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Lambert: As Good a First Half as I've Seen
Saturday, 10th Nov 2018 18:11

Manager Paul Lambert felt the Blues’ display before the break in the 2-2 draw at Reading was as good a first-half display as he’s seen from any of his teams.

“I’ve managed some really good teams and players, I really have in my time in management,” Lambert said.

“And that’s as good a first half as I’ve seen. My God, we were fantastic, we looked great and I think we should have been three or four goals to the good.

“That never materialised but the strides that we’ve made as a football team have been huge.

“I’m proud of them the way they’ve performed, they’ve given me everything in the time I’ve been here and I think it’s plain for everybody to see that we’ve got a good side. It needs a little bit of help but you can just it by the support as well and we’re a club moving the right way.”

Regarding the second half, he added: “I thought we looked dangerous on the counter. Reading, you expect to have a bit of the ball, they’re the home team, you’re not going to dominate a game for 90 minutes.

“They had little moments but I didn’t think too many threatening moments. I was quite comfortable.

“We lost a poor goal, I think we were sloppy on that. The ball should never have travelled 60 yards without us dealing with it and we got caught. Jonas maybe should have tucked in but Jonas’s performance was incredibly high.

“We just maybe lacked that domination we had in the first half but we were still dangerous on the counter. But overall, I can’t ask for any more.”

Does he believe there’s a lack of belief in the team in those circumstances given the season they’ve had up to now? “I really don’t know. I’ve not seen it. Maybe because they’ve been beaten from pillar to post, but that’s a different team that I saw a few weeks ago and I think everyone will recognise that. The level I’m asking them to play at has been incredible. Fantastic.”

Despite playing well in both his games in charge Town have picked up only two points but Lambert preferred to concentrate on the progress which has been made during his short time in charge.

“I wasn’t here 15 games ago, 16 games ago, the damage was there before,” he reflected. “What we’ve got is a team fighting and a crowd massively with it.

“So I always look at the positive, it is what it is, but we are playing at a really high level at the minute and you can see the crowd are right with it.

“You’ve probably seen more than I’ve seen, I can’t judge what happened before and where the club was going but what I do see is a group of guys and a football club going the right way.

“We’ll win games if we keep playing like that. One hundred per cent we’ll win games, that’s for sure. We keep doing that we’ll get out of that zone we’re in.”

Lambert says he’ll be giving the players some time off during the international break: “We’ve trained incredibly hard over the last 11 or 12 days that I’ve been in here. As a wise manager once said to me, ‘A rest is as good as training’. You need a break as well, they’ll get their time with their families, which I think is important.

“They’ll certainly do that and then we’ll come back and we’ll be ready for the West Brom game. Some lads will go with their international teams but the level of the performance, fantastic. Honestly, really, really proud of them and we did everything to try and win.”

Has he been surprised by how well the team has performed since he arrived? “I can only go with my own eyes since I’ve been here. It’s not surprise because I’d never prejudge it before, but everybody comments on it that the level is extremely high and the difference in the team is different.

“I can only see what I see in the short term I’ve been here. That’s a group of guys going every single week, a fantastic work rate, trying to do the right things. They’ll make mistakes, that’s absolutely no problem, but play my way and you’ll be totally fine.

“If you play my way and the mistakes happen, it’s my fault, it’s not theirs. I’m asking them to play that way and they’ve done everything to try and get us wins.”

Reading boss Paul Clement felt a draw was the right result despite being far from impressed with his team in the first half.

“I think so, based on the performances of the two teams," he said. "In the first half, we were bad, really, really bad and I was worried, absolutely. Because of the context of the season.

“We were in the relegation zone at the start of play against another team in the relegation zone and it looked like only one team was in the relegation zone and that was Ipswich.

“They were fighting, running, their spirit was great, they played some good football and we were like a rabbit in the headlights, we didn’t know what to do.

“I think we were fortunate at half-time to come in with the scoreline only at 2-1, it could have been 3-1, could have been 4-1 based on the way we were playing and the errors we were making and the way our backline started the game.

