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Nottingham Forest 2 v 0 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 1st December 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: We’ll Be in the Fight, Absolutely No Doubt About That
Saturday, 1st Dec 2018 18:30

Boss Paul Lambert insisted that Town will be a seven-team fight to avoid the drop, despite being seven points off safety following their 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Lambert felt the Blues began the game well prior to Lewis Grabban’s first goal, which came after keeper Bartosz Bialkowski had failed to hold Tendayi Darikwa’s shot.

“We started really well and obviously the first goal came from a lad you probably wouldn’t have thought would make a mistake in Bart,” he said. “I thought it was from distance with no great power and obviously it’s come away from him.

“That’s put us on the back foot and that’s given Nottingham Forest an impetus given the home crowd.

“But the second half we made a fist of it when we could have capitulated. All credit to the team, they’re really young and we’ve got a lot of lads who have been brought to the football club and it’s their first time playing in this division a lot of them.

“[Some of the] young players just needed a break from it but if we can stay in the fight I think we’re in about a seven-team league at the minute. We need a little bit of help in January and let’s see what happens from now on in.”

It was the second time in two games Bialkowski, the Blues’ player of the year for the last three seasons, has made a costly error but Lambert backed the Polish international.

“I think he’s a brilliant goalkeeper and a terrific lad and mistakes happen,” he said. “That’s the nature of football.

“It won’t be his first mistake, it won’t be his last, but he’s a really top goalkeeper and it would be wrong for me to say anything.

“He’s been excellent since I’ve been here. OK, mistakes happen but I’m fortunate that this football club’s got two really good goalkeepers.”

Kayden Jackson had chances in the first half with his header from Grant Ward’s cross the best of them.

“He did great to get across with the header, I thought he maybe should have hit the target, but Kayden hasn’t played too much football,” Lambert reflected.

“I gave Jordan Roberts a rest from it, I gave the two kids in the middle of the pitch [Trevoh Chalobah and Flynn Downes] a rest from it because they haven’t had a break from football at all. Gwion [Edwards] had a bit of a sore ankle so we had to watch him as well.

“In the second half, we made a game of it and the crowd were brilliant again. You’re feeling sorry for them because they come in their numbers to watch us. We need everyone at the football club to stay together.”

Is he concerned by the lack of clean sheets, the Blues’ only one this season having come in the 0-0 draw with Bolton.

“I think that’s important but you can’t just blame defenders and the goalkeeper, that’s a collective thing that is. [You can’t] give away sloppy goals, especially against teams of the calibre of Nottingham Forest, they’re a really good side, they’ve invested really well. We have to get ourselves out of the position.”

The Blues boss dismissed suggestions that confidence is a problem: “Do you know what? It’s not. That’s the beauty about it, the lads have been great. There’s a really good spirit of the club and anybody that knows me knows that I’ll never let that go.”

Is it harder to get a win the longer the current winless run - which is now up to seven, including Lambert’s five in charge - continues?

“It can be,” he admitted. “Winning’s contagious, it’s like a bug. When you win and you keep on doing it it doesn’t matter what environment you come to, that’s the beauty about being a footballer. If you get the winning feeling it’s a great feeling.

“But we’re developing, we’re a really a young side. I’d love to know how many in the Championship have got a many young players as we’ve got and plus there are a helluva load of lads who have come from the other leagues. But that’s the nature of the game, but they’re my team and we’ll stick by them.”

Town have another tough game next week away against Stoke, who were relegated last season with Lambert in charge for their final months in the Premier League.

“Absolutely, Stoke a club I know really well, a really good club. Great owners, everything about it was great. But we’ll go there to try and win. I won’t change,” he insisted.

“We’ve got a free week because there’s no midweek game and we’ll go there to try and win.”

Regarding Jack Lankester, who made his full debut, he added: “I think he did well. You never know until they jump in the water whether they’ll sink or swim and that’s great for the club.

“I think he’s going to have a big, big impact in his career and that’ll stand him in good stead, it’ll just show him what it’s like to be a professional footballer.”

