Shortly after Mick McCarthy left Ipswich Town and Paul Hurst left Shrewsbury town to join the Tractor Boys, many fans and even the football club themselves dubbed Hurst’s arrival as a new era for them. That obviously didn’t go to plan as Paul Hurst was replaced by former Norwich City and Colchester United boss Paul Lambert.
Many outsiders believed this to be a terrible change and thought all fans were reluctant to take a rivals former boss as their own, but that wasn’t the case. The arrival of Lambert was met with the majority of Town fans praising the owner, Marcus Evans, on persuading a manager with such a colourful résumé to take the Blues forward, in the same direction he took Norwich City not so long ago.
During Hurst’s reign Town fans experienced some unforgettably bad performances, including a horrendous display against QPR, many saying it’s the worst they’ve ever seen. The only highlight of the season before his dismissal was probably the win against Swansea City, and a win is a win but it definitely wasn’t convincing and the results didn’t follow in that games footsteps as the club were, and still are, bottom of the championship.
Paul Lambert was brought in and straight away told fans to forget his past which included guiding East Anglian rivals Norwich City from League One to the Premier League, and it seems that the Town fans weren’t bothered by his past as they were behind him in his first game against Preston North End.
The home game against Preston may have not seen Ipswich claim all three points but the team played some of their best football in years, and as someone who attended, I don’t think I’ve seen such passion from both fans AND players since the 2014 Play-Off final ironically against Norwich City.
The draw definitely saw Ipswich come away with the full support from the fans and the following weekend they travelled to Reading to take them on in what should have been Lamberts first win. A 2-2 draw was all Town could pick up but once again the players put in such a workload it’s crazy to see them not take 3 points home.
Ipswich Town are five points off second bottom Bolton Wanderers and safety but it already looks as if Paul Lambert has injected the players with a new ambition. Finishing mid table year after year has been such a demoralising feat that may be in his plans, being rock bottom is obviously not fun but a promotion push is pretty much out of reach, I think if Lambert is able to turn this situation around and prove to both the fans and the players that relegation is not an option then it will be a wonderful season for him.
A 7:45 kick off next Friday is the next time Town are in action, hosting West Brom, and although a win would be amazing it is still early days and the players still have a lot of work to do.
So with the Hurst era is well and truly over, the Lambert era already looks 10 times more exciting and will definitely bring fans back to Portman Road.
Picture Credit: Ipswich Town