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‘I believe we’ll stay up... I plan to be here for a number of years’ – what Lambert said at Supporters’ Club AGM

PUBLISHED: 20:56 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 21:13 01 November 2018

Paul Lambert has signed a contract to be Ipswich Town manager until 2021. Photo: Ross Halls

Paul Lambert has signed a contract to be Ipswich Town manager until 2021. Photo: Ross Halls

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New Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert is confident he will save the club from relegation and insists he hopes to stay in charge for years to come.

The 49-year-old replaced Paul Hurst in the hot-seat last Saturday and takes over a side bottom of the Championship table and five points adrift of safety after 15 games.

Last night he took part in a 45 minute Q&A session at the Supporters’ Club AGM at Portman Road and was directly asked if, having signed a contract until 2021, he would stay on if relegation to League One did occur.

“I like your optimism there!” quipped the experienced Scot, whose last three jobs – at Blackburn, Wolves and Stoke – have all lasted less than a year.

MORE: What else was said at the Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club AGM

“I don’t want to talk about going down. You can never promise anything, but I think we’ll stay up. That’s my belief.

“I know that’s really easy to say when you haven’t kicked a ball, but I just think we’ll do it.

“I’ve never given it a thought (about whether he’d stay on) because I don’t think we’ll go down.

“I plan to stay here, hopefully, for a number of years. Hopefully we can make a good job of it and be here for a long time.”

MORE: ‘Maybe things have been lifted a little bit’ - Chambers on Hurst, Lambert, talk of bust-ups and pulling together

Lambert, who charmed the crowd with some light-hearted moments throughout, continued: “We have to put a bit of fight back in the side. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fighter. I come from a hard part of the world in Glasgow. I’ll give it everything I’ve got, I really will.

“I can’t promise we’ll win games, but what I can do is make sure this team will fight and be really strong.

“There’s a way to lose and there’s a way to win. When a team limps over the line it’s not a good sight. It’s up to myself and the staff to change that.

MORE: Staggering symmetry between McCarthy’s great escape and Lambert’s rescue mission... but will the result be the same?

“The training in the few days of being here has been great. That might be down to new manager syndrome. I’ve got to make sure that we don’t pick up for two or three games and then go back to normal.”

On the subject of whether Luke Chambers would remain captain, Lambert said: “I think that lad has taken a hell of a lot on his shoulders, probably too much, and that’s been a little bit unfair on him.

“With what he’s done over the last few days I don’t see any reason for anyone else (to be captain). He’s been a proper man.”

And on long-term injury victims Emyr Huws, Teddy Bishop and Tom Adeyemi, he added: “Huws I think is a really good player. I watched him at Man City a long time ago and I think he’s a really top footballer.

MORE: ‘We need a little help... but it doesn’t have to be a major overhaul’ - Lambert on January transfer plans

“He’s been out for a hell of a long time, but if we can keep him fit he can be a big asset with the way he plays the game. We’ll try and get him to a level where he can sustain playing game after game after game.

“I’ve worked with Tom before (at Norwich). I know what he’s like, he’s got a really good attitude and wants to do well. He’ll be back, hopefully, in January time.

“Bishop is a really good player who has also had a long-term injury.

“There’s three good players there, but we’ve got to be careful that we don’t throw them in and they break down. With the position we’re in we need everybody to be bang at it. We can’t carry anybody if they are not 100%.”

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