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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.

Photo: TWTD

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TimmyH added 16:14 - Feb 10
Same as Sheffield Wednesday game and certainly some others...we lack quality and we all know that has been sold (even Bristol City fans reckon Adam Webster has been their best player this season)...we don't score goals from set pieces anymore (free-kicks, no Waghorn, no Celina type loanee - corners, no Smith, Berra and Chambers can't even score from them) just part of the reason why we've only scored 23 goals so far.

Swn98 added 16:22 - Feb 10
TimmyH strange that all Mickma players you mention just saying.

shakytown added 16:24 - Feb 10
We don't lack quality we have absolutely none at the whole club. Lambert must be deciding on how many of these losers are actually good enough to push for promotion from league one next season and I suspect it will be very few. This needs to be the defining season for the future of the club and the rebuild of the squad and the structures behind the scenes must be done the right way or the same thing will happen next season.

eddiespearitt03 added 16:25 - Feb 10
I am glad he talks about "fight" and not ability. The only reason we have good spells of possession football is when the other team stops playing. Going 1-0 down in 90 seconds is the perfect start.

Mark added 16:29 - Feb 10
It seems almost inevitable that we concede an early goal, how many times does that happen away from home?! Norwich were all over us for the first part of the game, then we came into it and did well and ended the match with more shots and possession than them. Norwich had three shots on target and three goals. We didn't seriously theaten them. What's what comes of selling your entire strike force in the summer I suppose. Oh for a McGoldrick and Waghorn now.

TimmyH added 16:30 - Feb 10
Swn98 - and that shows what Mick got the players to practise on, hardly creative football!...Wagorn and Celina were too skilled to be playing in McCarthyesque set-up's. Smith was about before Mick anyway.

bluemike1969 added 16:49 - Feb 10
Lambert..... Like others before you, your team has zero ability to score a goal and get a win. For the love of God, shut the hell up!!!!

bostonusablue added 17:09 - Feb 10
We don’t create any scoring chances. That’s why we don’t score goals.

geminimustang added 17:31 - Feb 10
It was won by Norwich at the top of the pitch and lost by Ipswich at the bottom of the pitch.Struggling to understand PL’s obsession with trying to score when the defence leaks like an old wellington boot.Sort the defence,play for a draw,snaffle a win.Instead,it’s gung -ho and lose the game before the supporters have settled in their seats.

BlueInBerks added 17:49 - Feb 10
Unfortunately the game has boiled down to the haves and have nots. For most teams it's simply a matter of finance and whilst much is possible with a committed and skilled manager and squad, it is not enough in front of goal (and perhaps in defence). However, as mentioned on the Blue Monday, we're a few months into this project whereas Norwich have nearly two years to build on

SpiritOfJohn added 17:58 - Feb 10
I like Lambert but if he thought Knudsen played well he should get down to Specsavers. Also, Bishop must start instead of Nolan.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:59 - Feb 10
Swn98 - go and watch Rep of Ireland games.

Brockleyblue added 19:08 - Feb 10
Sadly, it seems the game is now up (obviouly I hope I am proven wrong). Therefore, I’d give up on all of our loan players, unless we thought there was a chance that any might sign for us (Keane, maybe?) Assuming our long-term absentees remain injured and that we don’t recall any of our players out on loan, then this is the 18 I would stick with for the remainder of the season: Gerken; lb: Kenlock, cb: Woolfenden and Nsiala, rb: Emmanuel; lm: Sears, cm: Bishop and Downes, rm: Edwards; f: Judge and Harrison. subs: Bart; defence sub: Cotter; lm sub: Nydam, cm subs: Dozzell and Nolan; f subs Jackson and Keane. That lot might not win many, or even any, of the remaining 15 games, but they might start to build an understanding which would increase the chances of them hitting the ground running when the new campaign starts in August. That team is good enough to get out of League 1 but they need to get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses by playing with each other every week, starting from now!

Saxonblue74 added 19:25 - Feb 10
Geminimustang, play for a draw??? We need 3 points every time so yes, gung ho it is! Playing for a draw and snaffling a win was MM style more often than not and how popular was that?!

karls_dad added 20:56 - Feb 10
The under 23,s are flying! Now they can only do that by scoring goals? Now just who is actually hitting them, Nash has built a great squad there, surely there must be some gems ready to step up to the plate?

Dolphinblue added 21:16 - Feb 10
Pls bring back Super Mick asap

rugbytomc added 21:29 - Feb 10
Karl’s dad-I believe some of the main scorers for the u-23s are Bishop (on the bench today) folami (injured) Morris (injured) lankester (injured).
I don’t have all the answers, but I personally would find a settler side and play it at the moment so players can get used to each other and know what kind of runs and passes they make. That’s why the I-23s do so well just sadly they aren’t all physically ready for the covert physical championship

Jesney_Havoc added 22:59 - Feb 10
That’s the second time in two seasons our manager has lost his divinity. I thought Lamberts behaviour wa terrible today.

Jesney_Havoc added 23:01 - Feb 10

Dolphinblue added 08:24 - Feb 11
Snowflakes concerned with passionate management in the local derby for the 2nd year running. The Differance was up top, really, how could that be, oh yes we sold all our strikers at the start of the season. Clowns

blueherts added 08:56 - Feb 11
As opposed to what ? As PL says it is about wining games of football
If it is then why play Skuse , Chalobah and Nolan in heart of our team
Bishop most creative player along with Judge ( out wide again!)
First shot on target 80 mins ( if we can call it a 'shot')
Some seem happy we showed 'fight' !! what in a local derby ! that is the very least we should show

We are supposedly looking to win games to get out of a massive hole and he continually plays with one foot on the brake

All or nothing time and frankly I would rather we rebuilt in Div One that go through another survival season in championship - despite some peoples belief teams do go down and develop and come back up - It is not the end ...

Southamptonblue added 09:11 - Feb 11
@blueherts - can you really see a team owned by Marcus Evans having the resources to get promotion from any division?

blueherts added 09:15 - Feb 11
We will find out in next few years !!


brittaniaman added 09:23 - Feb 11
After watching league 1 on Quest this morning, I realise that League is no pushover either, even Sunderland are finding it tough ? we will not have to worry about Luton as they will be passing us by in May and we will be facing Lincoln again ?
Sorry about this article but we have got to prepare ourselves for the dreaded drop.

blueherts added 09:29 - Feb 11
Spot on Brittaniaman - seen Luton afew times and very decent - shame as only 15 mins away and would have been a good outing
Of course going down will be challenge but I believe we could rebuild , get some wins , gain some confidence and challenge towards the top end - make a change from last few years - with the good young players we have and if PL is given a pre season may be ok
Lincoln and Accrington anyone ? Check a trade cup and early rounds of the FA Cup - we may even win one !

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