|Ipswich Town 0 v 1 Swansea City|
Monday, 22nd April 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: A Lot Better Than at Preston
Monday, 22nd Apr 2019 18:13
Blues boss Paul Lambert felt his team’s performance as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Swansea was “a lot, lot better” than the display as they were defeated 4-0 at Preston North End on Good Friday.
“I think that the big thing was the reaction,” Lambert said when asked about the performance against the Swans, who won the match via Wayne Routledge’s 57th-minute goal.
“The Preston game was really strange because everything about us was so unlike us for one reason or another, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
“Every stat that we looked at we were so low, with everything. And that wasn’t just one lad, that was everybody, everybody was way off their game for the way we’ve been playing.
“Today was a lot, lot better. There wasn’t too much in the game and we had one or two chances to maybe score.
“But it’s been the same all season really, we’ve had some good moments and just been punished at the wrong end of the pitch.”
Lambert reiterated that a goalscorer is the big thing his Town side is currently missing: “The way we were playing, I think it’s there for everybody to see, we create chances.
“But the lads have been playing with a lot of pressure for months and, as I always say, it’s easier to be the hunter than the hunted because all you do is look up and try and get the goal you’re trying to get and when that’s not there it becomes really difficult.
“That was taken away from us at the Birmingham game when we were relegated. So, the lads deserve a lot of credit for keeping going and keeping going and we’ve got two massive games that can, depending on results, it can affect two or maybe three teams.”
Lambert was pleased to see Will Keane back in his XI for the first time since he suffered his hamstring injury in February.
“Yes, very good,” he said. “A good hour for him. He’s not played for a long, long time. We had one or two little knocks before the game. Will came back, it was good to get him back, he showed some really good touches.”
Regarding those knocks, he added: “Myles had a little hamstring injury, Collin Quaner was just coming back from a little knock, so there were one or two there.
“Kayden Jackson played the whole game on Friday so I had to look at one or two changes. It was another game for Bish as well, I didn’t want to rush him, his time will come. And I just left Josh out because I think James Bree has been really solid for us as well.
“There were some good things there, I thought Deano [Dean Gerken] had a good game. Deano will play the next game and Bart will come in for the Leeds game.”
Did he want to have a look at Gerken with the 33-year-old out of contract at the end of the season? “To be fair, the two lads have worked terribly hard and they’re in a precarious position the two of them because they only have to battle with each other to try and get in the team.
“It’s difficult for a goalkeeper, an outfield player has a load of lads to compete with, while the goalkeepers have to compete with each other, so I wanted to give them something at the end of the season, that was always my intention.”
Does he envisage having two senior goalkeepers in League One next season? “I don’t know what’s happening until I speak to Marcus and see where we’re at. I’m pretty sure it will become clear in the next few weeks.
“We’ve got this week and next week left of the season and I’m pretty sure things will start to motorise and go quickly and we’ll see where we are. Once I speak to Marcus, I’ll know exactly where we are.”
Also back in the team was left-back Callum Elder, who last appeared in mid-January before he underwent hernia surgery. Might the on-loan Leicester man be a player he could look at for next season with another left-back on Lambert’s wish-list with Jonas Knudsen set to depart at the end of his contract in the summer.
“Obviously with the Jonas situation,” Lambert said regarding the upcoming vacancy at left-back.
“Callum’s obviously Leicester’s player, I thought Callum had a good game, he’d been out a helluva long time with a hernia but I thought he had a good game.
“First and foremost we have to get through this season, then a lot of the lads will go back.”
Regarding playing four loan players, Lambert says it was down to circumstances with games coming thick and fast over Easter and with a few players with injuries.
“Myles was injured, as I said, Cole Skuse, two games in three days I think is a big, big ask. Nolan would have played if he was fit, he was injured,” he added.
“Will, we wanted to give him a run out as well. There was a needs-must sort of thing. The loan lads have fitted in great, they’ve been good characters, good guys, so I was never really playing them for the sake of playing them but there were one or two little knocks from the Preston game.”
Regarding the lap of appreciation at the end of the match, Lambert said: “It was emotional because the support behind the football club is phenomenal really, it’s second to none the way the support is.
“That’s why I made the lads stand in front of the North Stand, they’ve watched us all season, it was their turn to watch them and I think that was important that we acknowledged everybody in the stadium and supported them and just watched them.
“The atmosphere’s incredible, it’s overwhelming. I don’t say that lightly, it’s true, it’s overwhelming.”
Swansea boss Graham Potter was pleased that his side ended a run of seven away defeats.
"I thought we did [control the game], but I've been in football long enough to know that while it's only 1-0 you can have a little action that goes against you and all of a sudden there's an opportunity and a chance.
"I thought we were the better team and I thought we did control a lot of the game and had the better chances but we still needed our goalkeeper to make a really, really good save at 1-0.
"We've had performances like this away from home, to be honest. Against Nottingham Forest we were really in control of the game and were winning 1-0 and then we ended up losing 2-1.
"I'm really pleased for the boys, pleased for the supporters who came and watched that we could manage to hold on and get three important points."
Regarding goalscorer Wayne Routledge, he added: I was pleased for him, he's had a tough season but he's handled himself impeccably throughout and he's playing a big part in our second half of the season.
"And he's been an influential person in the group as well, so it was nice for him to be able to influence the game."
Regarding man of the match Daniel James, he said: He was a constant threat. He had a chance early in the first half when we used him through the middle because the pitch was quite sticky, a dry surface and not the easiest on which to run with the ball.
"But Dan, when once he knocks it out of his feet he's so hard to catch. Apart from maybe his shooting decisions or executions, I thought he was fantastic."
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