Lambert: We’ve identified players but it’s not happened for one reason or another
Town boss Paul Lambert spoke frustratingly about the lack of transfer activity as the Blues boss prepares to embark on the new campaign.
Apart from James Norwood, the Blues have only brought in Luke Garbutt, Will Norris and Tomas Holy this summer, with free agent defender James Wilson also set to sign.
Asked if anything was in the pipeline in regards to transfer activity: “No, there’s no one coming in which is frustrating,” he said. “But that’s football here, and as I said before, we identified guys and it’s not materialised, so that’s where we are.”
When asked if it was players or clubs asking for too much money: “Work it out yourself, you work it out yourself.”
So would that imply a lack of investment from Town Owner Marcus Evans: “You work it yourself; they’re not coming and that’s the way it is. We have to go with what we’ve got, the lads will give us everything, they’re really young, but they’re ready for the game.”
Is this a surprise to Lambert: “It’s the way the club’s run, it’s the way it is.”
After admitting that the squad needs a bit of help – “Of course we do” – Lambert was asked whether he needs more funds from the owner.
“We’ve brought in two free transfers and one loan and maybe one short-term, you don’t need to be Einstein to see what it is,” he responded.
Is the squad good enough to get out of League One: “No it’s not, absolutely not.”
He added: “I’m not happy with the situation and the way things are. I’ve said before that the club is a brilliant club and it’s got a brilliant fanbase behind it with lads that need a bit of help. We can’t sit here and say it’s right what’s happening.”
Despite Evans being aware of Lamberts frustrations, the Town boss still insists on a good relationship between the two: “It’s good. He says his bit and I say my bit, and somewhere along the line we try and meet in the middle.”
Asked if the pair are currently on a different page with the regard to the transfer situation, he said: “No, you’re saying that, you can’t allege that, we’re not on a different page, the two of us know exactly how it is, but it’s not my money.”
Could it be a case of having to sell before buying this window: “There could be a bit of that, but we have to wait and see.”
But he says the players he has, he wants to keep: “Yeah, that’s exactly it. But that’s the challenge of management at times, I don’t mind that and that can happen, it’s the size of the club and expectancy level is really big.
“The history and what happened in the past attached to it with a great team and lads that have been promoted here and the great UEFA Cup team.
“The history of the club is huge, and quite rightly it should have that feeling about it, but if you have to sell to bring people in then, I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a factor.”
But he says there’s been little interest in his players this summer in any case: “Apart from Judgey, I’ve not heard too much.”
With the sale of Harrison completed and sell-on fees with Mings and Clarke with the potential of Webster and Moore too, could that be added to the pot: “Ellis had to go, that was important for Ellis, and I don’t want to keep someone here that wants to go or finds themselves down the pecking order, whatever it is you don’t want that to happen,” he said.
Ellis Harrison money went back to Bristol Rovers,” he said. “How much of it? All of it. So there’s no money that’s come in.”
Asked how that worked, he added: “The sell-on thing or whatever it is, it goes back, it doesn’t come in here. If he came in here then I’m pretty sure I’d have spent it. Have you seen me buy anybody?”
“Mings, Clarke, maybe Webster, we haven’t bought one player,” the Blues boss continued. “I don’t know if the money has come in, nobody has told me it has come in. I don’t know.”
He added: “Whatever way those deals were structured before I came in, whenever the money comes in, it could be three years’ time down the line, four years down the line, it could be now, I don’t know.
“But you haven’t seen one player I’ve bought, I’ve not bought a player.”