North Stander: Lambert should stay... Rotating managers is as bad as rotating players

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

North Stander TERRY HUNT on a shambolic result at Lincoln – and why Lambert should stay

Kayden Jackson is brought down but no penalty at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Kayden Jackson is brought down but no penalty at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

What an absolute shambles.

A team playing astonishingly poorly, and a manager who says he's not sure whether he will be at the club for much longer. A pretty toxic combination.

The two are surely linked?

If Paul Lambert's mystifying Boxing Day comments have confused the fans, then I can only imagine the impact they've had on the players.

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix


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The manager is supposed to be motivating the squad, not coming out with weird, incomprehensible comments which must make them feel insecure and uncertain about the future.

It was no coincidence they were so poor at Lincoln, once again looking like a bunch of strangers who just happened to have ended up on a football pitch wearing the same colour shirts.

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With the dreadful run we're in, lots of fans are calling for Lambert's head. Well, we know he won't be sacked in the short term, given owner Marcus Evans' track record of sticking with his managers.

The time to judge Lambert will be at the end of the season. As I've said many times, we have the best squad in this league. If we are not promoted this season, then Lambert will have failed big-time, and he should carry the can.

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

MORE: 5 observations of Town's 3-5 defeat at Lincoln

He has done a great job - off the pitch. His PR skills have attracted fans back to Portman Road, but now the spotlight is falling on what is happening on the pitch. And it's not looking pretty.

As many of us feared, calling games off during international breaks, and making far too many changes for just about every game has cost us hugely. Those decisions were down to Paul Lambert, and he got them wrong. His mistakes, pure and simple.

It has left the team looking anything but a team. They are ragged, disorganised, and like a bunch of people who have had to introduce themselves to each other. I will never accept that ultra-fit professional footballers cannot play every game of the season.

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Going back to the Gillingham game, why on earth didn't Flynn Downes start? He's our best player. And why was Toto Nsiala in the team?

We had a golden opportunity to win that game in front of a bumper crowd, but Lambert picked the wrong team. Once again, his mistake. No doubt about it.

As we go into 2020, I feel we're at a really pivotal point.

There is still time for us to recover, but on the other hand we could easily drift down the table.

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

MORE: Lambert's after-match quotes

As it stands, we're in danger of falling out of the play-off places. If we lose at leaders Wycombe on New Year's Day - as seems likely - we will probably drop out of the top six.

This is in a pretty dreadful division. I have yet to see a half-decent team. Some of them - Wycombe, for example - are organised, and the players know their jobs. But there is no real quality.

It looks like it will be a real melee at the top of the table.

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Wycombe and Peterborough have had some bad results, so the automatic promotion spots look wide open.

I'm beginning to think it will be a case of being the best of a really bad bunch.

That could still be us, but we have to get our act together pretty quickly now.

Will we see some new arrivals in the January transfer window? Perhaps, but I can't imagine Mr. Evans will be terribly keen on increasing the size of the wage bill.

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

It might be a question of some players leaving before anyone can be brought in. But who? I can't believe many of our players are attracting any interest - other than Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden, who we certainly don't want to go.

So many questions...and so few answers. It's certainly good riddance to 2019, surely the worst year in living memory for our once proud football club.

What will 2020 bring? Will Lambert find a settled, successful formula, and take us back to the Championship?

Or will this dreadful, shambolic, winless run go on and see us finish in mid-table? If that happens, then I will really fear for the future. If we don't get promoted at the first time of asking, then the danger is we will get stuck in League One for a long time. There are plenty of other so-called big clubs who have been marooned in the third tier for several season, Will Lambert stay, or will he go? Who knows. Does he want to stay? Again, who knows?

MORE: Lincoln 5 Town 3.. match report

I don't want him to leave - rotating managers is no more successful than rotating players.

But he has to get his act together.

If Lambert fails here, then surely that's his managerial career finished.

Let's hope that acts as a motivator.

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