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Lambert: We Have to Rebuild Around the Young Guys
Tuesday, 12th Feb 2019 17:27

Blues boss Paul Lambert says the club will be at a crossroads in the summer regardless of which division it is in and he will look to rebuild with the crop of young players coming through from the academy.

Lambert handed 22-year-old Teddy Bishop a new contract last week with plenty of other younger academy alumni also progressing through into the team.

“The club has to start to build around guys like that, the young guys,” Lambert said. “This club’s got incredibly good young players there that could be an incredible part of the future of the club going forward - Bishop, Downes, Lankester, Dozzell, Kenlock, you can go through a helluva lot of them.

“It’s exciting times, they need a little bit of time, but they’re doing great. But Bishop, I think, touch wood, he’s doing really well.

“Getting through the injury problems I think is vital for him, and even on Sunday he came on and I thought he was excellent.”

In addition to Bishop, midfielder Brett McGavin, 19, and forward Kai Brown, 17, have also been given their first pro deals in the last few days.

“I actually think the club has got a big crossroads in the summer,” Lambert added. “Whatever happens to the football club, what we do with the club, we build with the young ones coming through and help them, we’ve some experience there and we build round it and we have an identity that people can relate to.

“A lot of these kids have grown up together, which is an added bonus. Sometimes fortune favours the brave at certain times. And if you don’t give them a chance you’ll never, ever know, so myself, [owner] Marcus [Evans] and [general manager football operations] Lee [O’Neill] will have a chat about it and let’s see if we can rebuild this.”

Does he believe the academy is going to be even more important for Town going forward? “If you’re not going to use your academy then there’s no point in having it.

“You’ve got to get young players through at some point and there are an abundance of lads here at the football club, who have done great with the kids coming through.

“The thing for me is whether I give them a chance or not, which I do with young ones if I think they’re good enough and the enthusiasm’s there, I’ll throw them in.

“I think it’s important that we have an infrastructure here to say which way we’re going to go.

“As I said before, the loans, one or two is OK, but you can’t have five or six. All of a sudden six players go and then you have to rebuild again in the summer, it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t add up.

“You’ve too many loans, you’ve got to manage them, it doesn’t make sense and that’s why I think it’s important that the club comes to a decision, ‘OK, this is the road we’re going to go down’.”

Lambert disputes the idea that it would be easier throwing youngsters in in League One.

“It’s not any easier than throwing them in in the Championship, every league is tough, every league you play in is really tough,” he added.

“Even in the Championship, if we can stay in it, we’ve still got to build around them, allied to one or two experienced ones but there’s got to be a structure within the club where you do have your own players coming through.”

The U18s play Watford in the FA Youth Cup this evening and even below that level Lambert says there are some talented players on the way through.

“I think that’s a good thing for them,” he said regarding the FA Youth Cup. “There are one or two kids there, even the younger age groups that are doing really well.

“I think we have to identify a pathway for them coming through, we can’t block it up because there’s no point in being a young player here if it’s going to be blocked off every time, whether it’s through loans or experienced players. There’s got to be a pathway through for them.

“One thing you get from the young ones is you get an incredible hunger and desire. Allied with good older ones, that’s the way you hopefully can build a bit. I think it’s got to find an identity.”

However, he’s wary about putting them into the team given the current situation with the likes of Andre Dozzell rarely having featured since he took charge.

“What I don’t want to do is put them in a pure pressure pot,” he reflected. “I think Dozzell’s going to be a really good player, I’ve always said that.

“Josh Emmanuel’s only been back for a month or so, so I’ve not really seen him in a game. Myles Kenlock, I know what he can do, a young lad, so I don’t have a problem with him either.

“There are a lot of good young ones here. As I said before, you can’t getting in loan after loan after loan. It’s not the way going forward. It has to have a structured of what it can achieve or what it can build.”

Regarding Dozzell, he added: “I’ve had him in and about the squad. I think Bishop and Flynn Downes have been playing really well, Cole Skuse has been playing really well. Trevoh Chalobah has been playing really well.

“They’re all young lads, 18 or 19 years old, 22 years old, they’re all relatively young.

“The thing with Dozzell, I think his time is coming, that’s the great thing about him. He’s not too far away.

“He’s similar to Jack Lankester, that type of kid, we have nail Dozzell where he plays week after week, I think that’s going to benefit him, but he’s a big talent.”

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positivity added 17:35 - Feb 12
all good stuff, i'd definitely use our kids now over other people's kids.
that means:-
downes or doz>chalobah
not so bothered about pennington as we have no equivalent (woolfenden's better off getting league one experience at swindon)

muccletonjoe added 17:46 - Feb 12
There is definitely going to be one hell of an upheaval at the end of this season. Possibly only 3 or 4 players will be here from the team which started Sunday.

rfretwell added 17:55 - Feb 12
That is all fine provided we the fans and the club hierarchy show the patience required because relying mainly on our youngsters isn't going to get us up from league one anytime soon. Bear in mind to that three of them are now injured and Bish's fragility is well known. Andre does not have the sizeable frame and strength his dad had at the same age either.

therein61 added 18:05 - Feb 12
We should certainly be building for next season in div1 now(what's to lose?) bring in the younger players who will be our future and give them game time for the rest of the season to enable them(with additions) to get up and running next August, by then we should be rid of the over paid proper blokes who will not be up to speed in the division.

jas0999 added 18:07 - Feb 12
I agree with the approach, but this would be a big mind set change for Evans. Some of our youngsters are without a doubt saleable assets and in that could well lie the problem.