“I find it very difficult to explain why that was because the messages all week, whether it was directly with the players or through you guys [the media] has been, ‘This is going to be a very, very tough game’ and I don’t know why we played like that in the first half.

“You can say it as much as you want but if it’s not maybe at the conscious level but at the subconscious level that it’s not quite right, that you think, ‘We’re playing the team that’s bottom of the table, we’ve got a great chance to win the game’. But it doesn’t work out like that.

“So, we were very poor in the first half, really poor. In the second half I think the players reacted well to what I said and played with the right spirit.

“The football wasn’t perfect but certainly gave us the foundation to go and pin Ipswich back a little bit and I think we finished the stronger team. We deserved to at least draw the game and at the end we’ve had the better chances.”

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martin587 added 18:20 - Nov 10
Great assessment Paul.Agree 100%.Things can only get better under your management.

JCBLUE added 18:26 - Nov 10
Loving Lambert ..... we r moving in the right direction

WhoisJimmyJuan added 18:27 - Nov 10
Echoes of Burleys arrival I'm hoping here. Too late realistically to avoid the drop but groundwork done this season by instilling belief in the players, good coaching, good recruitment etc.. then build for promotion back to this division and beyond I hope.

RegencyBlue added 18:32 - Nov 10
It was certainly the best 45 minutes I’ve seen from us for a very long time.

jas0999 added 18:44 - Nov 10
Good manager. If anyone can get us out of this mess he can. But sadly one win in seventeen tells its own story. The summer transfer activity clearly to blame. Lambert has a tough job. Solid start, but we need wins.

iaintaylorx added 18:49 - Nov 10
Love the passion Lambert has. Always on the touch line clapping and hyping up everything we do! Really excited for this season now - even though we are bottom! COYB!!

Gilesy added 19:08 - Nov 10
I'd say our chances of staying up are 50/50, but if we do go down, I don't think it would be a long-term disaster; under Hurst (and I was in favour of his appointment at the time) I think it would have been.

Lambert has changed the whole atmosphere at the club in a way which has surprised me.

jas0999 added 19:26 - Nov 10
Gilesy - I disagree. If we go down it could be for a sustained period. Lambert I doubt would hang around. Could be wrong.

If we do go down, then it won’t be for the want of trying. Blame lies with the owner though.

Davidwb20 added 19:46 - Nov 10
I think PL is a fantastic Manager. He has totally reinstalled belief and that definitely showed in the first half. Shame we did not get him from the start of the season. I am certain PL would have bought wisely unlike PH!

IpswichT62OldBoy added 20:16 - Nov 10
We won't go down.

BlueMachines added 20:22 - Nov 10
We are NOT relegated yet. Yes 1 win in 17 but only two of those games under Lambert. We don’t need to finish 6th to avoid relegation just 21st. Well within our grasp. Imagine if the players gave up in November? We as fans would be fuming. Let’s stay positive. So far under PL we’ve been a different team. Maybe not world beaters but certainly showing enough to be in with a shout of staying up. Believe people, believe !!

rdibble added 20:23 - Nov 10
Paul Lambert is a blue he hates Noridge!!!!

BlueMachines added 20:23 - Nov 10
Jas099 he hung around at Carrow Road in that division. Why not here?

PJewellisaGod added 20:30 - Nov 10
No doubt from anyone that we are moving in the right direction under Lambert. He's clearly picking the best XI in the best formation, using the appropriate tactics and is getting everything he can from these players. No criticism towards Lambert whatsoever, just wish he had been appointed over the summer.

I'd think it's less than 50/50 to stay up though. I'm usually criticised for being unrealistically optimistic but I believe the chances of us staying up are way slimmer than 50/50.

I'm sure all of us are finding it tough as ITFC fans right now, but there are plenty of worse things that can happen in life. Sense of perspective needed. We may well bounce right back up with Lambert at the helm.

My two nephews, former ITFC fans (but both got bored to death and left during Keane/Jewell time) are laughing at our predicament (Norwich fans now). Keep getting texts along the line of "mind the gap" and "the only things I find funny are watching daily mash and Ipswich highlights". Thing is I think under Lambert things will change much for the better and if they do go up we might find ourselves both in the same division again in two years time.

