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Lambert Looking for Blues to Bounce Back Against Swans
Monday, 22nd Apr 2019 06:00

Town boss Paul Lambert insists there’ll be no repeat of Good Friday’s lacklustre performance at Preston when the Blues take on Swansea City at Portman Road this afternoon looking for their first ever league double over the Welshmen.

Lambert was scathing about his side’s display as they were beaten 4-0 at Deepdale and he wants his team to bounce back against the Swans.

“That’s it, we train on Saturday, we train Sunday. That [the preston performance] won’t happen again, that’s for sure,” he insisted.

He says his players will need the sort of home atmosphere which has become familiar in recent months.

“We need them, we definitely need the support,” the Blues manager added. “I think they’ve seen it over the course of the few months I’ve been here that this is the way we play and this is our style. [Preston], that wasn’t us, that’s well, well below what I expect.”

Last week’s confirmation of relegation may well have been a significant factor leading to Friday’s display. Reflecting on his own playing career, Lambert said: “I know when you lose big games there’s a feeling of a backlash where it’s really difficult to lift yourself again.

“And no matter how much you try and how hard you try, things go wrong, everything goes wrong - your passing goes astray, you’re just nearly there.

“But if you’re just nearly there you’re better being a mile away because nearly is not good enough, you have to be bang on it.

“I’ve had disappointments with games but you bounce back as quickly as you can. As long as you never let it manifest, that’s the main thing for me.”

He added: “[The players have] played with a lot of strain in their game for a helluva long time and they’ve performed without getting the breaks.

“We’ve played some really good football, quick, fast, with energy, the whole thing, and never got the rewards we deserved.

“[On Friday], we got what we deserved, which was absolutely nothing because we never turned up.

“But that can happen. When relegation sinks in it can be an absolute body blow, but they’re young lads, they’ll bounce back from it I’ve no doubt. We know as a team and as a group that that was nowhere good enough.”

He says his team will have to put in the hard yards if they’re to put in an improved performance against the Swans.

“First and foremost we’re going to have to run, we’re going to have to work harder than we did at Preston, that wasn’t good enough, that was nowhere near the level I expect,” he said.

“I hope that will be a one-off because that’s not acceptable. None of my teams play like that, you can accept the odd game here and there when things don’t really happen for you but [at Preston] I don’t think we did anything.”

With fans weighing-up whether to buy season tickets for next season’s League One campaign, Lambert says they should remember the matches prior to Friday when the Blues have generally performed well, albeit without turning performances into victories.

“I think that’s important, I wouldn’t judge Ipswich Town on this game alone,” he continued. “I think it’s human nature that you can be seen as only as good as your last game but there’s also a lot of good things here, [which have been evident] from what’s happened beforehand.

“And there will be a lot of good things going forward and that’s the first time I’ve said the team has been nowhere near it, the first time in five months. Every other game we’ve been in the fight and looked a decent side. On Friday, I don’t think we did anything.”

He added: “Supporters are vital for us to move forward. I think the season tickets by all accounts have gone really well, or it’s been really good what Marcus has done. I think the fans are right into it.

“As I said, that’s one game. I could understand if it was like that for 20-odd games, then fair enough, but I think we’ve been playing really well. Today was a bad day, we never performed, never got near it and deservedly got beaten the way we did.”

Swansea go into the game 12th with a promotion push having been anticipated following their drop out of the Premier League last May.

“They’ve just been relegated so they’ve still got some lads who played in the Premier League last year and have been round about it,” Lambert said.

“They probably expected to be up there as well, along with Stoke, but for one reason or another it hasn’t happened.

“I don’t know what, what the problem is but they’ve still got a lot of finances behind them and a lot of power because they’ve just been relegated.”

Despite their disappointing season, the Swans squad features a smattering of players with a great deal of experience in the top flight which Lambert says illustrates the strength of the Championship.

“That’s what you’re up against and it just shows you this division’s really, really tough. But no matter what division you’re in, if you don’t work hard, you end up losing and [on Friday] it wasn’t good enough.

“Swansea, I don’t know the reasons why they’re not up there because they have got a lot of good players.”

Lambert is likely to make changes to his team for today’s game, however, Bartosz Bialkowski will almost certainly be in goal.

James Bree is likely to return at right-back having taken over from Josh Emmanuel at half-time at Preston with the academy product having had a tough first 45 minutes.

