Lambert: Game Was Won at the Top End of the Pitch
Sunday, 10th Feb 2019 16:01
Town boss Paul Lambert felt Sunday’s East Anglian derby was won at “the top end of the pitch” with there having been little in the game, the Blues having played well. Town dominated possession for spells but rarely threatened and were defeated 3-0 by the Canaries, the club managed by Lambert between 2009 and 2012.
Asked where Norwich won the match, Lambert said: “The top end of the pitch really. They got their breaks at the right time. There was nothing in it, there was absolutely nothing in it, we came here and we played well, we had a lot of the ball, we made it a fight.
“If you look at the two teams you’d think the disparity wasn’t there, but it is there.
"Norwich have got a bit of momentum. Are they good enough to do it? I don’t know, time will tell. I’m sure Leeds and West Brom and Middlesbrough and all them teams, Sheffield United, they’ll all have things to say about it. That’s football.”
He admits it’s frustrating to see his team on top for periods of the game but without looking dangerous enough in front of goal. Is that down to a lack of belief?
“There’s a bit of that and a bit [that we’re] anxious because we’re bottom and we’re trying everything we can to turn it around. That sometimes happens,” he reflected.
“But we’ve got a really good group of lads, they’ve given me everything they’ve got and I can’t ask any more from them, they’ve been great.
“Even the support, that’s been incredible. For a team at the bottom of the table, to support it the way they have is incredible. The great thing about it is that we’re in the fight, that’s the good thing about it.”
He added: “I thought we lost a poor first goal and then after that I thought we played really well. Even in the second half, we were in the ascendency.
“And then Matty Pennington, who I thought was excellent the whole game, he’s a young lad, he maybe should have played it back to Bart with the pass, he tried to play it inside and then we got caught from there.
“As for effort and commitment, I couldn’t ask any more. The fight, that’s the way to play football, you’ve got to have that fight.
“There’s no point in coming here and being a team of shrinking violets, as you'd call it. We’ve a lot of fans coming to watch us and we have to play like that from now on in, 15 games to go, with that fight and that endeavour because we’re a good side when we do knock it around but we’ve got to have that fight at certain times. I don’t mind lads making mistakes, I really don’t. But as long as you’ve got that fight.”
Regarding the recall of January wantaway Jonas Knudsen at left-back, he added: “It’s a difficult [situation], not bringing him back [as such]. I think the lad himself thought he was going to go in January, so it put us into a position where we were going to lose or left-back and we had to go and get Callum Elder in to help Myles Kenlock, two young kids.
“Then we never heard anything from anybody about Jonas. We had a chat again to see where his head was and the situation and, to be fair, I thought Knudsen came in and did really well today.”
Town are now nine points plus goal difference from safety, is he confident the Blues can keep the fighting spirit they showed against the table-topping Canaries going and pick up the points they need to survive?
“You’re going to get a run of games where you’ve got midweek games and anything can happen,” he insisted.
“We have to keep the belief and keep everybody, the support and everything, but I don’t think anybody could point the finger today at the way we played.”
He says he and his staff and players will quickly move on to Wednesday’s game against Derby at Portman Road: “Yes, one day to analyse it and then the next day we’ll concentrate on Derby.”
Norwich manager Daniel Farke believed his team deserved all three points.
“First of all, a pretty nice Sunday afternoon and evening,," he said. "We are all unbelievably happy because we know how big and how massive this game is for the whole region, for the city, for our club.
“You could feel it even before the game today, there was a fan walk, a fan march and the whole stadium was singing with unbelievable unity and support today at Carrow Road.
“To be able to give them a win back and a clean sheet when we had to wait a few weeks for a clean sheet.
“And I think in general a well-deserved win in a really complicated game, in a spicy atmosphere.
“For Ipswich it was more or less a big chance to change a whole mood and to be back in the relegation battle just with one game.
“And for that they had this attitude today to play [the match] a bit like a do or die game and for that it was complicated, for them it was a good performance.
“But we were pretty solid today and I think in the end it was a well-deserved win. Like I said, Ipswich tried everything to attack our goal and did, I think, pretty well but if I’m honest I can’t remember one save for Tim Krul and we scored three goals and in the second half I can remember a few chances when we should have scored even more. But in general we are all pleased with this result today.”
Meanwhile, winger Gwion Edwards has revealed he will return to training tomorrow having been out of action for a number of weeks.
"Back in training tomorrow after a few weeks out after having a injection," the Welshman wrote on Twitter.
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