Paul Lambert's sympathy for Blackburn Rovers boss
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Whatever the result at Carrow Road on Saturday, Paul Lambert believes Steve Kean deserves the chance to turn around Blackburn Rovers' fortunes.
The Lancashire side had to wait until their final fixture last season to avoid relegation and the current campaign has started in similar fashion for Rovers, who sat bottom of the Premier League before their visit to Norfolk on Saturday afternoon.
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is another top-flight boss to have come under pressure in recent weeks – and while Lambert would appear to be at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of fans’ pressure, he still shares sympathy with today’s opposite number.
“Steve is getting unfair criticism and handling it really, really well,” said Lambert. “I just think it’s wrong what he is going through considering he is doing everything he can to get Rovers up the table.
“That is the way fans seem to be going at the minute. One or two results go against you and they want the manger out.
“I’ve never had that but it will come. I saw it the other week with Mick McCarthy, and what he has done for Wolves.
“It’s not nice, no matter who you are or how big you are.
“Nobody likes to be criticised but when you see banners and people turning up for the sake of giving a guy abuse, and then they go back to their families and they are a bit of a mouse.
“They just want to give somebody stick at a football match and then they go back to their wives and they are all quiet.
“People want instant results. Sometimes your face doesn’t fit and people are not even prepared to give you a chance. Steve has only been there for a short time, did really well last year. Yeah, he probably has had a few results that haven’t gone his way but it indicates people want him out for the sake of wanting him out.
“Listen, I know it’s around the corner, don’t worry about that. It might not – but you also have to have in the back of your mind that at some point it will come. That is the nature of the game.
“It can be a lonely place when you are standing there. It’s a tough job. From the outside looking in, I’m pretty sure everybody thinks they can do it but you tend to find, when you are in it, it’s a bit harder.”
Having searched through his squad to find a winning formula, Lambert has been able to name an unchanged side for the last five games – which was set to become six with Blackburn’s visit.
And it would seem nothing clears up those niggling knocks like a few wins: “I’m pretty sure it helps,” added the City boss.
“If you are in the side and you are going to places like the lads have in the last few weeks, those little strains and knocks won’t be there. It’s when you get turned over it might raise its head.
“I don’t think I can say that about this group. We have genuine lads who tell me straight away if they are feeling something. That is the beauty of being the manager here at the minute. I never view it as picking a side and it’s set in stone. I need everybody to perform.”