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Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Stoke City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 16th February 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: We Were Relentless in the Second Half
Saturday, 16th Feb 2019 18:14

Boss Paul Lambert praised his side for their “relentless” second-half display as the Blues drew 1-1 at home to Stoke City. Will Keane, watched by ex-Town manager and current Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy for the second time in four days having recently switched international allegiance, nodded the equaliser in injury time after James McClean had put the visitors in front just before the break.

“I thought we were excellent,” Lambert said. “We were up against a team I know really well and lads I know really well.

“There was nothing in the game, in the second half I thought we were relentless. I don’t think Stoke really caused many problems given the squad that they’ve got and the size of the club.

“We were relentless, young lads with energy and enthusiasm for the game. I thought it was no more than we deserved and don’t think anybody could begrudge us that, we were bang at it.”

Regarding McClean’s goal, which came after a mix-up between stand-in skipper Bartosz Bialkowski and Jonas Knudsen, he added: “That’s what happens. We’ve some young lads, we’ve got a lot of young lads in the team and they had a hard game on Wednesday night against another team which is going for promotion, when we were excellent.

“That’s two back-to-back games when I think we’ve been excellent. I couldn’t ask any more, I’m really proud of them.

“As I’ve said before, the atmosphere in the stadium was incredible. I don’t think you can go anywhere in world football and a team is at the bottom of the table and it’s got that support with it.”

He continued: “I don’t blame anybody because I’ve never have a blame culture. These things happen in certain moments, in certain situations but the response of the team when it could have been easy to go the other way was first class.

“I thought Judge was outstanding, I thought Keane and Quaner [were too]. These are lads that have not played much football at all, they’ve come in having not played many games.

“But the level of performance that we’ve shown over the last couple of games, Stoke and Derby, has been excellent.”

Lambert was full of praise for Keane for his header and for his overall performance.

“Brilliant,” he enthused. “I think he’s back to his Man United days. When I first saw Will coming through I thought he was an absolute handful.

“When he went to Preston on loan I thought he was excellent but then he got his injury.

“Will Keane’s hold-up play is fantastic. I think we’re playing really, really well and we’re well in the fight.”

Asked whether Town not creating too many chances during the spells of domination is his biggest frustration, Lambert responded: “Yes, but we came in November time, I’ve only been here three months.

“What we have done is generate a support that’s right behind us. Go anywhere, you don’t get support like that when you’re sitting bottom of the table.

“That dominance we’ve got, you can’t ask any more from the lads, but the final third, that just comes from a little bit anxiety at times, probably because of where we are in the table.

“If we were sitting mid-table, I’m pretty sure it would be totally different because players are more relaxed, they’re playing under incredible tension.

“But I’ll tell you what they don’t do, they never hide, which is the greatest thing for a footballer. Never ever hide, take the ball, never ever go away from it. Not one of the guys shies away from a football.”

Does he believe goals will eventually breed goals? “Absolutely. They’ve not been off the table since the start of the season but they’re fighting every time.

“I go back to the atmosphere, I’ve known an atmosphere like that, absolutely fantastic.”

Midfielder Teddy Bishop was making back-to-back starts for the first time since doing so in October and November 2016 and but for being subbed in injury time would have played a full 90 minutes for only the second time in the senior side.

“That’s a kid that’s not played for nearly two years,” Lambert reflected. “It’s not normal, two years the kid’s not really played for. He’s missed a helluva lot of football.

“He’s coming back, he’s not missed training since we’ve been in, he’s playing games now, which is great, and when you see him driving with the ball it’s a great sight, to watch a young player driving with the ball at his feet.

“I think he’s been excellent, I think if Bish stays injury free, he’s going to be a helluva player, but he’s played really minimal football, that’s the secret.”

With Keane and Alan Judge, who will also have caught McCarthy’s eye, impressing in recent games, fans are hoping the Blues can hang onto them.

Keane, who has said he’d be open to remaining at Portman Road, is on loan from Hull City but with his contract up at the end of the season, while Judge is on a short-term deal which includes an option for a further season.

Quizzed on whether he is confident that the pair might stay at Town, Lambert said: “You’d love to but the pound coin and these sorts of thing come into play.

“You can’t go and match a lot of wages, which is the reality of it, but we have to try and see what’s possible.

“If you look at Stoke’s squad for example. Some of the lads I know, some I don’t know. Incredible amount of money to spend.

“When I was there, I thought they should be good enough for the top two, easily for the top two with the lads that they had.