It's anticipated that this summer will see a clear out. However, we also need to sign new permanent players. Will Evans support this or will he look to cash in and reinvest that money into the club rather than the playing squad? Time will tell. What's certainly for sure, we need to move away from the strategy of having so many loans, short term players and those whose deals are expiring.

Jonnosdreadlocks added 18:15 - Feb 12
Start playing them then! Emmanuel, Kenlock, Bishop, Downes, Dozzell all need to be given extended runs in the team as from now.

AYACCA added 18:24 - Feb 12
you talk the talk Lambi but do you walk the walk? No good writing cheques ya butt cant cash. The proof is in the pudding

The Truth is out there!

JoHnNnY added 18:30 - Feb 12
Music to my ears - with our midfield youth, Skuse shouldn't play another game beyond this season he's been awful apart from 2 or 3 games before his injury.

Cakeman added 18:56 - Feb 12
Some encouraging words around the youngsters. I do agree and am pleased to read that the thought is there to build the club again using the younger ones. However we must still have a strong number of experienced players on the pitch too. Be it ones we already have or fresh ones. League one will be no easier than the Championship.

ITFCsince73 added 19:19 - Feb 12
The only real experienced player worth keeping who isn't out long term injured after this season is Judge. If fit will be a class above league 1. And a great footballer technically to have around the youngsters.
If we have to persist until the end of the season playing the likes of Skuse, Chambers and Jonas. Then so be it.
But after this sorry season all 3 need to go.

VILJOEN67 added 19:53 - Feb 12
Whats happened to Nydam. Really impressed with him last season

Pecker added 20:03 - Feb 12
The youth is the only future this club has. I hope he is true to his word and plays them. Once they have established themselves as first X1, please don't let ME sell them. We need to develop and keep these kids for ourselves not for someone else to benefit from.

barrystedmunds added 20:30 - Feb 12
Thats assuming of course that should we get relegated and it's looking increasingly likely, with every no win game, we manage to keep hold of them. With relegation the vultures will be circling attempting to pick off our starlets at knockdown prices!

northernblues added 21:37 - Feb 12
Ayacca sorry voted you down should of been up! Too many deluded town fans, I'm saying now as I did when Lambert came he is not the manager to turn us into a competitive side

Daleyitfc added 21:43 - Feb 12
Every week he says the same thing ; and every week he does the opposite : not one academy player in the team at Norwich, for instance. It doesn't do to believe a word that man says.

inghamspur added 22:18 - Feb 12
Surely that will be the only way to go as nobody will want to come and play for us in League One?

Ryorry added 22:56 - Feb 12
Really excellent piece, very encouraging, gives me hope and heart for next season. Perhaps we should have gone down this route some time ago ...

blueherts added 08:50 - Feb 13
Kenlock , Bishop , Downes def need to start

chalky added 08:57 - Feb 13
OK Lambert, stop talking about it and start giving the youngsters a genuine run in the side. It's the only way they are going to adjust to grown-up football. I'm old enough to remember when Burley, Wark, Butcher and Brazil were promising youngsters, but Robson gave them a rea chance to prove themselves, and look what happened. I seem to recall that Burley had to face George Best in one of his first appearances, but survived the experience. And I might point out too that Alex Ferguson won titles with his youth products - Beckham, Scholes, Butt, Giggs and the Neville brothers. It is vital that Evans stops selling the family slver. We might have had a decent team if we had hung on to Jordan Rhodes, Conor Wickham, Tyrone Mings, Aaron Cresswell and others.

ArnieM added 09:25 - Feb 13
DaleyITFC: LISTEN to what PL is saying. He doesn't “ want to put th in the couldten pot” .
He is planning to change direction over the summer and bring these kids through. I've been saying ever since he came here , that he would be using the U23 and find senior pros / he's just confirmed that. This season was only ever about trying to do what he could with what he inhereited along with experienced loanees to do the battle royal now to try and stay up.

I think next season will be a turning point under Lambert. Over the summer he is going to sit down with Evans and the staff and identify who comes through from U23 andvshich seniorsvwr keep from current staff and who we go and bring in .

Give the man a bloody chance !!!!!

fieldsofblue added 14:31 - Feb 13
I am 100% behind this man. He is intelligent, passionate, no nonsense bloke and in my opinion we are lucky to have found him at Ipswich. He kicks every ball in the game and I fully believe the turnaround is underway....

Up the Town.

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