Lambert: We Were the Better Team and Deserved to Win
Saturday, 9th Mar 2019 18:12
Boss Paul Lambert felt the Blues were the better team and deserved to take all three points from their 1-1 draw at West Brom. Jon Nolan netted his third goal for Town in the 48th minute after Stefan Johansen had given the Baggies a fourth-minute lead.
“We’ve been playing really well, what’s hurt us has been both boxes really,” Lambert said. “But we’ve been playing like that, that’s not new to me that.
“I thought we were the better team and I thought we deserved to win. We could have been 3-1 or 4-1 up, we had so many chances.
“The way we played and were passing the ball and having the courage to take the ball, we’ve got some really good players.
“The young players are really, really good and we don’t look like a team at the bottom, that’s for sure.”
Does that give hope for the future, despite the current situation? “I’ve said that since I came into the club, I can name the five young ones - Bishop, Downes, who was ill, Lankester, who is injured, Kenlock and Dozzell, and we had Tristan Nydam on the bench, and there are one or two below that little age group there.
“So the club’s in a really good place with the future. It had to have an infrastructure which I don’t think was there and it’s just building the club again.
“But there are some really good players, who could be a really, really top side if they develop.”
In addition to the youngsters, some of the more senior players who came in in the summer are starting to find their feet at Championship level, most notably goalscorer Nolan.
“He was excellent, him and Gwion Edwards, he’s been playing really well. Nolan’s got a goal in him and is a really clever footballer.
“I think he’s getting better and better in his understanding of the game. I’ve said before, it sometimes takes people maybe a season to grasp what is involved, bit Nolan of late has been excellent. But the performance of the lads, everybody today was excellent.”
Lambert again had praise for the Blues’ support: “You [the media] cover it, I can only see what I’ve seen here in the few months. It’s not a normal crowd for the bottom of the table.
“Did they let off smoke bombs or whatever it was? It’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I can’t thank them enough for the support they’ve given us, they’ve been absolutely brilliant.
“I think when they see us playing, I think they enjoy watching us play. OK, we haven’t had the results we’ve deserved but they can see the way we play and they can see that hopefully the club will get built right and looked after.”
Does he believe things are starting to turn? “The infrastructure had to get fixed. It’s not just building a football team, you have to build a football club.
“Like I said, the community trust, that was never there, a connection to the supporters. You asked me a question about season tickets and the only way I’d leave the club is if Marcus says, ‘Go’.
“Only if Marcus Evans turns round and says, ‘Paul, I don’t want you’, it’s no problem because I’ve given everything here to make a connection to the support.
“I love the club, I think it’s great, I don’t like the position it’s in but the support is unbelievable.
“I think they’re enjoying it, they’re not enjoying the league position we’re in but they’re enjoying maybe the excitement and what could happen.”
He added: “There’s been games when I’ve walked away thinking, ‘How the hell have we lost that?’. Last week in the second half there was only one team looking to win it. It was incredible.
“We’ve been playing some really good stuff, in both boxes we’ve probably let ourselves down in certain moments but you get that at times, young players and anxiety about where you are in the league, all those things go against you.
“But football-wise, every one of them takes the ball and that indicates courage. You have to to have courage to take the ball anywhere. You play in front of a crowd, you take the ball, you’ll be a good player.
“I think we’re doing that, nobody hides from the ball, everybody wants the ball and I think that’s important.”
Regarding Collin Quaner, who went off injured at half-time, he said: “We’ll need to see how he is. My idea was to play Collin in this one and then Kayden Jackson in the next one [at Bristol City on Tuesday], so we’ll have to wait and see how he is.
“I thought Kayden did great, it’s the best he’s been when he came on.
"And there are one or two others who missed out, Flynn Downes wasn’t well last night, Matthew Pennington the same, they had the virus. We’ve had a virus around the training ground for a few months, we just can’t get rid of it.
“Trevoh Chalobah will maybe be back for Tuesday and I’ll freshen it up because the performance level today was excellent.”
While he says he’ll see whether Downes, Pennington and Chalobah are OK for Tuesday, he didn’t know whether Collins had a chance of being involved against the Robins, who are seventh following today’s 1-0 home defeat to Leeds.
West Brom boss Darren Moore was sacked hours after the game but not before he gave his post-match press conference where he said he was disappointed his team failed to capitalise on their early lead but not adding to Johansen's goal.
“We had a really great start, we just couldn’t get the all-important second goal," he reflected.
"I thought the keeper played well, he pulled off some really good saves.
“I look back on it now and I saw the Dwight Gayle incident [when he was caught by Jon Nolan in the first half, although the Town midfielder appeared to get the ball] and on another day we get a penalty.
“I thought if we’d have got the second goal it would have been a real uphill task for them.
"But in the second half they came out, they had nothing to lose, they were 1-0 down and it gave them a lifeline with them getting the equalising goal.
“But I thought the players still continued to try and get the second goal even at 1-1 and we had five or six chances over the course of the game to go and get the second goal, at both 1-0 and 1-1 but it just eluded us.
“But I look at the game and think we’ve had two defeats [prior to today], and even though we wanted to win the game today, make no mistake about it, we didn’t win the game but we didn’t lose the game and we have to look towards Wednesday now [when they host Swansea].”
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