Myles Kenlock will be at left-back with skipper Luke Chambers partnered by either Toto Nsiala or James Collins, who missed the trip to Lancashire, at centre-half.

Lambert has said Andre Dozzell is likely to start in midfield, while Trevoh Chalobah and Jon Nolan could also return to the side, although Cole Skuse, Teddy Bishop and Flynn Downes will want to keep their places.

Up front, Collin Quaner could return having been left out at Deepdale or Will Keane may make his first start since returning from injury at the centre of the three with Kayden Jackson likely to drop to the bench having started at Preston, while Alan Judge is again set to be on the left.

With ex-Swan Gwion Edwards out with a groin injury, Lambert could give Idris El Mizouni his full home debut on the right.

Swansea have lost their last seven Championship games on the road - they were beaten 4-0 at QPR last time they were away from home - and manager Graham Potter says that run must end.

“We have to get the job done, it’s as simple as that,” Potter told the Swans club site. “There’s no point me talking about it, to be honest. We know what it is, we need to find a way to win.

“The boys will give everything I know that because it has been the case all season. Of course it’s always hard to go away in the Championship and the environments are difficult, but we know we are good enough to do it.”

Former Blues loanee Bersant Celina is a doubt having had a foot injury and having missed Friday’s 4-3 home victory over Rotherham through illness.

Centre-half Joe Rodon could return after recovering from a broken metatarsal, while midfielder Leroy Fer remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Over the years Swansea have just had the better of it, winning 11 games (11 in the league), Town having won 10 (eight) and with nine (eight) matches ending in draws.

At the Liberty Stadium in October Chalobah’s 84th minute header saw Town to what proved to be the only victory of the Paul Hurst era as the Blues beat Swansea 3-2 in a topsy-turvy game.

A Janoi Donacien own goal put the Swans in front in the eighth minute as the home side dominated but Edwards and Freddie Sears gave Town an unlikely lead via goals in the 27th and 31st minutes.

The Blues held on to their lead until the 79th minute when former loanee Celina lashed in an equaliser but Town weren’t to be denied the three points and Chalobah headed his second of the season five minutes later.

The sides most recently met at Portman Road in December 2010 when Town were let down by poor defending and referee Andy D’Urso’s failure to award a definite penalty when Carlos Edwards was felled as Swansea came from behind to win 3-1.

Loanee Andros Townsend put Town in front with his first and only goal for the Blues but Craig Beattie (2) and Joe Allen condemned Roy Keane’s side to their fifth consecutive league defeat.

Town last beat the Swans at Portman Road in January 2007 when an Alan Lee goal saw the Blues to a 1-0 FA Cup fourth round victory over the Swans at home.

The last time Town beat Swansea at home in the league was in November 1982 when the Blues won 3-1 with Russell Osman, George Burley and John Wark on the scoresheet.

Town winger Edwards came through the Swans’ youth system and was a sub for the first team without making his senior debut.

Former Town loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers is on loan at the Liberty Stadium this season. The Spurs defender made 17 starts for the Blues in a highly successful spell during the second half of last season.

Another of last year's Town loanees, Celina, joined the Swans from Manchester City on a permanent basis last summer. The Kosovan international made 26 starts and 12 sub appearances for the Blues, scoring eight goals.

Swans manager Potter was among those to be interviewed by the Blues last summer before later taking the job at the Liberty Stadium.

Monday’s referee is Darren England from South Yorkshire, who has shown 114 yellow cards and five red in 30 games.

His last Town match was the 2-0 defeat at Blackburn in which he yellow-carded Chambers and one home player and also awarded Rovers a penalty after Callum Elder had hauled down Adam Armstrong.

Prior to that he was in charge of the 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest last April in which he booked Grant Ward and one home player.

England, who is in his third season as a Championship official, also took charge of the 1-0 defeat at Bristol City a month earlier, in which he booked Jonas Knudsen and one Robin, and the 2-0 win at Sunderland a month prior to that, in which he cautioned Joe Garner and one Black Cat.

Squad from: Bialkowski, Gerken, Bree, Emmanuel, Kenlock, Collins, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Nsiala, Ndaba, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes, Nolan, Dozzell, Bishop, El Mizouni, Edwards, Dawkins, Judge, Quaner, Jackson, Keane.

