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Lambert: We Defended Fantastically
Saturday, 12th Jan 2019 18:08

Boss Paul Lambert paid tribute to his backline after they repelled a second-half Rotherham barrage to secure a crucial 1-0 victory over the Millers.

“Second half [I was relieved],” Lambert admitted. “In the first half, I thought we were very good, I thought we were really, really good. Really strong and wanted the ball.

“They made it difficult, in the second half I don’t think there were two passes strung together, just long balls and throw-ins and set plays but the pleasing thing is we defended fantastically.

“To an extent [it was all about the result] but I wanted to still play good football but the ball would never come down, it was never out of the air. Long balls, you’ve got to deal with that and I thought we dealt with it really, really well.”

He says his bigger, more physical side since his January additions have come in more than held their own.

“They did,” he added. “You can’t do anything when you come to a club in November. You’ve got to wait for the window to open and the lads have been great, but I just thought we needed a little bit of help and I thought James Collins and the other new lads were outstanding.”

Debutant Collins, skipper Chambers and Matthew Pennington, who moved out to right-back, all headed innumerable balls away during that second half onslaught.

“Really, really good,” Lambert enthused. “Collins, a massive compliment to him, he wanted to be here, which was great. I think he trained with West Ham a little bit and then to come and do what he did there was unbelievable, how he performed there.

“Even Will Keane, these lads [the new signings] have not played for a long time. [That was a factor in the second half], 100 per cent it was, I knew it would happen but we had to throw them in, we had to get players in to help.

“They’re not match fit, as I said on Thursday, Collin Quaner as well, they’ve not played much football those guys. But they’ll get fitter, they’ll get up to match speed. They’ve given everybody a lift.

“And when you hear the atmosphere, I tell you, I’d love to see this club when it’s sitting at the top end of the table, you’d not be able to get a ticket for this place.”

The Blues boss says skipper Chambers was fine after the game despite a nasty-looking fall over a perimeter gate into the stand in the first half and suffering another knock in the second.

“He’s alright, I never really worry about Luke, he’s always there and I trust him,” he said.

“I trust all the lads but Luke is there week in, week out, week in, week out and he’s been absolutely brilliant for me since I’ve been here.

“The older lads, the more experienced lads at the club, sometimes get overlooked, people just take them for granted at times.

“But him and Cole, Bart, Deano, the lads that I have inherited have been terrific. we’ve just tried to give them a bit of help with Collins, Quaner and Keane coming in, Callum Elder’s a young kid but I thought the lads needed a bit of help experience-wise.”

Regarding striker Keane getting off the mark with the winner, he added: “Brilliant. Will Keane’s a brilliant finisher. Even when I saw him when he was at Preston on loan.

“He’s had a great upbringing at Manchester United when they were at their best. He knows the game, he’s a really, really good finisher. I think anything that comes his way he’ll stick it in.”

Lambert explained switching his usual 4-3-3 system to 4-4-1-1: “I just thought we needed that physical presence, I knew the game was going to be that type of game, so I put Will just behind Collin. The first half I thought was excellent. In the second half we certainly needed that height.”

He says there’s a lot more to come from his team: “I’ve said this before, I think we’re playing really well. In the first half I thought we were really good, in the second half we withstood a helluva barrage of long balls and throw-ins. Their throw-ins were hitting virtually the six-yard box, it’s a really powerful weapon that they’ve got.

“Football-wise, in the second half we can do a lot better. In the first half we controlled the game. Even Cole Skuse, that’s Cole’s first game in a month, he’ll get better as well. Trevoh Chalobah missed last week too.

“A lot of lads are probably not a 100 per cent, it’s a big compliment to them because they were very good.”

With the January influx of five signings, Lambert reiterated that some of those on the fringes will probably move out.

“I think one or two will probably go on loan, which is right for them,” he said. “We needed help, there’s no other way I could have done it, the lads needed help as well. There are probably one or two that will probably go on loan.”

Quizzed on the Blues’ move for Brentford’s Alan Judge, which is understood to be ongoing although with the Republic of Ireland international not at the game as had been believed to be the case, Lambert was keeping a straight bat.

“I don’t know where that one’s come from,” he said. “I just woke up to that this morning. I know of the lad, a really good player. I just woke up to that this morning.

“We can’t do another loan. We’ll have six and if you have to manage six loans it’s too much. I don’t want to go down that road, having another loan because I think you’ve got to leave one lad out.”

Judge’s contract is up at the end of the season with the deal Town are believed to be targeting a permanent switch.