“But all of a sudden, things don’t work out, things change, people are changed, players come in, players go, still spend a helluva lot of money, but you wouldn’t have thought the disparity is as big as it is. But money, finances dictate a helluva part of the game.”

Judge said recently that the option is “more in the club’s favour”. Asked to explain that in more detail, Lambert said: “I think that’s what it is, it’s mostly with the club. Judgey’s summed it up the way he has said it.

“As I’ve said to you before, I don’t like too many loans, six loans is too many, it can create problems with picking teams and things like that.

“But I think the lads that have come in they look as if they really enjoy it here, love playing here, they enjoy the atmosphere here and I think everybody recognises that this is a really, really good club and if we can keep it up it’ll be brilliant.”

Stoke boss Nathan Jones was frustrated to have what would have been his second win - and first way from home - snatched away from him at the last.

“Disappointing, the manner of it," he said. "I didn’t think we had any problem all afternoon really, we should have been two or three-up at half-time, we had two glorious chances, Sam Vokes and Tom Ince, and it would have been done.

“We didn’t particularly play well in the second half, but I thought we defended well enough, limited them to very little and it’s a set play.

“In the 88th minute I put another centre-half on to make sure that whatever eventuality happens we’d have enough to cover that but it’s a little bit disappointing that we didn’t because we had three centre-halves on, we’ve had another 6ft 1 centre midfield player, a big centre-forward who has headed everything all day, and we couldn’t deal with one ball, and that’s the disappointing thing.”

He added: “We’ve come away from home, we’ve looked solid, but in both boxes we just had to be a bit better, exactly the same on Wednesday night [when they drew 0-0 with Wigan].

“We were totally comfortable on Wednesday night, we should have won the game quite comfortably but we didn’t because we missed chances, and today’s the same and then there was a sting in the tail.

“We’ve looked solid, we’ve defended well, that’s the positives to come from it, but we would have liked three points.”

Regarding his team's goal, he praised McClean for following the ball in and playing a part in forcing the mix-up between Bialkowski and Knudsen.

“It was a great head down from Sam Vokes which caused a little bit of concern and he followed the ball in," he continued.

“They would say it was a mistake, and rightly so, but we’ve had chances. I would have been quite prepared for them to have cleared that and for us to have scored the clear-cut chances we had in the first half. That’s just the disappointing thing.

“But we’ve come away from home, it’s a difficult place, as Derby showed in midweek, this is a difficult place to come when people are fighting for their lives and Paul’s got them fighting. It’s just disappointing to have had it snatched so late.”

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therein61 added 18:20 - Feb 16
A point that I didn't think we were going to get but credit to the boys for the 110% effort, well done P.L for positive substitutions and not bringing on negativity that would have been dire!!!

ArnieM added 18:33 - Feb 16
I just LOVE Paul Lamberts enthusiasm . It’s easy to see how he gets players believing.

I actually thought we might win this one today b4 the game . Stoke are poor . But no “ same old Town” gifting goals . Our opponents never have to work for their goals against us donthey. Just WTF was Knudsen and Bart thinking of?? Bart should have been screaming instructions to his defenders , either “ away”, or “ mine”. But no, the non communicator in the team says nothing. And Knudsen , why didn’t he boot it clear ? Oh same old, same old. I will confess I felt we lacked a leader at times in the the today.

On a positive note Bishop is looking the business and Nolan is starting to “ have a go” , whilst Judge gets better and better. However as is do often with sides struggling , we can’t quite nail those 3 points. So on to Wigan and hopefully a win there. I think Town have done well in s very difficult week of games consisting of the scum, Derby & Stoke. We may not have got too many points, but the shape and resilience of the team is starting come together.

Pecker added 18:38 - Feb 16
We were sh1t considering our performance against Derby. Relentless my arse. Time to stop all this talking Mr Lambert and start delivering.

NewEraNewMe added 19:00 - Feb 16
Pecker, please shut up, Nathan bitter bitter man, Mr Lambert...I love you.

ernie added 19:04 - Feb 16
LOL Pecker you’ve changed your tune in a month or so. What happened to your relentless optimism?

tags added 19:16 - Feb 16
We looked fairly tight/solid today - good defence (apart from their goal) and pass around the midfield pretty well.
I don’t think we were relentless though - Derby was- we kept running out of ideas in final third, how many real chances did we have ....maybe 2.