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raycrawfordswig added 06:51 - Apr 22
Both teams to walk out to Chris Rea On the Beach.

bluemike1969 added 07:25 - Apr 22
Yes Paul (once I've stopped laughing my head off).... And my father will be resurrected after passing away in 2003.
Its not going to happen. Its going to be the same lacklustre performance as on Friday from a team that has completely given up. On the plus side, Kate Garraway is showing quite a lot of cleavage on GMB this morning.... Woof! Woof!

jas0999 added 08:12 - Apr 22
Not a fan of loans but when you look at Celina & Carter Vickers - then compare to the loans we signed this year - a whopping nine in total - then it really does demonstrate how the quality was stripped from the team. That’s why we are going down sadly.

warktheline added 08:50 - Apr 22
Doubts are now clearly evident in Lambert, initially stating 'it won't happen again' and then in the same article 'hoping' it won't happen again!

Yeah as one poster declared, 'Warktheline you're a miserable sod!'...and another waxing lyrical that 'Warktheline must be in a very 'dark' place!' I am indeed, and have been since my foolish, or probably clueless club, finally allowed a very bored, downtrodden and unmotivated McCarthy to terminate his connection to Suffolk, but retained his 'band of undroppable, top, proper blokes' to characterise traits going forward ! Player power alongside owner power !......a fatal combination, so it is proving to be!

CavendishBlue added 08:58 - Apr 22

Much as the thought of KG's canyon and ample pokies excites me, we all know that the risk of seeing a small hairy prick sat next to her isn't worth the risk....

Dissboyitfc added 09:11 - Apr 22
Swansea have lost their last seven Championship games on the road - they were beaten 4-0 at QPR last time they were away from home - and manager Graham Potter says that run must end.

Sadly i think it will today, we are the team that keeps on giving and that has to stop!

That said, it would be lovely to do the double of one team.

ChrisFelix added 09:21 - Apr 22
What's the sense in picking Collins
It's time to see Ndaba

ONENIL78 added 09:21 - Apr 22
We should of been "bouncing back" since sept not with 3 games to go...Be nice to do a double tho...onwards (and always) hopefully

dirtydingusmagee added 09:31 - Apr 22
we ve been hoping to bounce back for best part of 18 months [at least] Cant wait to see the back of this season, and not looking forward to the next one. THINGS HAVE GOT TO CHANGE.

Radlett_blue added 10:07 - Apr 22
Please stop playing Bree, especially in a meaningless game like this - he won't be here next season. Emmanuel needs experience.
If we don't play Ndaba today, we won't see him this season. Perfect opportunity for him.

Razor added 10:22 - Apr 22

Dissboyitfc added 10:24 - Apr 22
agree i dont think we should be playing Loanees when we have our own players available, this kind of goes against the stated blue print for next season, Evans saying the plan will be to play our players instead of restricting the development of our own by using loanees!

Josh should be given the chance to prove himself again after the Preston disaster show, others will be given a chance! you can guarantee Chambers will start along with Nsiala or Collins at the heart of the team.

Why Chambers is a guaranteed starter i will never know!

See you all there!

TimmyH added 10:30 - Apr 22
'Bounce back'? would take a lot to bounce back from the nightmare of 2018/19 season, no loanees please just play the players we think are going to be here next season (who knows who these will be knowing Evans).

warksonwater added 10:47 - Apr 22
Let's be honest, this is the last realistic chance of winning this season.

planetblue_2011 added 10:51 - Apr 22
Might get a draw at best today with Keane hopefully gonna start then again Quaner is a good shout to start as well, maybe play them both 4-4-2 can’t get any worse surely. I’d have Nolan & Chalobah in cm with Dozzell & maybe Judge behind strikers. Defence whoever we will play will prob concede anyway. Gonna go for another draw today 2-2 ⚽️

Cloddyseedbed added 11:02 - Apr 22
If fit the thought of Celina running through our midfield and defence fill me with fear! If Collins is picked again this season I'll loose the will to live. Maybe a good time to give Chambers an Easter rest! 2 up front would be a refreshing change too.

RicAllen added 11:22 - Apr 22
Isn’t is usually the case that relegated teams play better once the pressure is off?? Be interesting to see what happens and who is actually trying !!

dukey44 added 12:45 - Apr 22
Play 2 up front as your 2 man HAS NEVER WORKED MR LAMBERT... But u the only person that doesn't seem to see it not working?

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