“Is it? Is that what they’re saying?” Lambert continued. “I don’t know. I didn’t really pay much attention to it because of the game. He’s a really good player, a really good player.”

Millers boss Paul Warne admitted he was left wondering how his side didn’t come away with at least a point.

“I am a little bit," he said. "That’s just how football is, isn’t it? I asked the lads to play on the tilt, give me everything they’ve got.

“I didn’t think we were quick enough in the first half, I didn’t think we caused enough problems in the first half, although we had a good chance to score."

Rotherham remain without a victory away from home this season with their winless run on their travels in the Championship now up to 39 games.

“It’s always difficult when you come away in the Championship," he admitted. "Every away game’s tough for us and we haven’t won away from home, regrettably.

“But I thought we played really well and I’ve got no complaints about the lads’ performance at all.

"Obviously we needed a bit of quality on a couple of occasions but generally they were pretty outstanding and they should be proud of what they tried to do for us, but unfortunately today it wasn’t enough.”

Photo: TWTD

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Hamish1979 added 18:10 - Jan 12
There is an irony to our current plight... Despite being bottom of the table, out club has not felt this 'together for such a long time. I feel really positive about the future!

LonE17Blue added 18:11 - Jan 12
Thinking positively, when we mange to avoid relegation at the end of the season, this feat should / will be remembered as one of the greatest ever achievements in the history of Ipswich Town Football Club!

martin587 added 18:13 - Jan 12
Paul,it was a master class signing Collins,he was immense today.Well done and three very welcome points.Onwards and upwards.Roll on next Saturday.

LWNR2013 added 18:15 - Jan 12

floridaboy added 18:16 - Jan 12
If the rumour about Town signing Judge for £500k is true then great. Will add so much experience to the middle of the team.

Think Mr Lambert is keeping his cards close to his chest!

chopra777 added 18:17 - Jan 12
3 points in the bag and PL is feeling happier with the new players. Collins will be a colossus for us. Let the Great Escape begin.

cornishnick added 18:18 - Jan 12
Maybe Donacian on loan to Accrington with view to a £750k permanent switch?

therein61 added 18:20 - Jan 12
Collins will I feel galvanise the defence, and i'm so glad that we have him as it means spence has been dropped Chambo seemed more accomplished without the fear of a mistake ridden full back beside him( that's not to say that Chambo hasn't cost us goals this season because he has!!!) confidence will breed through the side from the security at the back.

jackson added 18:49 - Jan 12
Collins was a G.I.A.N.T out there today. He read every ball perfectly, won every single challenge and never even looked liked losing one. That said the second half was painful to watch - but 3 points is what matters. We closed the gap and are now in with a genuine chance of staying up !!

marco007 added 18:53 - Jan 12
Completely outplayed against a team that hasn't won an away game for 39 matches!
Let's cut out all this midas rubbish...PL talks a good game but our performances and results have not improved. Generally a new manager results in a at Reading...we are rooted to the bottom!
Let's calm down and wait and sew what happens as for me to be convinced i need to see improvements on the pitch

Mark added 18:54 - Jan 12
Brilliant defending. What a one-sided second half, we were under constant attack with a cross coming into our box (usually from free-kicks) every minute or two, without us attacking at all. What a relief the final whistle was. Well done lads. Let's go to Ewood Park and get a win, then we can dare to think there is a chance of staying up.

algarvefan added 19:00 - Jan 12
We paid in the second half for fielding a few players who were obviously not match fit, but they all dug in and it was such a needed 3 points.
I just wish when we were in possession of the ball we could slow the game and keep it, pass it around, we didn't do that at all in the second half.
We rode our luck today, we will not be so fortunate in coming games if we keep squandering possession, lets hope that win is the first of many and Collins was immense and would appear to be a great signing for us.

casanovacrow added 19:00 - Jan 12
Collins great, hope he can teach the rest of them back there how to do a bit of decisive defending over the next few weeks. Still lots of ball watching back there.
Gerken's goal kicks don't relieve pressure, they put pressure on us, each time we are gaping open if we don't win the headers because we stick the full backs up on half way to get headers as he cant kick past the half way line and the CB are split wide.
I don't see anything decent coming from Elder and Dawkins as of yet. I certainly don't see an improvement over what we had bad as that was.
Quaner and Keane look like they could be useful if they had the right player up there with them. They looked pretty toothless together though. Still don't see a goal threat.
The mix in the middle looked a step backwards from recent games, far less creative and spent the 2nd half chasing shadows.
Lots not right about today but 3 points and a clean sheet is the important thing. Things need to get much better to get out of this though.