BcarefulwhatUWish4 added 20:44 - Nov 10
I don't care that we are favourites for the drop. We are only 5 points from safety and this new team spirit will surprise a few of the better teams in this division.

@RegencyBlue * spot on about first half, probably the best we have played in six months
@jas0999 *why do you think Lambert would leave?
@pjewellisagod *forgot about parachute payments. same division, very different situation.


adepowers added 20:51 - Nov 10
PL you are a top bloke, the encouragement he must give those players will only inspire their self confidence.. keep up the good work.

alfromcol added 21:11 - Nov 10
Best 45 minutes of football from Town seen in the last 10 years, if only we could have converted those chances!

Where did we get Jackson from, totally ineffective when he came on

pazzy added 21:47 - Nov 10
I believe the football PL is playing WILL keep us UP the players have bought into it lets get behind team and BEAT wba COME ON TOWN

Henrietta_R_Hippo added 21:57 - Nov 10
Hmmm if only we (as in Ebeneezer Evans) "could" afford some Dortmund players, especially their bench-warmers!, in the January Window. :-) :-)

See with sub Paco Alacer's gleeful winner today Dortmund have now scored a surreal **18** goals by substitutes in all competitions this season. That's at least 10 more than ANY other team in Europe's top 5 leagues. Quality!!!

(BTW altogether a truly fabulous evening game of superb attacking football to watch in that German top clash today, which ended 3-2 to Borussia against Bayern.
I eventually picked that one to watch second today over WBA - Leeds, which with it's 5 goals too didn't sound too shabby an attack-minded contest either mind you lol. And as I said in a earlier post, Beware fellow ITFC fans: Big boys WBA --- and now again at full fearful strength --- will in all likelihood be a much much tougher "cookie" for us & Positive Paul's improving looking XI to "SHINE" against than versus either of these latest two largely dysfunctional & especially poorly defensively fellow bottom strugglers i.e. Preston & Reading. "Just saying"... :-D :-D)

algarvefan added 23:49 - Nov 10
Oh come on guys, 'down already' FFS it's only November and early November at that. The transformation already can be seen and the improvement is there for all to see.
There is a transfer window in January and that will test the clubs resolve, just a few key signings and it will make all the difference. I think we will avoid the drop, maybe not by a great deal but we will avoid it.

All we can ask for as fans is 100% effort and I think we are getting that, a continuation in improvement with the odd setback will see us through, we must keep trying to pick up points, but it's early days for PL, get behind the team fellow supporters, cut the negativity and lets keep Town in the Championship.

ArnieM added 00:00 - Nov 11
Why does Bart have his arms down by his sides for Reading’s first goal? Not even poised for saving a shot. SO overrated!

Lightningboy added 00:28 - Nov 11
Some of the stuff we played in the first half today was like watching the Burley years - wonderful what Lambert’s done in such a short time - I feel optimistic & proud of my club again despite being bottom.

Vitally important that we keep hold of Lambert for the long term.

guentchev added 06:52 - Nov 11
Even if we only had 4 games left in the season and we are 5 points behind I wouldn't expect us to throw in the towel. Plenty more football still to be played....remember Leicester City a few years back? Way behind and odds on for relegation...but they put in an incredible run and survived...

Some posters are acting like we should just capitulate now and plan for league one.....

If we can keep within range until Xmas...we will be strengthened and survive is hoping for some good results sooner rather than later...

I_AM_GOD added 10:15 - Nov 11
Without changes to personnel, we are playing well. Scoring goals. Creating chance. And appear to have self belief and confidence back. Let’s now rid the mistakes at the back and we will go on a run.

Sears is also scoring and looking better for it. So let’s turn the support up further, get behind our team and at least we are now making a fight of it.

runningout added 10:59 - Nov 11
Seeing out this season with a smile win lose or draw, relegation or no relegation. Too much more sh*t in this life to be bothered with

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