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Lambert: Donacien Strongest at Centre-Half
Wednesday, 21st Nov 2018 18:21

Blue boss Paul Lambert says he sees summer signing Janoi Donacien as a centre-half primarily rather than a right-back.

Donacien, 25, was brought in from Accrington Stanley in the summer to play at right-back by former boss Paul Hurst, although having played most of his football last season at left-back for the League Two champions.

However, while coming through the academy ranks at Aston Villa, with Lambert in charge for almost three years of his spell with the Midlanders during which time he was an unused sub for the first team twice, he was mainly viewed as a centre-half.

Asked which he believes is Donacien’s best role, Lambert said: “Centre-half. That’s me. I know he’s played right-back and left-back and he might go right back, left-back I’d say no.

“Right-back I’d say if we needed somebody to fill in that area then that’s an option but I still see his strongest position as centre-half.”

Donacien joined Town in the summer in a deal which is initially a season-long loan but will become a permanent £750,000 switch once the St Lucia-born defender’s permanent leave to remain is confirmed.

Lambert says that as far as he’s aware that confirmation is still to arrive with the paperwork, which is understood to be a formality, having taken longer than had been expected to arrive.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure but I think they’re still working on it or it’s coming through,” Lambert said.

“He was only a kid [when I was] at Aston Villa. Time moves, people get older and he knows himself that Chambo and Matthew Pennington are playing really well together and they’ve got to be ready if anything happens as well.

“But training-wise, never a problem. A good pro, does everything that's asked of him. Good about the area, so no problem.”

He added: “I’m not sure of too much the detail [relating to the permanent leave to remain] because I’m only just here. I know a little bit about it but I don’t know the crux of what it entails. I just train the team and pick the team and I deal with other things later.”

While he sees Donacien as a centre-half, Lambert has been impressed by Trevoh Chalobah, who plays as a central defender for the England U20s and Chelsea, in midfield for the Blues.

“Chelsea’s obviously his parent club, they’ll see him where they see him,” he said. “I’ve just come in here and seen him play in midfield.

“I saw him play in three at the back at Millwall and that didn’t go down too well, not just Trevoh I think the way the team was playing, the confidence was low and things weren’t going their way.

“But, since I’ve been here, the two midfield games he’s played, he’s been excellent, he’s been brilliant for us. He looks comfortable in the middle of the pitch.”

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Tractorboy1985 added 19:00 - Nov 21
Finally a manager who sees the same as the fans! So pleased to see the back of wurst and his crew.. even if we do go down I feel comfortable with lambert! Seems a good bloke! COYB

terryf added 19:48 - Nov 21
Thought he was all over the place playing centre-half against Blackburn, but excellent playing right-back against Villa, especially as he was up against Adomah. As for playing left-back definetely no. Kenlock has much more to offer in that position when fully fit.

iaintaylorx added 21:26 - Nov 21
Agree with Terry. Looked horrendous at centre half on the opening day, but when he was put at RB for the second half, he was probably our best player. Having said that, it could have been down to nervous! Trust Lambert 100% though, COYB!

PJewellisaGod added 00:22 - Nov 22
He's more needed at CB than RB. We have Spence, Emanuel, Cotter and Crowe that can all play in that position.

We shouldn't have signed a RB in the Summer unless they were significantly better than what we have. We now have too much competition for some places (like RB) and too little in others (strikers). As Lambert has said, the squad is unbalanced in a number of key areas.

harlingblue added 00:37 - Nov 22
I must admit that I like what I have seen of Donacien at right back, when he had the chance to play in that position, in a poor Hurst team. However I trust Paul Lambert's judgement, Chambers and Pennington are a good pairing, but both lack pace, food for thought there?

OwainG1992 added 05:54 - Nov 22
Good God he sees sense! It was blatantly obvious he wasn't a left back. I know Jonas isn't perfect by how on earth was PH dropping him for donacien at LB.

wherescounago added 10:24 - Nov 22
His best position may be centre half but not in our team!! He's just League 1 at best! I know I'll be down marked on this but what I have seen of him doesn't fill me with confidence.

rugbytomc added 10:46 - Nov 22
left-back I’d say no.

THANK YOU PAUL LAMBERT! Already seen more sense than Hurst. £750k is a lot for this club. I thought he was going to be the answer to all of our right back problems - then he got played on the left where we already have Knudsen and Kenlock - baffling! Right back against Villa and second half against Brentford I thought he did well. I don't rate Spence or Emmanuel and Cotter is massively unproven and Crowe is only 17. So I think he may yet get a chance again at right back.
Just goes to show though than Milne and Evans don't really know football. They gave McCarthy no funds, yet allowed Hurst to shell out £750k for this guy and over a million for the two from Shrewsbury - none of whom get in Paul Lambert's team (a team that sits bottom of the table so they really can't be ready/good enough for the Championship). Evans needs to cough up the funds to allow Lambert to correct Hurst's transfer mistakes. That might mean we have too many players for some positions (like central midfield!) but Evans needs to take the hit in the pocket, hope Lambert can first keep us up and second shift some of the extras on at the end of the season

dirtydingusmagee added 15:02 - Nov 22
I like Paul Lambert , he is getting to grips with things and unpicking all the knots that Hurst left. He has direction , and a calmness that has been lacking, Hurst was not up to it and was a ''headless chicken '' flapping about aimlessly and creating a mess.

DurhamTownFan added 15:32 - Nov 22
I like lambert too. He’s not been backed into a corner and made to play Hurt’s signings, which really helps. He can judge each on their merits (or lack of!) Glad we’ve gone back to a manager who knows his own mind and knows how to judge a player.

Taricco_Fan added 16:48 - Nov 22
Donacien can provide a decent cross into the area which is something that can be taken advantage of if he plays at right-back.

Just saying.

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