Lambert: It's Great to Be Back for Pre-Season
Tuesday, 25th Jun 2019 14:41
Town boss Paul Lambert is pleased to be back at Playford Road working with the squad ahead of the Blues’ League One campaign.
“It’s great, it comes round really, really quickly,” the Town boss said. “The break seems to get shorter and shorter every year, so it’s great because the boredom sets in after a few weeks and you’re itching to get back.
"I’m looking forward to training with the guys and going away [for the training camp in Germany] next week."
He says it’s good to have a fresh start after the disappointment of relegation from the Championship last season.
“I think that’s important because you can’t change the past, that’s a part of it, but we’ve had a chance to regroup with a really young side and we’ve got some really good players here.
“So I’m looking forward to it but it’s a difficult league and we know what’s coming and what to expect with the amount of games you play, so it’s a challenge but it’s a good one to have.”
Winning promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt is obviously Town’s target for the season but Lambert was keen not to heap too much pressure on his young squad at this early stage.
“We’ll try, I’m not going to put any expectancy level on the players, they’re young players who are still learning the game, they still need time to develop as well,” he continued.
“It’s everybody, the staff and the players. We need everybody together. If we have what we had last season and we keep that momentum and start to turn those draws into wins, then we’ll see what happens.”
He added: “We have to try everything we can, and if we’re lucky enough to get back into the Championship then that’s what you want, but the momentum has to be with you, but the main thing is we try.”
He says the next five weeks building towards the club’s first third tier game in 62 years at Burton Albion are very significant.
“They’re massive. I think the important thing is to try and get somebody else in to help the lads and it’s important we try and get them in before we go away,” he reflected.
“Germany is hard and it’s tough, there’s no getting away from pre-season, it is what it is, it’s not changed over the years.
“You have to prepare for that whole season and everybody has to buy into what you’re trying to do.
“If nobody buys into what you’re trying to do then it’s not good, it’s not good for the individual, and it’s not good for the team, so everybody has to buy into it.
“The lads have come back in great shape and I’m really happy with how they’ve come back, and I’m looking forward to working with them and let’s see what happens.”
He added: “Germany is a place I know really well and how they prepare and the life over there. I know the teams, we couldn’t have picked any harder teams, that’s for sure, two from the Bundesliga.
“Paderborn have done fantastically well to get to the Bundesliga, and Dusseldorf have had a great season, so they’ll be really hard games to play in the tournament.
“But it’s a place that I know really well and a place where there’s no real distractions or anything like that. You’re there to work, and you work hard.”
Asked about a possible hangover from last season, he says the campaign ended on a high with the 3-2 victory over Leeds.
“We finished on a high, we finished the season decently with Leeds game,” he said. “For me, we’d been playing well, we just hadn’t got the results and the three games prior to Leeds was a hangover of what had happened with relegation [being confirmed] in the Birmingham game.
“But prior to that we had played so well in a lot of games, we’d dominated a lot of games without getting the rewards. Performance-wise overall, I was happy with the way we played, the results, no, but I thought we played well enough to merit results.”
With the visit to Burton on the opening day followed by favourites Sunderland making the trip to Suffolk, Town could have been handed an easier League One baptism.
“Listen, every game is hard; it doesn’t matter who you’re playing in any league,” he continued. “Whoever we played in the first game was always going to be hard, but I’m really looking forward to getting going and let’s see what happens, we’ll be ready for it, that’s for sure.
“We’re a good side, I’ve got no doubt about that, we’re a young side which I said before is still learning, and they will keep learning over the next six months to a year, but everybody is behind us, and that’s a great thing going into the season."
He says anyone who was out there training, from youngsters who were on the periphery last season such as Tristan Nydam or Corrie Ndaba - although Barry Cotter and Aaron Drinan were with the development squad - to those who were on loan like Danny Rowe or Jordan Roberts, have a chance of being in his team on the opening day and he isn’t anticipating any additions prior to the Germany trip.
“What you see here at the minute are the lads who will come with me to Germany, and the two lads that are not here [James Norwood and Alan Judge].
"At this moment, unless something really crazy happens before we go to Germany, then most of these lads will come.”
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