|Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Nottingham Forest|
Saturday, 16th March 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: There Would Have Been No Complaints If We'd Won 4-2
Saturday, 16th Mar 2019 18:19
Town boss Paul Lambert said no one would have had any complaints if his side had beaten Nottingham Forest 4-2 following their 1-1 draw, the Blues sixth stalemate with the same scoreline in seven matches.
“It’s incredible, isn’t it?” Lambert said when asked what his team have to do to win a game, having now gone 11 games without a win but having consistently outplayed teams from higher up the table in recent weeks.
“It’s incredible what’s gone on, how well the guys are playing is fantastic.
“I think you always go by the crowd and the crowd were absolutely brilliant, you don’t have a game without the crowd.
“The two are bouncing off each other incredibly well, but performance-wise, if we walked away with a 4-2 win I don’t think anybody would have complained.
“They had a goal that I think was a legitimate goal disallowed in the first half [from Daryl Murphy]. If we’d taken our chances in the second half we could have at least scored another three.
"We had a great claim for a penalty [when Kayden Jackson was fouled late on] and we never got it, but that’s what happens.”
Town were also left frustrated when referee Keith Stroud called play back as Jon Nolan lashed home from an Alan Judge freekick with the official indicating that he hadn’t blown his whistle for the kick to be taken.
“That’s where the consistency thing comes in I think,” Lambert added. “If the referee says to wait for the whistle then I understand, he has every right to pull it back.
“I don’t know the conversation they had, but it was a great goal, a great freekick, quick thinking, but that seems to be the way it goes for us. But football-wise, I’m really, really happy with the way we play.”
Lambert didn’t need to be reminded that Stroud was the official who awarded Aston Villa an extremely soft spot-kick at Villa Park in January, while failing to give what looked a blatant penalty for the Blues when Tommy Elphick handled a goalbound Collin Quaner shot.
“Keith never gave us a penalty at Villa Park,” Lambert recalled. “The same, it was a stonewall penalty at Villa Park and we never got it and to me that looked like a penalty.
“It’s a difficult job he’s got but the linesman’s got to see that as well, he’s looking right across the line. It was a good case for a penalty.”
After the Villa incident Lambert wrote to the authorities to get an explanation regarding the decisions. Asked if he got a reply, he said: “I spoke to the head of referees [presumably Mike Riley, the general manager of the PGMOL] at that time. I don’t want to make another call because I’m not sure you get too much from it.
“Keith came and saw me before the game and spoke about the Aston Villa game but the damage is already done.
“Was it an apology? If you want to call it in a roundabout way, maybe. You can write that, Keith came and said what he did, you would like to think maybe he thought he got it wrong.”
Lambert spoke to Stroud at the end of today's game and talked to him about a couple of incidents.
“I asked about the penalty and we put on Toto in the last seconds and normally it’s 30 seconds for a sub and that never got taken into account, so the inconsistency of it doesn’t add up,” he said.
“If you put a sub on it’s 30 seconds. We put Toto on, Judgey hit the freekick and within about three and a half seconds he blew up, so where does the 30 seconds for Toto come in there? It isn’t consistent.”
Reflecting on yet another 1-1 scoreline, Lambert says his team’s performances have warranted more.
“If we’d walked away with five wins nobody would complain because we’re playing that well,” he continued.
“I think that’s the beauty of it, we just need that little break at certain moments. The lads are playing under extreme pressure but they’re handling it brilliantly and the way they’re playing and the atmosphere in the stadium and the crowd, everything about the club is really positive at this moment.
“OK, the table is what it is but I think the level of atmosphere and the level of performance is really, really high.
“And it’s exciting football we play, we play a lot of risk of football, which is really good but we just need that little touch that finishes it off.”
He believes fans were entertained this afternoon, as they have been in most matches at Portman Road since he took charge.
“More times than not it’s been like that here, the crowd have been brilliant,” he said. “The crowd is a unique crowd because of what’s happened.
“If we can keep that going, we need them and, as I’ve said before, there’s no point in paying £25 a ticket and coming and sitting and not getting involved in it.
“It’s a great atmosphere and hopefully over the coming games and coming months, the season tickets will hopefully go well, and we can get those fans back to the stadium because it’s absolutely brilliant.”
Regarding his line-up, which was a return to virtually the same team he fielded at West Brom last Saturday rather than the very youthful XI at Bristol City in midweek, he said it was as the Blues had had three games in a week.
“Plus the travelling from Bristol, I don’t think the lads got back until four in the morning which was a long way,” he said.
“I just thought we’d freshen it up again and we did that and the lads that came in were great.
“Andre [Dozzell] and Idris [El Mizouni] and people like that, their time is coming. There’s no problem with Josh [Emmanuel] as well, their time is coming. As I said before, the future is really, really good.”
Some fans had expected Lambert to stop using the loan players and any others who won’t be here next season but he says that that time has not yet been reached.
“The reason being we’re not out of it,” he explained. “Until somebody says we’re mathematically out of it, then fine, then I might look at things.
“But I think I picked the best team that can win that particular game, I can make changes. But we’re not out of it so that’s why I’ll pick a team that I think can win us the game.”
Regarding his skipper Luke Chambers signing a new two-year contract yesterday, he said: “We definitely need that touch of experience without a doubt because we’re really young and we probably will be really young next season regardless of what happens.
“So we need that little bit of experience that knows the club, that knows all about it. It’s good news that, that that’s put to bed, so it’s just a matter of suffering your way through a lot of stuff and trying to make us a better club.”
Forest boss Martin O'Neill was also unimpressed by some of the officiating.
“I thought that obviously we got off to a very poor start, conceded a poor goal from our viewpoint from Ipswich’s first attack," he said.
“We fought our way back into the game and we got the equaliser. Obviously there was a big moment just before half-time when we felt we scored and I think TV replays are saying that it looks as if we’re maybe two yards onside.
“That’s obviously very disappointing but it doesn’t stop the fact that Ipswich played very strongly, very well, and it was no surprise to me in that sense.
“They might only have won a number of games this season, but from the last five or six matches, of which I’ve seen two, one live, one on TV, it was no surprise that they were playing with enthusiasm.
"And I just think that in the last 15 or 20 minutes, even though we made changes to try and go and win the game, because probably the point is not a great deal of good to us, we did leave gaps, which I did think it would do, for attacking players on the field, and Ipswich breaking on us were very, very dangerous indeed.
“Our goalkeeper’s made a couple of really good saves to keep us in it and they also had an excellent chance with the header that went wide [from Nolan] but also [Daryl] Murphy had a good chance. I thought that also might have been a big moment.
“But, having said that, I think the result’s probably fair, although I’m naturally very disappointed about the proper goal that wasn’t given and I think at 2-1 at half-time, having come from a goal behind, that might have given us the extra momentum and we might have been able to put Ipswich on the back foot in the second half, for at least a while.”
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