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Lambert: Big Year for Emmanuel
Friday, 3rd May 2019 16:18

Blues boss Paul Lambert says right-back Josh Emmanuel has a big year coming up, Town having taken up the one-year option on the 21-year-old’s contract.

The academy product’s deal was set to be up in the summer but the Blues activated the additional season's option earlier this week.

Emmanuel, who spent the first half of the season on loan in League One with Shrewsbury having helped Rotherham win promotion from that division in 2017/18, has recently alternated with loanee James Bree at right-back with Jordan Spence having slipped out of the picture after regularly featuring in the role in the first months of Lambert’s time at Portman Road.

“It’s a chance, and that’s what it is, a chance to improve, and we need to see how he does so this is a big year for him and a massive season or him going forward,” the Town manager said regarding Emmanuel.

“He’s got to learn like everyone else that this is the way we play and he’s got to want to play that way.”

Will he be looking for another right-back to compete with one-time West Ham schoolboy Emmanuel?

“We’ll see because we’ve got lads out on loan as well,” he reflected. “Janoi [Donacien, on loan at Accrington] needs to come back, Luke [Woolfenden, at Swindon] needs to come back, so we’ll see once we’ve got everybody back then I’ll look at it.

"If I think we need a little bit of reinforcement somewhere, I’ll look at it.”

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Blue041273 added 11:09 - May 4
Why does PL feel it necessary to apply pressure like this before this disaster of a season is even over. A lot of us have been scratching our heads as to why JE is not trusted to play on a regular basis. As a RB is he really that inferior to James Bree? Does he really have to learn to play in that position? Does he really have to learn how to play ‘the Ipswich Way’? Is there any question that he might not want to play in this way?
As a 21 year old JE has his best years ahead of him! But the inference from PL’s comments is that JE is not the man to nail down the RB position in his team! PL’s comments come across as being clumsy and unnecessary at this time!

Suffolkboy added 15:02 - May 4
I think ,for almost the first time, I too find PL’s comments, at the least ,hard to follow They neither relate positively to JE or his potential , nor reveal specifics about any deficiencies ! What they do show is a manager playing cards very close to the chest ,and perhaps needing to cover more than one base right now !
Does it maybe indicate , as is likely , that he will have to shuffle the pack ,be careful who he does , or can bring in ,and of course can’t be overly expansive in his public declarations for a whole host of logical business reasons ?
From what we’ve seen then both our young full backs have lots to learn , much more true potential to reveal ,and must show greater physical and athletic prowess : so far they’re falling disappointingly short and greatly improved awareness and positional sense would serve everybody well .

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