Teddy Bishop made his first start since Boxing Day and Lambert was pleased with the 22-year-old display, believing he got better the longer he was on the field.

“He got his second wind. Again, another kid that’s been out a long time injured and it’s just getting a feel of it again.

“There are loads of positives. We never capitulated in the second half and the support at the end was very welcome.”

Lambert has praise for skipper Luke Chambers, who was making his 330th appearance for the club.

“Brilliant, you don’t get many [who do that] but take away the footballer aspect of Luke Chambers, I think as a person he’s top class, he’s a credit to the club, himself and his family.”

Lambert dismissed the idea that the gap, which is now up to seven but could increased to nine if Millwall win at Bristol City tomorrow, is getting too large to bridge.

“I still think it’s a seven-team league at the bottom,” he insisted. “We need a little bit of help in January, I think everybody recognises that. But you never, ever give up and there’s a helluva long way to go.

“We’ll be in the fight, absolutely no doubt about that. We’ll be in the fight because we’ll get better, we are getting better, we just need a little bit more in certain positions in the team.”

Will the owner back him in January or might that depend on how likely survival is at that point? “No, I think Marcus knows this now, he’s a clever guy, he knows this now, he’s been brilliant since I’ve been at the club. We need a little bit of help and everybody recognises that and I don’t have any problem with that.”

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Bildestoned added 22:28 - Dec 1
Two observations; one a repeat.
1) I realised today that this is the first season EVER that I have not looked at the table. At all. Not once. This tells me a lot.
2) As I observed from close distance last Wednesday night Bialkowski and mentioned here before under this Playing Out From The Back regime he is now a nervous wreck. We could all feel it in the stand. He can’t hack it.
2

htb added 22:37 - Dec 1
Blue Lady I would replace Spence with Donacien at right back. He played very well against Villa I don’t know why he was dropped. When Kenlock is fit drop Knudsen who has been poor all season However much it hurts me Gerken has been better than Bart this season.

You cannot just keep picking the same back five who have conceded 9 goals in five games without any one dominating us in this time.
4

Taricco_Fan added 22:52 - Dec 1
The defence is a shambles (keeper included) and four of those five hail from the McCarthy era. Talk all you like about Hurst's recruitment and Evans' sanctioning the sale of so many top players in the summer; many of the experienced pros really need to step up.
5

geminimustang added 23:42 - Dec 1
No criticism of PL but nothing has changed.He took on the job knowing the team was useless and they are still useless.And people believe he will stay after relegation?I think he’ll be gone before the end of the season to try and salvage his diminishing reputation.He hasn’t had success for many a year and ITFC won’t help his CV unless Bale & Messi come on board in January.
1

Oldozblue added 05:40 - Dec 2
It is all about confidence and perception - I can remember only a few weeks ago on this site when everyone was excited and anxious to sign Paul Hurst. The strategy of a young manager developing lower league talent seemed so good then (in theory). Now a more articulate and experienced replacement in Lambert has a similar win/draw/lose ratio. Lambert's biggest challenge is keeping the mood / morale going until January when he can bring in "help". He might still avoid the drop. But the owner is an issue. He might like the club but Ipswich has a small population compared to many Championship teams (population similar to York, Slough Stockport) even Norwich is 50% larger so without external investment it is a struggle. Added to which Evans' businesses are a bit heavily leveraged - so he will always be tempted to minimise costs and maximise taking out any profit. ITFC either need a foreign billionaire or at least a community focussed and really committed and active owner if it is going to be a "self funded" operation. Neither is easy to find - and some clubs never do. You can only bank the history dividend for so long. All is not lost for this season - but a longer term solution is needed.
1

lightingblue added 08:53 - Dec 2
The lot up the road must be having a right good old giggle. Ex manager takes job at local rivals and takes um down!!
0

loudnproud added 09:36 - Dec 2
I concur with most who have made comments about our poor defending. Yes they appear to be MMs little blokes.....sigh....Its a case of keeping our nerve until the Jan window opens and see what minor miracles PL can muster. I do think Barts confidence is taking a big knock and may be needs a break.

