'Paul gets it... he wants a buzzing cauldron with non-stop chanting' - Lambert meets fans to help improve atmosphere
PUBLISHED: 14:38 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:38 22 November 2018
Paul Lambert met with a group of Ipswich Town fans earlier this week to discuss ways of improving the atmosphere inside Portman Road.
The Blues boss invited the group to the club’s Playford Road training base on Wednesday evening, where he stressed the need for a vocal support and asked the fans’ for their views on how to generate more noise inside the club’s stadium.
Lambert was keen to hear what the fans, which included members of the Blue Action supporters group and North Stand drummers, had to say and has vowed to do all he can to help push through any ideas they might have.
More than 22,000 fans are expected for tomorrow night’s game with West Brom, with changes to the pre-match music play-list and clappers being handed out to supporters in a bid to generate an atmosphere.
“When you get a club with history behind it you tend to find a big fanbase there, which this club has, but I just felt there maybe wasn’t enough of a connection there that was maybe lost a little bit,” Lambert said.
“We had the idea to get some of the fans in to have a chat because we have to listen to fans. There’s a really good end (North Stand) for singing and drums so we need to use that to our advantage.
“It was important to get their views on it and to get the club moving, because it has to and it can’t stay on this flatline level of ‘oh, it’s Ipswich and we’re nice and easy’.
“You have to move with the times and the way the modern game goes means you have to get the younger generation of fans through as well.
“We need an end where it’s going to be really vibrant with fans going for 90, 95 minutes to enjoy themselves. Dancing, jumping, music, drums and singing.
“Fans pay a lot of money and I want to hear their views and how we can make it better and improve the atmosphere.
“The guys were really good. They want their team to do well and we have to connect with that.”
Ross Copsey, one of the North Stand drummers invited to Playford Road by Lambert, said: “Paul very much gets it and he wants people to enjoy it..
“He wants to enjoy it too and has watched games in the stands at Dortmund and is as much of a football fan as anyone else.
“He wants an enjoyable atmosphere for everyone and, while other managers have tried to do something like this, I’m not sure any have gone the extra step like Paul has to try and bring everyone together.
“It’s great he’s taking an interest in the fans because sometimes we can be overlooked. Paul said himself, without the fans the game is nothing.”
Ross Helm, one of the founders of Blue Action, said: “We’re really grateful to have been asked in by Paul and see just how much he wants to get involved and for his team to play with joy and express themselves.
“He wants fans to go out and enjoy the game and to hear that was refreshing and quite invigorating.
“He wants Portman Road to be a buzzing cauldron with non-stop chanting for 90 minutes and that’s exactly what we want too.
“As fans we can’t control what happens on the pitch but we can control what happens in the stands and it was great to be able to talk with Paul about that.
“It really does feel like we are in this together and that’s what we need. He just seems like a football fan who happens to be a manager and that’s great.”
Supporters are advised to arrive in plenty of time for tomorrow night’s game due to the increased attendance