Ipswich boss: Why do people think Portsmouth should be near the top of League One?

Ipswich boss Paul Lambert questioned why people think Pompey should be near the top of the League One.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 2:32 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 7:49 pm

The Blues were well fancied to enjoy a Championship return at the start of the season, having suffered play-off semi-final heartbreak to Sunderland in May.

But despite splashing out on the likes of John Marquis and Marcus Harness in the summer, Kenny Jackett’s side sit 10th in the table.

Although they're only three points off the play-offs, Pompey trail tomorrow’s second-placed opponents Ipswich by eight points after 19 matches apiece.

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Lambert, who is aiming to steer the Tractor Boys to just a second win in 11 games, pinpointed that the third tier is a ‘tough’ division.

But he still feels Jackett, who has come under fire from sections of the Fratton faithful this campaign, is doing a good job.

Lambert told twtd.co.uk: ‘Portsmouth were top of the league with 40-odd points and Sunderland were second (after 19 games last season). I think Luton were (third) and they went and won the league.

‘It’s a long, long way to go and as I’ve said before you don’t win anything in December, but we’re in a good position and we’ve still got a game in hand, but our away form has been very, very good.

Ipswich boss Paul Lambert. Picture: Stephen Pond/Getty Images
Ipswich boss Paul Lambert. Picture: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

‘But again, why do people think they (Pompey) should be up there?

‘It’s tough, it’s a really tough league.

‘Kenny’s done a really good job there in the time he’s been there and the crowd are probably getting edgy and nervy and all those sorts of things after missing out last year.

‘We have to go down there and play our normal game and if we dominate the game then maybe their crowd might change.’

Ellis Harrison will have a reunion with his former employers on Saturday.

After just one season at Portman Road, scoring once in 19 games, the striker moved to Fratton Park for around £450,000 in the summer.

But Lambert holds no grudges.

He added: ‘That’s football. You never have grudges against anybody. I don’t think I’ve ever really fallen out with anyone as a manager, I don’t think I’ve had that. I just try to be honest with people.

‘Ellis was finding it hard to break into the team and people move on, and people stay at clubs.

‘Portsmouth is his club now, I know he’s been in and out of it, so people move, and people stay.’