Ive never rated Chambers....Leaders need to lead by example and he in my opinion gets away with blue murder. However he is the ONLY experienced defender this club has and it may be foolish to drop him. Hopefully PL has got some targets to address this.

The season is not over until its over and talking about going down this early on in the season is defeatist. It is going to be a fight but I for one keep telling myself that if anyone can get us out of this rut..............Its Paul Lambert.
1

dirtydingusmagee added 09:52 - Dec 2
its good to see that when Paul Lambert leaves [as keeps being said] Evans only has to look on here to find his replacement.
2

TimmyH added 10:40 - Dec 2
I think it's about time we heard from our illustrious owner...absolutely diddly squat from him since the summer after the complete shambles since the 'we'll try something new' interview!!
3

Cakeman added 12:48 - Dec 2
Here’s a sobering thought about how quickly fortunes can change. Did anyone really believe that when non-league Lincoln knocked us out of the FA Cup that we could be playing them in a league match a couple of years later.
I guess Coventry and Blackpool would believe it but not many of us Town fans I would imagine.
1

jonwillpott added 15:03 - Dec 2
Looking at the highlights from yesterday it is quite clear where the problem lays in our defence....firstly, sadly Bart seems to have lost the plot for whatever reason when he was previously a top keeper and secondly, Jordan Spence - he is not marking his man properly...in fact in the second goal he was no where near where he should have been!! Think until January we will to have to go with Gerks & Donacien if we are to stop leaking poor goals!!
1

brittaniaman added 15:42 - Dec 2
I wonder if Burnley would loan us Pope or even Heaton ?? these two are top class keepers who cannot get a game since Hart has arrived and pinched there place.
Only a thought !!
4

chorltonskylineblue added 17:11 - Dec 2
We were in '7 or 8' team league mid-week. Now it's 7 and the number will reduce by one gradually with each passing week until we're in a league of 3. From what I've seen it's not just the defence playing poorly , midfielders and strikers are not tracking back (with some honourable exceptions). I get the feeling that the emphasis on more attractive attacking football this season has been at the expense of having a solid team that knows how to defend all over the pitch and manage a game when we're leading.

As for dropping the back five, who would you replace them with (given that Woolfenden and Emmanuel are not available until January at the earliest)?
0

raycrawfordswig added 18:32 - Dec 2
Wish we would fight.
1

ChrisFelix added 20:54 - Dec 2
It's clear that our flanks are unprotected as we continue to leak goals. Realise that spence & knudson are inadequate I wonder what the midfield are doing to support.
Goalie has lost the plot, but gerken I recall doesn't come for cross's & is very suspect at corners
0

warktheline added 21:09 - Dec 2
What a load of bull ! ‘You can’t blame Hurst, defence was here before his arrival!’ It’s the ruddy defence he should have shipped out on arrival, he ‘bottled’ it, and the ‘cozy club’ still remains today !!!!!!
1

PJewellisaGod added 02:27 - Dec 3
We will be relegated way before the end of the season at this rate. Underperforming ex-MM players, player of the year for last 3 years making loads of mistakes, very weak midfield and strikers? We have Sears. Xmas Miracle needed.
0

lowtit added 08:39 - Dec 3
CO Y B ! heads down and get a win! the law of averages means we have to win soon?
0

TB42 added 09:19 - Dec 3
I believe PL is the best possible fit for us at the moment and as such am fully behind him. It will be interesting to see what he does in January!!

In the meantime, I do confess to being a little surprised by his team selection on Saturday, having previously said, "We need to stop the basic defensive errors" that was the only are of the team where he made no changes? Whilst I readily acknowledge the contribution that Luke CHAMBERS has made to the team in his time at Portman Road, as I said sometime ago, you cannot survive on "uplifting rhetoric" alone, you have to deliver on the pitch as well and lead by example! It may be time for PL to consider some more "controversial" changes including awarding the Captain's armband elsewhere COYB .......
1


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