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Lambert: Right-Back is an Area Which Needs Strengthening
Thursday, 10th Jan 2019 17:43

Blues boss Paul Lambert has confirmed a right-back is among his January targets with Jordan Spence currently the only right-sided full-back at the club, the Town manager seeing summer signing Janoi Donacien as a central defender.

Spence, 28, an ever-present under the new boss, has come under fire from some fans for costly errors in recent games but Lambert praised the former West Ham trainee for keeping going despite those setbacks.

“I soon as I came into the club I recognised the positions that need strengthening and right-back was one of them," he said.

“Jordan was the only right-back and, to be fair to the lad, he kept on putting himself forward and forward.

“Mistakes happen in games, but I’ll never, ever blame anybody for an honest mistake, it’s just one of those things that happens, it seems be falling on him every time but give him his due, he kept on coming out and coming out and kept on going.

“So there’s a big compliment on that because sometimes it can make you really heavy if you get a lot of criticism but he’s kept on going.”

Regarding Donacien, 25, who was a young player under Lambert at Aston Villa where he was an unused sub for the first team on two occasions, he has said before he sees him as a central defender rather than a full-back, the role he played at Accrington last season and where he played most of his Town games under Paul Hurst.

Asked whether the St Lucian, whose £750,000 switch from Stanley was finally confirmed last week, is current fourth in line at the heart of the defence, he responded: “I don’t see anybody as first, second, third or fourth. I pick two lads to play together that I think is quite strong.

“The way I play football, I want to play football. I’ve always seen Janoi as a centre-half, some people might beg to differ but in my opinion he’s a centre-half, but with Luke Chambers and Matthew Pennington playing really well, Toto Nsiala did really well [at Accrington] and there’s the possibility of James Collins coming in, it becomes difficult.

“But that’s the nature of the game. I have to try and get a team that can win games and plus can entertain supporters.

“It’s difficult, I’ve had a chat with Janoi and spoke to him regarding what I thought. It’s tough when you don’t play every single week, there’s no end product to it, but I have to pick a team that I think is right.

“He understands that, he’s been really good training-wise, I don’t have a problem there but I understand how tough it is and he’ll probably want to play some games.”

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Mark added 17:49 - Jan 10
From what I saw of Donacian he looked more a right back than centre back, as he isn't huge physically and can put a decent ball into the box. We signed Donacian to play right back so personally I would have given him a go there ahead of Spence over recent weeks.
29

cat added 17:49 - Jan 10
Lamberts interviews really are the gift that keeps on giving. If the players can’t perform for this fella then there is something seriously wrong with them. Still baffled with the Donacien situation but it is what it is and in Lambert we must trust.
9

itfctrent added 17:52 - Jan 10
You don't say! We all keep forgetting about Barry Cotter who looked really good last season against Barnsley. I know he's been injured, but seems to have become a forgotten man. I haven't seen him play for the U-23's, but he can't do much worse than Spence can he?
5

ashleylewis10 added 17:55 - Jan 10
Mark with all due respect I think the opionion of an experienced manager who gets to work with these players day in day outweighs your thoughts on this matter
-3

Jonnosdreadlocks added 18:06 - Jan 10
Josh Emmanuel. no brainier, Rotherham wanted to keep him last season one of their best players. h
Hurst brought him back then farmed him out again!!!
9

unknown100 added 18:19 - Jan 10
He tried to play mr nice guy at the start but even you can see he's had enough and albeit probably knew they weren't good enough when he took over, would not have helped saying that to kick them whilst they were down

Much needed revamp, Collins is a brut, the 2 new strikers are 6"3? Huwes, skuse and bishop getting fit, and a good footballing manager at the helm, we might just be alright,
7

positivity added 18:20 - Jan 10
so frustrating that he won't even try anyone else.

give donacien a go, give cotter a go, bring emmanuel back, if you've got a problem with all those 3 options then bring in someone else.

it's clear to just about everyone that right-back is the weakest part of the team/squad at the moment, so why strengthen in 6 other places first?! it can't be that hard to bring in a right-back...
11

Cakeman added 18:25 - Jan 10
It’s very unfortunate that Spence receives constant criticism. I can understand why because to be frank he is at best very ordinary. That said I do take my hat off to him because he keeps going week in and week out and must know that he is always one error away from receiving the moans and groans from the crowd. It cannot be nice to be put in that position.
Hopefully we can sign a recognised right back during this window. Someone like Bradley Orr who did well for us for a short time.
In the meantime we just need to put opinions and the past aside to hopefully give the team the best opportunity of getting out of this mess.
3

StowTractorBoy added 18:27 - Jan 10
Mr Lambert if you continue to play Spence we are doomed for sure as in my opinion he maybe just about good enough to play for MK Dons where he should have stayed. He has cost us goals this season through lack of pace in getting back from a forward run. Far too laid back for me and despite not being recognised right backs I'd rather have Donacien or Pennington there or as another post has stated Cotter. We could go 3-5-2 but doubt Paul Lambert will change his strategy. Very worrying times for ITFC.
8

badadski added 18:40 - Jan 10
He had me until he said but with Chambers and Pennington previously playing really well? I would hate to go through the previous games clips to see how many mis-positons, or mistakes these 2 have made leading to an opposition goal. They are as culpable as Spence for a huge amount of goals. The whole back line has been dire the majority of the time. I would hate to think what a bad game looks like.

