Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert says his future is uncertain in bizarre post-match press conference
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he faces an uncertain future following this afternoon’s goalless home draw with Gillingham. Here’s the full transcript.
Q: A frustrating afternoon?
A: Yeah, but I'm really proud of them because they kept on taking the ball. It's difficult conditions, the crowd were edgy, one bad pass and it gets edgy, so I'm really proud of them.
I told them at half-time 'it doesn't matter what you do as a professional, keep taking that ball'. I don't care, take that ball in a phone box when there are five guys on you, keep taking that ball. That shows bravery.
I'm proud of them for doing that. There are a lot of young guys out there and it's not easy when you're a big club and you're expected to win every time.
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Towards the end of the first half and second half I thought we did that.
That's something I'm really proud of.
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Q: Why do you think the team started slowly?
A: It can happen. We don't have a divine right. Look at the table, we're second! It's incredible.
The support is fabulous. Twenty-two thousand is absolutely unbelievable. When I first came in it was 12/13 thousand, so that's nearly seven thousand more.
Season tickets are flying through the roof and a lot of good things are happening. Everybody wants to win, but there are a hell of a lot of good things happening here that's for sure.
If it was that easy then Sunderland would have got out of it, Sheffield United wouldn't have been in it for five years. It's a difficult league but we're sitting second. We just need to finish it off.
As I say, I'm really proud of them. They were all taking the ball and that for me is the mark of a good footballer when there is a level of expectancy.
I know that because I played for huge, huge clubs.
Q: No shot on target...
A: We had good opportunities. We had chances to pull the trigger, but the lads made decisions that only they can see. That's all that is.
I think if you said to Kayden go and do it again then he would probably shoot. The same with Judgey. But the guys are trying not to be selfish, which is good.
Q: Is there a bit of nervousness in those sort of situations because of the run you're on?
A: Were sitting second. That's the thing I can't quite get my head around…
It's how you want to view it. We sit second, we're in a really good place and there is a hell of a lot of football still to be played.
Today stops that little run of defeats, which was important. It's a clean sheet. It was really poor conditions.
Regarding the bravery on the ball, I'm delighted with that. I'm not delighted with a draw, but it stops that little mini run of defeats.
Q: I know the cup games made it a bit of an odd schedule, but even taking them out the equation it's 10 points from 10 league games now. That form, over a prolonged period, is not going to get you where you want to be this season.
A: Listen, if they want to go and employ another manager - nae problem - I'll go. It's not a problem for me to go. I'll leave tomorrow, I'll leave the next day. It's not a problem.
Ipswich Town is the most important thing. Not me. Ipswich Town is the most important thing. I'll go.
Whatever happens, the club is in a really good place. It's sitting second in the table and we're not even halfway through.
What the lads did at the start of the season was incredible after relegation.
The football club was an absolute morgue, 12 thousand people here, so to get to this place now…
As I say, if I left tomorrow, and I don't know when I leave, Ipswich Town is the most important thing.
If they bring in somebody else, it's not a problem.
Q: You saying that will now raise a lot of questions…
A: No it doesn't, no it doesn't. It doesn't raise questions because I'm a realist. I'm not going to tell you lies. I'm a realist, I'm not a fantasist.
Q: But you're surely not saying that you think you're in danger of getting the sack?
A: Maybe… You don't know. It's not something I lose sleep over, put it that way.
Q: Why do you not lose sleep over it? Your pride would take a hell of a dent wouldn't it?
A: That stopped long ago for me. Football management you get on with. I don't lose any sleep whatsoever. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
Q: Has Marcus Evans given you any indication it could happen then?
A: No, Marcus has been brilliant. Marcus is a brilliant owner.
But I know how football works. I'm not silly.
Q: So you're speaking about the wider context of football - that, as a manager, you're only so many games away from the sack?
A: Aye. It's not a problem (if I'm sacked). I could get my jacket now and leave. Who's going to stop me?
Q: What would that achieve?
A: Ipswich trying to win the league.
Q: Are you saying you're getting a bit exasperated with the atmosphere?
A: No. The club has come a long way in the year we've been here. There was so much wrong with it and you only see the surface of it.
I could go tomorrow. It's not a problem. If Marcus or Lee (O'Neill) says go then I'll go.
Q: Why are you even talking about that?
A: Because it might happen. Nobody knows. Do they?
Q: But you're not anticipating that?
A: I always think you're one game away from the sack.
Q: That's just your fatalistic view of things?
A: Yeah, because I started football at 15 and now I'm 50.
Q: But, to be clear, you have been given no indication that your job is under pressure?
A: No. Those two guys have been really good. They've been really, really good.
Q: And you're not thinking of quitting?
A: I don't know, I don't know.
Q: You don't know?
A: I'll wait and see.
Q: So you're considering your position?
A: No. No.
Q: You did this at Blackburn. You surprised a lot of people and said you'd had enough. Are you feeling that way now?
A: No. I feel good.
Q: Are you sure?
A: Yeah. I feel good.
Q: These just feel like odd comments.
A: Nobody knows. I'm not important to the club. A manager only helps to a certain point, they drive it.
It's not a big issue. It's not an issue.
Q: I think it will be an issue when the fans see these comments in black and white. When they read 'Paul Lambert doesn't know if he'll walk away from Ipswich Town', or words to that affect, that will be an issue.
A: Listen, the support is brilliant, absolutely brilliant, They've been brilliant with me, so I don't have any qualms on that.
I ain't the most important factor. If I'm not the guy to take Ipswich up and somebody else comes in… absolutely brilliant.
Q: Are you the guy to take Ipswich up? You must believe you are.
A: I've got my own thoughts on things. I've got my own ideas on things. Some things I agree with, some things I don't.
Q: Do you mean you don't agree with things Marcus says and does?
A: I've got no problem with Marcus. He's been great. We have a good laugh, contrary to what everybody thinks, but we also have serious moments.
He's been really fair with me, really good with me, on a lot of things.
Q: And he hasn't even mentioned that you might be under pressure. He's not said you need to win X number of the next games?
A: I think he gave me one-and-a-half games! No, he's not said anything like that. He's been as good as gold.
Q: I get that all managers are only ever a certain bad run away from the sack, but Marcus has a reputation for sticking by managers.
A: He didn't sick by Paul Hurst did he?!
Q: But he did with others…
A: Big Mick did a fabulous job here.
Q: Ipswich feels like a club where managers are…
A: Don't say 'secure' because there's no such thing!
Q: Won't these comments be unsettling for the players and fans?
A: The fans and the players always go on. The most important thing is the football club, it's not me. It's the players and the supporters. I always say that and I always will say it.
Q: Would you like to stay here until the end of the season?
A: I'd love to see the club go up, whether I'm here or not. I'd love to see the club in the Premier League.
It's that good with the support it's got behind it. Hopefully one day it will happen because it's a really great club. I hate seeing the way it is. It's a brilliant club to be at. Definitely.