Sunday 18 August 2019

Lambert refreshed for Rovers return at Blackburn

Mark Ogden

Paul Lambert has revealed that he spent time with Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp before ending his nine-month exile from the game by becoming Blackburn Rovers manager.

Lambert, 46, becomes the fifth manager appointed at Ewood Park since the Indian chicken farmers Venky's purchased the club in November 2010.

The Scot succeeds the sacked Gary Bowyer after being out of work since losing his job at Aston Villa in February.

The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder takes charge of a team 11 points adrift of the play-off positions in the Championship and a club working within the restrictions of a transfer embargo.

Lambert admitted that his time out of the game had allowed him to take stock of his approach. Visits to Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Dortmund ensured that he could take on the Blackburn job with freshness and optimism.

"I don't think I could have done any better at Villa than I actually did," he said. "The objective was basically to stay in the league, but it is too big a club to continue doing what it is doing. There are things I would have changed when I look back now, but you can only learn when you are out of it, and you can only learn from your mistakes.

"I was in Madrid, Dortmund and Bayern and spoke to their managers and they had the same type of things going on. I was at Real for five days, Bayern five days, nine days at Dortmund when Jurgen (Klopp) was there, and I am just back from Bayer Leverkusen with Roger Schmidt for five days."

He felt that watching other managers enabled him to realise the value of time away from the game.

"You become caught in tunnel vision," Lambert said. "It is only when you take a step back from it that you see the bigger picture.

"It made me think about everything. I went to Real at the tail-end of last season and Ancelotti said that to me - he said that the next seven or eight months would be the best thing to happen to me and he was right. You refresh and you regroup, which is something you might never have otherwise had the chance to do."


Lambert takes charge of Blackburn for the first time this weekend in a derby against Preston North End at Deepdale.

His team are only four points clear of the relegation zone, but as the fifth anniversary of the Venky's takeover approaches, Lambert insisted the time had come to draw a line under the negativity and focus on a return to the top flight.

"The years under Kenny Dalglish and Jack Walker, when they were winning the league with great players in the team, everything was going great," Lambert said. "But all of a sudden, they probably hit a brick wall and you think, 'What's happened here?'

"The owners have been excellent since I spoke with them and there's got to be a point where people have got to stop talking about the transfer embargo. It just breeds negativity. If you don't win, people just say, 'We're under an embargo', but an embargo doesn't lose you games." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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