As a token of his appreciation of their unyielding loyalty, manager Paul Lambert has ‘put a few quid’ behind the bar at the Portman Road FanZone ahead of Sunderland tomorrow, in what promises to be an exciting encounter, in front of a very healthy crowd! The first 125 fans who enter the FanZone, which is behind the East of England Co-op Stand, will be given a voucher which they can exchange later for a free drink!
It is another generous gesture by the Scot, who if he continues in this vein, will be giving his clan a good name! The Town boss, who has previously paid for some fans to travel to Blackburn for the away trip last season, is not afraid of putting his hand in his pocket.
And on the subject of the Town support, he said, ” The supporters are unrivalled. As I’ve said before, without them you don’t have a game. The way they turn up in their numbers is incredible really. I know how much the support means to the club. We had to find out why it did diminish and why there was a lack of an atmosphere in the stadium, what was going wrong with it?”
Well, Paul, we can answer that one for you. In those days, we had a manager who was in love with himself and not the club and his arrogance and detachment from the fans was a huge turn-off. In those days, it was all about me, me, me, and not about we, we, we. Sometimes Portman Road was more reminiscent of a graveyard than a football ground, and the lack of an atmosphere was generated by the football we played – or more precisely, the football we did not play!
Now then, this should serve as a lesson to money-bags owner Marcus Evans, who could easily afford to buy everyone a drink tomorrow if he so desired. Instead, his mantra is all about a new coat of paint for the stands and how we must cut our cloth according to HIS needs.
Paul Lambert understands the fans, and he also understands the proud history of Ipswich Town football club and has embraced it from day one. He wants to play attacking football and he wants to keep the supporters entertained. He, more than anything else, is the reason the stadium is rocking again; and the reason too that we will have a crowd well in excess of 20,000, at the ground tomorrow afternoon.
Come on you Blues. Do it for your man!
FW – editor of Vital Ipswich