1. ITV Report

Paul Lambert calls for Portman Road 'party' at Ipswich

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert Photo: ITV News Anglia

Ipswich Town may have struggled to attract decent crowds for their home games recently... but there's no reason for the atmosphere to be flat according to new boss Paul Lambert.

Ahead of their return to SkyBet Championship action against West Bromwich Albion, Town's manager met with supporter groups to discuss what they can do to get the stadium rocking.

Just over 15,000 fans turned out for Lambert's first game in charge against Preston in early November, but the Blues expect a crowd of around 20,000 on Friday night (November 23).

Lambert felt it was valuable to meet with fans and is keen to ensure they establish a stronger connection with the club.

"Maybe there wasn't much of a connection there which i though was lost a little bit. So I came up with the idea of getting the fan groups in.

"It was important to her their views on it as well, to make the club move. Because the club has to move. It can't keep staying on this flatlining level of 'Oh it's Ipswich, it's a nice place, it's easy'.

"You have to move with the times. And the way the modern day game goes, the younger generation fanbase you have to get them through as well.

– Paul Lambert, Ipswich Town manager
"Enjoy yourself, dance around, jump around", Lambert urges Ipswich fans ahead of West Brom game Credit: ITV News Anglia

Lambert recognises the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, known as the North Stand to Ipswich regulars, is where the liveliest fans gravitate at Portman Road, and he wants fans to make it even livelier.

"We need an end where I think it's going to be really vibrant, and really go for ninety minutes, even ninety-five minutes.

"Enjoy yourself, dance around, jump around, music or the drums, sing, regardless what happens because the fans pay an awful lot of money.

"So I wanted to hear their views on it, and what they thought they could make a better atmosphere. And I've got to say the guys were really good.

"They just want the teams to do well and we have to connect with that

– Paul Lambert, Ipswich Town manager

Lambert may be seeking his first win in charge as Ipswich, but Blues' fans have yet to see a home victory as they sit five points adrift at the bottom of the Championship.

If they manage to get the three points against Darren Moore's men it would only be Ipswich's third win this calendar year, and Lambert admits things have to change quickly.

"There's got to be some sort of situation where people come to Ipswich and say 'This is going to be really tough'.

"You have to get that feeling back and I go back to the past when Ipswich had it.

"You have to give the club back to the community. My job is to try and make it vibrant and make it like that, because the support's there.

"We just have to get them back in and we need them. Without the players and supporters, there's not a game of football".

– Paul Lambert, Ipswich Town Manager

Ipswich Town Manager Paul Lambert speaking ahead of Friday night's meeting with West Bromwich Albion