Other than that no complaints with what else he has done which has been brilliant but if he said to me and i was Donacien i would be fuming.
5

Surco72 added 18:57 - Jan 10
Chambers and Pennigton playing well ? Spence doing a good job ?We are letting in the same goals over and over and over again throwing away points and games we should have won Preston , Reading , Bristol City , Millwall . Playing the same back four every week hoping it will change is bad management , only changed Knudsen cause we can sell and make some money out if him . Spence has been awful and Donacien should have been given go or Cotter or even Chambo because it clearly to anyone it's not working and hasn't all season . For the last two season s we have been the worst team in league at defending set pieces can only imagine the only reason Spence has not been dropped is because of his height but constantly gets beaten at back post for headers back across the box !!
7

terryf added 19:01 - Jan 10
Anyone who been to matches can see Donacien is by far a better right back than Spence.

Donacien played centre-half against Blackburn and was ineffective and then against Aston Villa he marked Adomah out of the game. On the occasions he's played left back he just didn't look comfortable.

Spence has no positional sense and makes mistakes when under pressure. Infact even when he's not under pressure.

Ask McCarthy and Hurst generally the fans do know better e.g. Bart over Gerks.
8

OsborneOneNil added 19:27 - Jan 10
Can’t argue with PL, he should know, BUT, I feel like most others in that Donacien looked decent/much better than Spence at RB.
3

braveblue added 19:53 - Jan 10
Not sure why we concede so many goals when all these defenders are playing so well!!
1

ernie added 20:21 - Jan 10
Well said terryf
-1

MichaelRockyLavelle added 21:55 - Jan 10
This is one of the few things which I think Lambert has got catastrophically wrong.

Spence simply isn't good enough
- makes too many mistakes, constantly out of position & never seems to put 100% effort in

Donacien should be given a run at RB;
he was in the League 2 team of the year playing at RB - that must say something

Josh Emmanuel should definitely be brought back and assessed at the very least.
- Looked very comfortable when he's played at Championship level in 2016 (!)
- Proven to be one of the best Full backs in League 1 last season; even winning Young Player of the Year with a promoted team (Rotherham)
- Has height, pace & strength and his crosses aren't half bad
BRING HIM BACK !!! PLEASE Paul

If neither of those 2 are good enough
- get someone like Richard Stearman in (barely playing at Sheff U)
he was amazing for MM a few years back
and is only 31 which ain't bad considering his experience
4

MichaelRockyLavelle added 21:56 - Jan 10
JOSH EMMANUEL

ffs at least bring him back in the same manner as Wolfy to double check!!!
2

RobClark added 22:00 - Jan 10
Spence is crap, end of story.

Play Pennington at right back and play Nsiala and Collins at centre backs and Elder at left back.
I'd be happy with that.
0

Warkys_Tash added 22:17 - Jan 10
Spence just isn't a scapegoat he generally has been woeful and at fault for many of the goals I cam think of immediately.. 2 crosses he let in the box against Bristol City, Sheff Utd, Beaten to the ball at the back post by the smaller Billy Sharp, let ball out for corner against Millwall, trotted back slowly for 2nd goal against Hull away, halted down someone down recently for the pen at Middlesborough? need I go on?

Some said on here he is slow, actually he is pretty quick, but lacks concentration for 90mins and doesn't always seems that bothered - no passion.

I want to be positive but I also never want to see him in a town shirt again - there was a reason he was without a club 2 summers ago

and oh yeah, the reckless sending off at Fulham last season when we were 1-0 and cruising. _ get rid please Paul.
0

oldelsworthyfan added 22:21 - Jan 10
Try and get Richard Stearman.
0

tractorboybig added 06:02 - Jan 11
mr lambert we the faithful having been telling you since the day you started
0

stewartm added 10:05 - Jan 11
Donacien? what a crock of sh,te! When I watched him in the first game of the season not only did I notice and post that we are in trouble (shot down in flames on twtd by the experts) but I also mentioned how cr,p Donacien was/is! perhaps PL can get him playing better but don't hold your breathe.
0

rugbytomc added 10:37 - Jan 11
For anyone saying play Pennington at right back - you clearly have forgotten Chambers as a right back. TOO SLOW
-2

ChestnutSe added 13:38 - Jan 11
Spence is the current whipping boy, whip whip
2


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