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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.”

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midastouch added 20:14 - Mar 14
Yes to Nsiala next season, but not sure about Dawkins (although barely seen him to be fair!) and would prob pass on Spence too.

Dissboyitfc added 20:22 - Mar 14
spence will be gone, jury still out on Toto and havent seen enough of dawkins to be fair!

harlingblue added 00:59 - Mar 15
Nsiala could be a massive player next year, Rowe (out on loan) is ahead of Dawkins IMO, while, Spence just cannot hold his concentration during the game.

muccletonjoe added 05:38 - Mar 15
Oh dear

midastouch added 09:46 - Mar 15
I wonder how Toto would pair with Wolfenden, obviously we won't know unless we try. Wolfenden looked assured against West Ham so League One should be well within his comfort zone, at least I'd hope so. And Toto has played there before so he knows what it's all about.
On the subject of League One I see the Shrews are dicing with death one place above relegation. I wonder if they might be tempted to go back for Hurst again even if there did seem a bit of bad blood following his exit.
And I don't think it's good that 4 teams go down from League One, and 4 go up from League Two. Prefer 3 up and 3 down.

Jonaldo added 11:22 - Mar 15
I like Nsiala, still learning though. He has a bit of Sol Campbell about him if he can learn to read the game a little better. Also needs to improve his distribution. But rarely beaten to a header these days.

BaddowBlue1 added 12:05 - Mar 15
we have seen improvements in the performances of Nolan and Toto in recent weeks and lets face it they didn't have pre-season with us so stepping up has taken its time but they are getting there. I believe we will play 3 at the back next season with Woolf and Toto and possibly Chambo being the experienced one.

Skuse and Chambo still have a lot to offer at our club both on and off of the pitch and they have played at a lower level. Their families are settled in the area so hopefully one or both of them will get new deals which incorporates them into the coaching staff as well.

TractorBoy1935 added 16:04 - Mar 15
For me personally I think Toto needs to improve more which in time will happen. Was a very good player for Shrewsbury so I can see why Paul Hurst signed him, unfortunately hasn't quite worked out the way we all hoped. Nolan in recent weeks has shown promise of a good player and happy for him to score his first headed career goal which got us the point at West Brom but clearly deserved all 3. Can't really give an opinion on Simon as he hasn't played much football but watching him from his days at Derby and in the MLS, I think he'll be a good addition to keep hold of as he may find his feet again next season.

And as for Spence, well I think he has run his course here as Josh will most likely occupy that position next season should Paul not decide to get someone else in. He's clearly not been the same since Mick left which is a shame but then again some players play better under certain managers.

TractorCam added 17:38 - Mar 15
Phil Spence played Accrington!

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