Gaffer taking realistic approach as Wolves take on QPR
Paul Lambert admits he was not expecting any Molineux honeymoon period – and remains focused on being battle-hardened to help Wolves climb the Sky Bet Championship table.
The Head Coach inherited a team which had not won in seven, and won only two in 13, a winless run now extended after his tenure started with a draw at Preston and defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.
And, ahead of tonight’s televised tussle away at Queen’s Park Rangers, Lambert is focused purely on trying to produce the positive result which could spark a reversal in fortunes.
“You don’t get one!,” he said when asked about a honeymoon period.
“Those days have gone. Honeymoon periods don’t exist in football any more, I think you get a millisecond now.
“I never have looked at football as a honeymoon period, even when I played.
“I had to work my backside off to get to where I got to, and I will certainly do (the same) with this.
“You don’t get any time. If you’ve got a strong board and chairman then they’re the ones that probably have success because they don’t hire and fire people really quickly.
“But you see it throughout the world of football – if you lose games you can be away, that’s the nature of the game.”
On Wolves’ current predicament Lambert continued: “It’s realism You can paint it two ways and I’m not going to sit here and pretend we’re in a bed of roses.
“You’re in that fight and you have to realise what you’re involved in.
“Some new guys here at the club have to realise the Championship is a tough league. We’re not right in it, but we’re in a fight.
“Application has been brilliant in training.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve not questioned that.
“They were poor goals against Sheffield Wednesday - if we stop the individual errors we’ll be alright.
“You’ve got to be strong defensively, which we were against Preston.
“When you look at the stats there weren’t too many times Sheffield Wednesday cut us open, but they were better than us defensively.
“We have to come up with a strong back unit but have the flair to go forward.”
And Lambert himself says, after a long career as a player and manager, he is very much ready for the challenge of what lies ahead at Wolves.
“If you’re talking battle-hardened – absolutely I am, I know what’s got to be done,” he said.
“We’ve got to rectify this really quickly.
“My own football career was never glitz and glam.
“People actually portray me as being dour.
“But if you get to know me I like a laugh, but I also know there’s a serious side to football.”
Skipper Danny Batth is available again after suspension but midfielder Joao Teixeira is unavailable tonight due to picking up his fifth booking of the season against the Owls.
Lambert also admits he has a pleasant selection dilemma about who he picks in goal.
“Last week, I thought with Lonergan getting a clean sheet at Preston it was an easy decision,” he said.
“I spoke to Carl during the week and told him and he was great with it, no issues.
“They’re two really good goalkeepers who’ve got their strengths.
“Maybe now it’s a tough call.”
*Tickets are available for Wolves fans on the night at Loftus Road, cash only, with a price increase.