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Lambert: A Huge Point
Saturday, 22nd Dec 2018 18:05

Boss Paul Lambert felt Town’s point against Sheffield United was "huge" as the Blues built on last weekend's victory over Wigan and closed the gap to safety to only four points plus goal difference.

Reflecting on the 1-1 draw with the Blades, Lambert said: “They’re as good a team as I’ve seen in the short time I’ve been here.

“All credit to my own team, we’re a really young side, so much inexperience, as I’ve always said.

“Delighted with the application and the enthusiasm for the game’s great. We try to play a game against a really good side and towards the end it could have gone either way, but credit to them they’re a really good side.”

Lambert believes the point is a significant one against a team which went into the match fifth, but which ends the afternoon sixth.

“Huge, they’re sitting in the top five,” he reflected. “As I said before, if you look at our team, Dozzell, Lankester, Flynn Downes, Chalobah, they’re all 18 or 19-year-olds.

“I’d love to know if there’s another team in the division with that number of players at that age.

“The midfield is so inexperienced it’s not true, but what they have got is a great desire.

“I think Chalobah is going to be an exceptional player. Andre was getting his first start in a while.

“We’re getting there, slowly but surely, we need a little bit of help, as I’ve always said.

“They’re full of experience Sheffield United, they really are, they’re a really good side.”

Regarding Ellis Harrison’s goal, he added: “It was brilliant, it was a fantastic goal. It was a good bit of pressure on the ball which made the goal happen.

“It’s just wonder finish. I’m delighted for him. He’s been patient, he was injured when I first came in and Jordan Roberts’s performances have been very, very high, him and Kayden Jackson’s, but I just thought I’d throw him in for this one.”

Having conceded Billy Sharp’s goal just after the break, Lambert felt his team showed great spirit and also felt the crowd played their part.

“They did, but the atmosphere in the stadium helps that as well,” he said. “As I said before, the atmosphere’s fantastic here. I really enjoy playing here and I think everybody can see it. As I said before, we’re in the fight, that’s for sure.”

Does he believe his team are starting to get some momentum going? “I’m getting blood out of the stone, as they say. I’m getting everything out of them, I can’t ask for any more, they need a little bit of help as I’ve always said.

“Whether it comes or doesn’t come, [then] it doesn’t come, but I know in my own mind we need a little help, everybody recognises it.

“We’ve a lot of lads here that have never played this division, a lot of them. When push comes to shove, not many have played in the division.

“Everybody else, the teams are all experienced. These are young guys who are trying to make a name for themselves in the game. They came from the lower leagues.

“I was asked before, ‘How do you make them better?’. I think that’s there for you to see. I can’t ask for any more effort, I love working with them, they’ve been absolutely brilliant.”

Speaking on Thursday, Lambert said some of the terms loan players are available on are outrageous.

“They are, I know exactly what it’s like,” he added. “The Championship’s a knock-on effect of the Premier League. The finances are really incredible with some of it and you can’t put the club in precarious position.

“If people it’s dead easy to get a loan in, it’s not, because the finances are huge at certain times.

“We’ll work to make sure this club is going to be stable for a number of years.”

Regarding Oliver Norwood’s off the ball challenge on Trevoh Chalobah late in the second half, Lambert was convinced it should have been a red card.

“Yes, I thought they should have [reduced to 10 men],” he said. “I think [Blades manager] Chris [Wilder] said the same. I think it’s a stonewall red card.

“I think the referee… I need to choose my words here because I don’t want to lose some money over the Christmas period.

“I think you all saw it, I think the referee was indecisive with certain decisions and I thought that was a red card. Chris said the same.

“But the actual foul leading up to it might have been Sheffield United’s foul but he let that one go. But how that’s not a red card I don’t know."

Sheffield United assistant manager Alan Knill thought the Blades were going to win the game once they had equalised.

“I thought we dominated the game, to be fair, from start to finish,” he reflected.

“We had a dodgy five or six minutes after they scored but apart from that I thought we were pretty much in control really.

“The only thing that was missing was obviously a clinical finish at the end of it.”

Blades skipper Billy Sharp, 32, missed a number of first-half opportunities but netted the visitors’ equaliser soon after the break.

“Billy Sharp keeps going, doesn’t he?” Knill added. “He’s not disappointed when he doesn’t score. He keeps going into those areas where he can score and thankfully he was on the end of a great ball to get us back into the game at one-all.

“I’ll be honest, I thought we were going to, not comfortably win the game, but win the game from there, but it wasn’t to be.”

Asked whether he was worried Norwood would be shown a red card, he said: “I’ll be honest with you, I thought the first incident was a foul for us. I thought Chalobah fouled Ollie and then as Ollie’s got up he’s just run into the back of him and, yeah, it could go any way that.

“The crowd got up and it could influence [the referee] but in the end I thought it was the right decision really. Of course I did, didn’t I!”

Photo: TWTD

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martin587 added 18:21 - Dec 22
Thank you Paul for the turnaround of this great club.Long may we progress under your leadership.

BlueySwede added 18:32 - Dec 22
Good point against a good side! Where is Bishop by the way?

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 18:34 - Dec 22
Hard fought draw against a technically better side. To gain a point here was down to sheer determination, and actually, despite all their dominance, Sheffield didn't manage to create that many opportunities to score. With PL's "little bit of help," I am beginning to think we have a chance, whereas before I'd pretty much given up hope of staying in the same division next season. But whatever division we are in, the club as a whole is in a much better shape than it has been since, probably, George Burley's days.

parkinshair added 18:50 - Dec 22
This match would have been dead and buried under Hurst. Lambert seems to have the respect of the players like McCarthy but also a good relationship with the supporters. Anyone who goes can see he is passionate about the job in hand and is doing everything he can to drag us out of the mess he inherited. He has worked wonders in a short space of time and has united fans and players. Something he haven't had in a long time.

Suffolkboy added 18:51 - Dec 22
Let’s all stay positive : we’ve got just the right man now I/ c football and though one and all continue to be discreet it’s very obvious there’s a revived atmosphere of enthusiasm throughout .
Looks as if there’s a chance of P Rd being a ‘ fortress ‘ again !
And there’s more to come from returnees and recruits !
Well done each !

Sindre94 added 18:58 - Dec 22
Average performances from the individual players on a general note. Edwards horrible; loses possession time after time and looks really slow. Harrison won most headers and looked lively. Chambo once again a terrific captain at the back, although he may have been a bit sloppy on their goal. Havent seen it back.

Great point though. Some good spells, but overall we have a really average team. Need a few wingers, a right back and a Lansbury-type in the centre of the park. Still believe Jackson has a lot to prove.

TractorBeezer added 19:17 - Dec 22
I am impressed with PL's attitude and motivational skills. We'll keep improving as the team gels aided by returning players and a couple of January additions. I was impressed with the supporters getting behind our lads.

christiand added 19:22 - Dec 22
A point well earned PL. Sheffield United showed they are a good Championship side, we competed well with them and even played some good football ourselves on occasions.

1psw1ch added 21:39 - Dec 22
Great to see things are finally coming together ,,,so happy with paul lambert here ,,,couple of decent signing,s in jan and we will start climbing out of bottom 3 ,,,onwards and upwards ,,,ipswich till i die

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