‘It can only go one way!’ – City legends back Lambert to rebuild Ipswich but vow not to join him at Town

PUBLISHED: 16:56 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:56 22 March 2019

Russell Martin and Wes Hoolahan at Carrow Road as Norwich City Football Club announce their testimonial will be played next May.
PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Russell Martin and Wes Hoolahan at Carrow Road as Norwich City Football Club announce their testimonial will be played next May. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

(c) 2018 Archant Norfolk Prospect House Rouen Road Norwich

Russell Martin may not approve of Paul Lambert taking over at Ipswich Town – but the Norwich City legend is backing his former manager to rebuild the relegation-bound Blues.

The man who led the Canaries from League One to the Premier League took over at Portman Road in October but has been unable to salvage Town’s Championship season, sitting 13 points adrift of safety with eight games left.

“It didn’t surprise me, he’s really single-minded and he believes in himself,” Martin said, at a Talk Norwich City Q&A session alongside Wes Hoolahan, to promote this May’s fund-raising legends game at Carrow Road.

“What footballers want is someone who has got a clear way of doing things and is secure in the way they do it. He’s got no insecurity about him at all, about what he’s done in the game, what he wants to do.

“I think what he saw was the opportunity to be at a club for a while, and he’s not had that for quite a while.

“He’s probably chosen the wrong job but I’m probably the wrong person to ask, I’m a massive fan of Paul.

“I don’t support him going over there to the blue and white, and he knows that, but he’ll always be the gaffer to me when I see him and it’ll be the same with most of the lads that have played for him.

“But I think he sees it as a chance to rebuild something, like he did here. The club’s a shambles isn’t it, so it can only go one way!

“It was a mess but I’ve got no doubt that he’ll sort it out.”

MORE: City legend Hoolahan hoping for a ‘great day out’ as celebration game at Carrow Road is revealed

During a light-hearted event about both players’ City careers, Hoolahan vowed not to sign for Ipswich, with Martin saying: “I wouldn’t do it. There was a very loose, joking conversation about it but he knew my answer!”

Looking back on Lambert’s success at Norwich, Hoolahan said: “We had a great bunch of lads in the team, at the time it was amazing and for the three years he was there he changed everything about the training, the intensity, you just wanted to work hard for him.

“He’d have a go at you after the game but afterwards he’d make up with you and say ‘unlucky, next week you’ll do better’.”

• Watch the full Talk Norwich City Q&A at

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