Lambert Not Getting Carried Away Despite Five-Star Display
Friday, 19th Jul 2019 23:55
Town boss Paul Lambert refused to get carried away by his team’s five-goal thrashing of Colchester at the JobServe Community Stadium tonight.
Lambert saw new signing James Norwood claim a hat-trick and half-time substitute Kayden Jackson was also on target twice as the Blues, who only led 1-0 at the break, cruised to a comfortable win.
“Norwood is a finisher – everybody can see that – and it was great for him,” said Lambert. “Jackson, I think, is really lively and some of the goals, no matter what level you’re at, were brilliant.”
Lambert also paid tribute to the 3,000 Town fans who made the short journey along the A12 before adding: “We are – and I hate to use the phrase – a work in progress. I don’t like using it but that’s exactly where we are.
“Tonight’s game gets the fitness levels higher after some really tough games in Germany. Paderborn and Fortuna Dusseldorf are unbelievable sides. We had a good game against Paderborn but against Dusseldorf we looked like an U18 team in the first half.
“But that’s fine, I pick the team and the lads needed minutes, so it was a great experience for them against a top German side. In our other game against Meppen I thought we should have won it.
“Tonight we also played well but the expectancy level at the football club is what it is because of the badge and what’s happened to this club in the past.
"I get all that but we have to have a bit of realism. We’re still a really young side and they can play. They will make mistakes because of the experience they lack at the moment but it will come.”
But Lambert admitted he is no nearer to knowing the team he will field in the first League One fixture at Burton in two weeks’ time, with skipper Luke Chambers suspended and defensive partner Toto Nsiala sidelined with a hamstring injury that will see him miss the opening weeks of the campaign
He added: “We have eight first team guys injured and we need to get them back. But how long, I don’t know. One or two are a few months away.
"We still need a few lads to come in and give us a hand but it’s difficult because we can’t go and spend silly – that’s the way the club is at the minute.”
Free agent central defender James Wilson, who has been invited to train with Town after being released by Lincoln, played the entire second half against Colchester but no decision on whether to offer him a contract has been made.
Lambert said: “There’s not really any news on James. He’s not done anything the whole pre-season and we asked if we could have a look at him. He’s trained a little bit and he did really well when he came on but he’s miles short of match fitness, as he will admit himself.
“He’s really comfortable with the ball and he has been a good player. It’s just about his game time and training time, which is way down. But centre-half is an area we must look at. We need experience but the problem with James is that he hasn’t trained.”
Experienced midfield man Cole Skuse was conspicuous by his absence at Colchester but Lambert explained: “He slipped on Wednesday in training and there was nobody near him. He jarred his hip but could have played. We just didn’t think it was worth the risk.”
Lambert admitted his relief that midfielder Teddy Bishop did not suffer an ACL injury but he will still be absent for around three months – ironically, according to his manager, after his best pre-season in years.
Broken wrist victim Alan Judge is due to see a specialist on Monday to determine his progress from the broken wrist suffered on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Quizzed about QPR’s reported interest in Judge, for whom the London club were said to have had a £250,000 bid recently rejected, the manager added: “There is no way he is going to leave this club for a value that in my opinion is nowhere near his true worth.
“If we let him go to QPR who do we get in? Everybody has a value, absolutely, but there’s got to be a bit of realism.
"The football club got Alan going again and made him play consecutive games. We gave him a great opportunity. He did well for us last season but we did well for him.
“It’s a two-way thing and there’s no chance he is going to just walk out the door.”
Colchester boss John McGreal, the former Town defender, said: “We came in at half-time and I was pleased with our performance in keeping a good side at bay.
"In the second half we came unstuck with crosses into the box. We weren’t marking properly or defending the back post.”
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