BlueInBerks added 19:04 - Jan 12
I'd we stay up, it will deserve another star on the shirt!

carsey added 19:20 - Jan 12
Pleased with the win of course but let's not get carried away. This was Rotherham not Real Madrid. My biggest concern was the inability to keep possession of the the ball in the second half when they pressured us. Goal kicks are an absolute joke constantly doing the same thing and even if we get a head on it they won the second ball and back it comes. Surely the players need to switch on and vary what they are doing.
Chalobah? Why is he playing all game every game? It's like his loan agreement includes a must play if fit clause.
Of the new players Collins was head and shoulders above them all - literally.
Dawkins on the other hand, well I know he only had 15 or 20 minutes but he was way out of his depth. Hope that changes but that was a real concern.

alfromcol added 19:27 - Jan 12
A bit of a positive spin:

On the lastest 6-match form table we are level with Norwich in mid-table!!!

This may have gone unnoticed?

Pecker added 19:35 - Jan 12
They benefited from Collins being there. He can save us. The back 4 looked pretty solid throughout. Midfield needs strengthening please.

TractorBeezer added 19:45 - Jan 12
Having watched on iFollow, I agree with Algarve fan. Mick Mills was complimenting Collins for having the composure to put his foot on the ball in the first half. We need more of that e.g. Freddie Sears was still chasing around in the late stages instead of keeping possession and playing it steady.
Its work in progress and makes it interesting. No boring mid-table stuff for us! Full marks for the vocal home support. Bring on Blackburn..

SouperJim added 20:04 - Jan 12
marco007 today was Lambert's first game with a few of his own signings, who are far from match sharp and have only just met each other, yet we won and kept a clean sheet under immense pressure. Get behind the team you absolute wazzock.

dirtydingusmagee added 20:20 - Jan 12
whilst i agree with what you said Souper, Marco has a point , we all welcome the win, but we should not get carried away, someone was looking down on us in 2nd half .We got away with it this time,but we should kid our selves that performances such as that 2nd half will keep us up. BUT as you rightly said these guys were assembled in past week ,hardly know each other yet . The win is a win ,we will take it with a smile .

shayneitfc added 20:25 - Jan 12
I know it wasn’t pretty today but we got 3 points which is all that matters. We are not going to have a well oiled machine this season and the football won’t be pretty to watch we all know that but we have just got to ride the storm out and hope to pick up these scruffy 3 points. If we are fortunate enough to stay in the championship then Lambert will really be able to put his stamp on our club and create his own team instead of working with somebody else’s mess up. We may well just about achieve staying up but it is going to be a long hard season for us all but I am keeping the faith

Hiltzkooler added 20:26 - Jan 12
I took my daughter with me today who very rarely attends ...the first half was entertaining, Collins showing his centurion qualities...Lancaster showing glimpses of his electric, edge of ones seat entertainment....the Fortuna gang in fine voice, SBR vibrant...the second half...Gerks, needs to kick better and the team need to learn how to hold the ball...but SBR remained in fine voice...and my daughter Asked if she could come to Blackburn!!!...a great day,,, the purists can retain their drudgery but I had a great afternoon!!!!..the GK East Coast IPA tickled the tonsils and livened the heart on day of good entertainment!!!

muhrensleftfoot added 20:44 - Jan 12
Entertaining today and delighted with the result. However we need to get a sense of proportion. Nothing today suggests we will survive. Totally outplayed in the 2nd half by the current 4th worst team in the league. Real progress will be picking up points in our next two away games. On a positive, Collins had a great debut for us. Hope he stays fit because it's been a few years since we had such a monster at centre half.

northernblues added 20:59 - Jan 12
Sadly a lot of deluded people yes we won, just, but we are going down because of poor recruitment by Evans and lack or real investment. Hard facts!

BlueandTruesince82 added 21:23 - Jan 12
NB... I agree that we're still going down, I think most of us know we're clinging to false hope, its not delusions its just blind hope, not faith as very few of us have any left BUT...

We still could do something incredible, if;

Collins stays fit and Marshals our back line

Keane comes good on his promise

We get a RB

Huwys finally gets fit

Quanar proves to be the bully boy we need

The new boys get match fit quickly

We get on a run

PL embeds a siege mentality

Then maybe, just maybe we can come back from where no club has at this level.

Now it wouldbe just like us to go and lose at Blackburn but if the worst happens all the more reason to enjoy any ray of sunshine.


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