
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Following Ipswich Town’s 11th-place finish in League One, ANDY WARREN spoke to manager Paul Lambert about what went wrong and whether he’s the man to put it right.
How did you feel when the decision came through from the EFL vote?
PL: There was a bit of relief with it really because it had been going on and on and on, so I’m pretty sure a lot of people would have felt the same.
A lot of teams had a lot of things to play for so I get why there was indecision there, although a decision should have been made a long time ago.
I’m a believer that football is one sport so if the Premier League and Championship play, so do League One and League Two. It has to go right down the pyramid.
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The vote ended 18 to four, which was incredible. I expected that to happen really but it took far too long.
Ipswich were obviously one of the clubs who voted to play... so do you believe you could have made the play-offs?
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PL: Yeah, I do. That was the big thing for us. We had five home games.
I think we would have had to win six of those games to get in but we were more than capable of doing that, even though February and March weren’t good months for us. We fell at a hurdle where you have to hit your highest point.
We were top in January but February and March weren’t good. We never performed and lost games. That hurt us.
Is 11th a fair reflection on your season?
PL: They say the table never lies. That’s the reality of it.
But we were top. The fall was so dramatic and that’s where we were. We had a chat with the lads and said we needed a run to get into it.
The start of the season maybe helped people get carried away. People thought we only really had to turn up but we were always a big scalp. We got the results early and everyone played really well.
We had a dip before Christmas but then got it back in January
Has this period given you time to reflect on what went wrong?
PL: I’ve looked at things over the last few months myself and thought about what I could have done differently as well as what did and didn’t work.
I need to look at that and change certain things. Hopefully we can bring people a lot of joy next season.
These few months have given me time to think and reflect. I have a lot of things written down which I hope can be corrected.
We lost players to injury, which didn’t help, but we can’t use that as an excuse.
Is the rotation system something you would change?
PL: Yeah. There’s that and other things as well. One or two things I’d do differently.
The rotation was because of the amount of games with the league and cups. We used the EFL Trophy as a chance to give young players a chance and that was important.
It worked initially and people weren’t bothered until we started losing games. But we need to look at things.
Would you accept the season was a failure?
PL: Any season when you don’t win a trophy or promotion it’s a failure. I’ve had so many highs during my own career to know that when you don’t win things aren’t right.
We have to try and put it right.
Do you understand why, after a mid-table finish in League One, people might question whether you are the right man for the job? Would you consider your own position?
PL: I understand it but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’ve been in the game long enough to know how that all works.
I don’t get caught up in anything good or bad. I just try and do the best job I can.
Results and winning games are the most important thing. We came in and lifted the club from a really low ebb.
I get that things didn’t go the way we wanted and we will strive to do better. I don’t get caught up in it all and try and go and have a successful time.
You certainly lifted the crowd but do you think that’s something you now need to do again? Can you do that, especially at a time when fans may not be allowed into games?
PL: The only thing we can try and do is win games.
Hopefully the fans are able to be there because there is no game without fans, we need them.
But if we can start the season off really well again then maybe we can give people a lift. Fans may be watching games through different avenues, I don’t know.
That’s what we will try and do and hopefully the lads can go out and perform.
We gave fans some enthusiasm and we have to try and do that again now.