Lambert Praise for Nsiala and Dawkins, Spence Has to Keep Battling for Return
Thursday, 14th Mar 2019 18:43
Blues boss Paul Lambert has been impressed by the recent performances of central defender Toto Nsiala and winger Simon Dawkins and says right-back Jordan Spence has a chance of getting back in the side if he keeps knocking at the door.
Nsiala has played only occasionally since Lambert took over at Town but was in the team at Bristol City on Tuesday and his manager says he has shown he is a reliable performer when he has been given his chance.
“Every time Toto’s been in he’s never really let us down,” Lambert said. “Matthew Pennington has been outstanding, but Toto coming in has never let us down. I thought he had a really good game the other night.
“As I’ve said before, you might not see the best of a lot of these guys until their second season. With Toto, if I play him I’ve got a rough idea what I’m going to get.”
He added: “Toto for me is getting better. He’s probably had to adjust to playing a little bit differently from how he has before, but he’s definitely getting better. And he’s a good kid, a really good kid.”
Regarding Dawkins, who joined on a short-term contract to the end of the season in January, Lambert was pleased with his display off the bench at West Brom, the former Tottenham youngster’s second appearance as a sub for the Blues.
“I thought he did well against West Brom when he came on,” the Blues manager continued. “It’s been hard for him because Alan Judge has come in and been excellent for us.
“Gwion Edwards is playing really well as well at this minute in time, so it’s been hard for Simon, but in the West Brom game I thought he did well.”
Spence, who is out of contract in the summer but with the Blues having an option for a further season, was a regular for Lambert for the first few months of his time at Town but hasn’t featured in a matchday 18 since his last appearance, the 3-1 home defeat by Millwall on New Year’s Day.
“That’s the nature of the game,” Lambert reflected. “Jordan was in the side, he had a run at it. We decided to change it and trying to get back in is hard because James Bree has been doing well, Josh Emmanuel has been doing well and had a decent game against Bristol City.
“Pennington moved over, he’s been excellent for us. In any position Matty’s been excellent. So it’s been tough but you have to keep knocking at the door and see if that chance comes.”
He added: “Jordan trains well, he doesn’t not train well so I don’t have a problem with that. You’ve just got to battle back to get back in the side.”
Photos: TWTD/Action Images
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