Lambert: No Complaints About Result But Some Positives
Tuesday, 13th Aug 2019 23:04
Town boss Paul Lambert had no complaints about the result after the Blues’ 3-1 Carabao Cup first round defeat at Luton Town but felt there was some positives from the display by a much-changed Blues team.
“It was tough because a lot of guys hadn’t played any football there, a lot of the younger ones were getting a game,” he said.
“Some good things there, and I’ve no complaints with the result. Some good moments there. I’m not sure it was a penalty and some refereeing decisions I thought were pretty bizarre, some of the things there.
“But, as I said, there were a lot of positives there as well. The result, OK, we lost, but that’s going to happen if you’ve a lot of young players.
"But there were a lot of pluses with Will [Norris] getting his first game, Josh [Emmanuel] getting his first game [of the season] as well, Bailey [Clements] coming in, [Armando] Dobra, who I thought was very, very good.
“Gwion Edwards, that’s his first game since we came back. Robbo [Jordan Roberts] as well, hasn’t done too much training, he missed a fortnight with us.
“Judgey [Alan Judge], two games back to back is a big call. Emyr Huws, that was his first competitive game in more than two years.”
Lambert was pleased that his team didn’t fold having been 2-0 down at half-time: “They kept on going, which is great. We had a couple of chances, Andre [Dozzell], he was coming back as well, which is a bonus. He had a chance to score, Robbo had a couple of chances to score.
“There were some good things there and we’ll take it and hopefully we’ll have more back. Jon Nolan was on the bench as well, which is a plus.”
The Town manager said he had no alternative but to make 10 changes: “We couldn’t lose any other players going into the league games and the league is the most important. We’ve started decently in the league and there’ll be changes on Saturday.”
Lambert had praise for 18-year-old debut goalscorer Dobra: “He did great. I like the way he plays, the kid. I like the way he goes about it. He’s not got a fear factor about it.
“Idris [El Mizouni], I couldn’t play because he hurt his ankle on Sunday in training, so he was another one. He’s a big talent as well.
“But Dobra did well when he came to Germany, so did Bailey, two 18-year-olds, Flynn is only 20. When Flynn came on he looked really assured, a lot of good things there.”
Clements had a tough evening at left-back which Lambert says the youngster will ultimately benefit from.
“Yes, but you throw them in and they’ve got to learn, they have to learn the guys. And that will be a great learning curve for him,” he said.
“You’d rather do this than play U23 or U18 football, this is what you want aspire to - being a footballer. No problem.”
Edwards and Nolan’s inclusion in the squad was a surprise with the pair not having featured at all in pre-season or the opening two League One games due to groin and calf problems stretching back to last season.
“Gwion has been training longer than Nolo has, we had to get him some sort of game time,” he continued.
“I knew he couldn’t do the 90 minutes, he’s looked sharp in training but he’s only done that 60 minutes in six or seven weeks.
“Nolo’s just back, he’s trained for a few days, it was just to get him in the swing, back in a dressing room, back in the atmosphere again.”
He added: “Gwion’s probably a bit more advanced than Nolo, who has only trained for a few days, but he’s getting there.
“Gwion, that hour will have done him the world of good, I thought he did really well, Gwion.”
Asked whether he was disappointed or relieved to be out of the competition, Lambert said: “You’re disappointed to lose any game but I also know what the bigger picture is and we couldn’t take a risk with the strongest side, it was an absolute impossibility.”
He says his team will be changed again on Saturday at Peterborough: “A lot of lads who have been doing really well for us in the last two games, they’ll come back into contention for Saturday, so it’ll be different.”
Did anyone in tonight’s side make a case for a place in that line-up? “The team’s been going well, it’s been going really well, so I know what lads can do and what lads can’t do.
“But, as I said, there were one or two good things there, Gwion coming back, Emyr’s first competitive game in two years is unbelievable.
“Andre coming back has been good, Robbo getting minutes as well, Dobra I thought was very, very good. There were a lot of good things. Will Norris’s first game but the bigger picture is the league.”
Asked whether there were any developments on the transfer front, Lambert said not: “No, there’s nothing.”
Quizzed on whether former trialist Kane Vincent-Young at Colchester is on his radar, as has been reported, he added: “Somebody mentioned that to me the other day about that, but I’ve not heard anything. I know he’s Colchester’s player. I’ve not heard anything.”
The Blues boss said he wasn’t aware that Millwall striker Tom Elliott, who came close to joining Town on a season-long loan last month, was back in training after his hamstring injury and wouldn’t comment on whether he might renew his interest.
“He’s somebody else’s player, I don’t like commenting on somebody else’s player,” he said. “I didn’t know Tom Elliott was back training with Millwall.
“I was only concentrating on the game and the lads here. At the minute, as we stand, that’s the squad we’ve got.”
Luton boss Graeme Jones was pleased to set up a second round tie against Cardiff, who beat the Hatters 2-1 in the Championship at the weekend.
“I am delighted, absolutely delighted [about drawing Cardiff]," he told Luton's official site. "We had a post-match meeting yesterday, it took me five hours to go through it on Saturday and Sunday.
"The boys know what we’ve got to improve at for the next game, so in two weeks we’re going to measure that improvement. So I am really, really happy with the fixture.
“In the second 45 tonight we had a few forced changes to make – I don’t think we were as fluent. I really wanted to go for the throat, take the game out of sight, we didn’t. We gave a stupid goal away which is disappointing.
“But overall it’s the first win of the season, we’re off and running, it’s positive, I am happy really. We’ve been competitive in the first two games and then first win tonight, you take a minute out of the game at the weekend and we sit here a lot happier.
“It wasn’t difficult [to change the whole team] because we worked tactically on Sunday when I am sure most teams were off. We worked tactically yesterday and then we had a meeting about the tactical work we have done.
“So we gave the players every opportunity to perform. The group that have been playing since the start of the season, I think we have added to that group, football has made those decisions out on the pitch.
"I spoke at the end of the game about consistent football behaviour and I have seen that in four or five players tonight, so that means you can trust them. There were lots of positives.”
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