Orraman added 19:16 - Feb 16
Oops - I gave Pecker an up arrow instead of a down arrow

Sindre94 added 19:36 - Feb 16
Thought we were quite average. Nolan and Chalobah horrendous. Bree, Bish, Judge and Keano quite sharp. But we need to keep believing. I just love Lambos enthusiasm.


Pecker added 20:28 - Feb 16
I expect more from a team fighting for survival and against a team like that. Just a wasted opportunity. So frustrating. As for Mr Lambert, my optimism has dulled.

TonyMowbray added 20:31 - Feb 16
Paul Lambert is in no doubt the right man for the job in my opinion, especially when we are in League 1 (let's be realistic). I think he is brilliant. The best manager during ME's tenure. Stick with him, back him, and in 2 or 3 years time we will be in a strong position. I'm convinced of that. The football we are playing now is better than MM's by a mile, PL just needs time to build the right squad of players.

TractorBeezer added 20:37 - Feb 16
I also gave erroneously gave Pecker an up instead of down

SouperJim added 20:39 - Feb 16
We looked leggy today to me, not surprising given our energy in the last two games and hardly any changes. I disagree with Lambert on Quaner and Keane, they huffed and puffed but we looked toothless. With that said, the game was all us after 20 minutes or so and Stoke deserved very little from the game given that we created both goals.

We're slowly making progress, in all probability it's going to come too late to save us but I don't think Lambert could have done much more with what he's had at his disposal. Roll on next season.

rkeane added 21:40 - Feb 16
Still yet to be convinced by Lambert despite his misplaced optimism of how brilliant we are after every game . I suppose whilst he keeps praising us fans we will forget where we are in the table and how wonderful he is as a manager. Could be just my opinion but he's being very clever on how he's playing the fans and local press at the moment.

herfie added 22:20 - Feb 16
Deserved a point for hard graft and persistence. However, and not for a moment wishing to diminish the point gained, there remain a number of football ‘basics’ that we still need to improve upon. Getting closer to opponents, denying them space to pass around us, winning second balls, keeping possession and passing more accurately etc. Not glamorous but, in games of fine margins, getting these basics right are the building blicks of Imposing our game on the opposition and, ultimately, winning games.

Got to keep believing that slowly but surely PL will sort this club out, both on and off the field. There’s clearly much to do - but I get the feeling that PL’s determined to get stuck into it: ME be on Notice!

martin587 added 08:49 - Feb 17
Commitment was 110%.You cannot fault the team for that.In all fairness we should have won both games this week should it not have been for two errors so the good signs are there.PL has turned this club round and it shows in the style of football.
Things can only get better and yes I agree with his comments we were relentless at times.Roll on next Saturday as that and the Reading game I imagine will define the rest of our season.

ArnieM added 10:25 - Feb 17
I think Town were a little “ leggy” yesterday but this surely had to be due to three very tough games in one week. All things considered , our Lads kept going deep into injury time yesterday to get that richly deserved goal. A weeks “ relative rest” before we face Wigan. I’d say 3 it’s arf very much a possibility !

roytheboy added 10:26 - Feb 17
I am fully satisfied with Paul Lambert, I'm certain that he will achieve eventually for our club, however I cannot watch a single game without feeling immensely disappointed in Mr Evans for not replacing three departing goal scorers with three with similar quality and potential in the Summer recess, whatever must he and Paul Hurst been thinking about, it somehow beggars belief for me, I am impressed with the attacking football we are now producing and it is a joy to watch Teddy Bishop running with the ball, I am not sure about Quaner, he has a strong presence but lacks speed and the necessary skills in my opinion, it is early days so maybe he has a lot more to offer.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 11:11 - Feb 17
We are now starting to look like a team, especially as players return to full match sharpness.
We win the next 2 games and anything is possible.
We actually gained ground on Reading yesterday
We are staying up.

oldelsworthyfan added 11:45 - Feb 17
Dear Mr Lambert,
PLEASE keep this side together and give them the decent run they deserve to blend and improve. They look as if they can play football the 'Ipswich way' - fast and exciting. Please don't chop and change - just to reintroduce Chambers and Skoles!
For set pieces I would rather see Bialkowski taking charge of the penalty area than Chambers.


Pecker added 16:37 - Feb 17
I shall start a just giving page.

Vanisleblue2 added 23:12 - Feb 17
Does anyone know the estimated date that our injured players might be back?
Ward- August
Sears - November

shakytown added 23:25 - Feb 17
Adeyemi - never and does not want to.
Huws - same as above
Ward -Who cares
Sears 9-12 months so forget him
Collins - Getting a paycheck.

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