Lambert: Very Professional, Very Thorough, Could Have Scored More
Saturday, 24th Aug 2019 18:21
Town boss Paul Lambert praised his team for a “very professional, very thorough” performance as they defeated Bolton’s youngsters 5-0 at the University of Bolton Stadium, a margin of victory which he felt could have been even bigger.
James Norwood and Kayden Jackson both scored twice, while Gwion Edwards netted once for the Blues, who now top League One on goal difference from four teams also on 11 points.
“As I said yesterday, this was a dangerous game because we were going into the unknown of facing the kids that are playing here,” Lambert said.
“Those kids did themselves proud, they stood up to it. The atmosphere in the stadium was a lot more relaxed than when we’ve been here before and that’s due to the kids playing.
“We had to do the job. I thought we were very professional, very thorough and it could have been more.
“We train with the younger ones back home and they make it difficult for you. We knew it was going to be difficult. They made it hard for us.
“All credit to my own team. We started right, we did everything right and second half was really, really good.
“We gave them a bit of a hard time in the first half. Even thought we had a lot of the ball and a lot of chances, it just wasn’t the standard we expect.
“But in the second half we were very, very good, that was the way to play the game.
“I know it’s difficult because the grass is long, the weather’s warm, the atmosphere in the stadium was potentially difficult] with the way the Bolton team is. Credit to the team, I thought they were very, very good.”
He was pleased his side showed no sympathy and equally that there was no showboating with the team concentrating on getting the job done.
“You can’t, if the boot was on the other foot, somebody can do that to you. You can’t feel sorry for them,” he added.
“The kids from Bolton will learn, but it’s a great learning curve for them. As I said yesterday, what they’re going through now, I had to go through last year with our kids. The difference being we’ve got a huge football club.”
Strike pair Norwood and Jackson have now scored seven goals between them with the season still less than a month old.
“Really good, really pleased with everybody,” he enthused. “Whether we make changes or not, we look a really strong side.”
At the back James Wilson has kept his place in the team having impressed since he joined on a free transfer after leaving Lincoln earlier in the summer.
“Yes, and Woolfy was excellent the other day,” Lambert said. “I’ve only got three centre-halves so I’ll make changes again. I need everybody up to speed.
“It’s different if Toto’s back, which will hopefully will be another couple of weeks.
“And Jon Nolan did great, he played [in the U23s] the other day, did really well, Will Keane’s doing really well. It’s hotting up.”
As much as he was happy with the goals, Lambert was similarly chuffed with the clean sheet, Town’s second of the season.
“It’s never easy playing in that environment and kids because you don’t know what you get with kids,” he added.
“You get a loose group of kids who don’t really know what they’re involved in yet. Their time is coming, the Bolton kids’ time is coming.”
The Town boss had praise for debutant right-back Kane Vincent-Young: “I thought he was excellent, I really did. It was his first game after missing a few weeks’ playing time.
“I’m really happy with him, you can see his attributes, he’s going to be a big plus for us.”
Town now have a rare free midweek before facing Shrewsbury at home next Saturday.
“It’s been constant and I changed the team, bringing in lads that needed game time,” he reflected on a busy opening to the campaign. “Judgey got another 90 minutes under his belt, which is good, Gwion another 70.
“I’m really happy with the way everything’s going at the minute, the atmosphere of the club is going really good, the town is going with the club. We’re all going the one way.”
Emyr Huws also played most of the last half hour, which Lambert says was something which was planned prior to kick-off.
“I spoke to him yesterday, the idea was to get that scenario in the game then that was what we’d look at,” he continued. “The big plus for me is that he’s back playing and training regularly.”
He says striker Norwood took being subbed while on a hat-trick reasonably well.
“I pick the team and pick the subs, so he has to go with it!” Lambert joked. “He made a comment just going by me saying he was just getting his eye in.
“The team is more important than any individual. He did his job, he got his goals and we’ve got another hard game next week.”
Although the Blues were very much expected to thrash the young Trotters, Lambert still feels netting five goals will help boost confidence.
“It’s great. We’ve started the season really well, we’re playing with a lot of confidence, the fans and the town are right with us, you just have to look at the atmosphere at home it’s absolutely brilliant,” he added.
“Next Saturday will be jumping with the supporters. We’re playing really well at this moment.”
Having scored late goals to claim a draw and then a win against Peterborough and AFC Wimbledon respectively and now having won 5-0 at Bolton, does Lambert hope the season will snowball from here?
“Hopefully, but we’ll have sticky patches, that’s normal but at this moment it’s really, really good, everyone’s playing really well,” he said.
“The lads are playing really confident football, the fans are right behind us. There’s a long, long way to go but the start’s been very, very good.”
Even though his side is now top, Lambert says he doesn’t take too much notice of league tables and certainly not at this early stage.
“I don’t really look at it full stop,” he insisted. “I know where we are, I don’t need to look at a computer or a newspaper to see where we are. I know where we are every week.
“I’ve always been like that, I’ve never been one to look. I know exactly where we are, I know how well the team’s playing, I know what’s going on and I’m really happy with everybody.”
He felt it was important to boost Town’s goal difference with that potentially having an impact come May with the division likely to be tight as the top of the table currently illustrates.
“Coventry came here and it was 0-0,” he said. “It’s a dangerous game, the grass was long, the weather was absolutely roasting, the atmosphere in the stadium was really good, I knew it would be because the fans are supporting kids and they’re not going to criticise kids.
“I’ve come up here when it’s been booing and protests so we had to overcome a few obstacles but thankfully we played a professional game and we played really well.”
Meanwhile, Lambert dismissed last night’s report of interest in Aberdeen forward Scott Wright.
“No, I don’t know these things come from. I don’t know where people get them from,” he said.
He says strikers are no longer his priority with Will Keane having signed earlier in the week.
“No, Will obviously came in the other day,” he continued. “The squad’s getting stronger. Toto will hopefully be back soon, Will another few weeks, Nolo’s doing really well. We’re getting a lot stronger.”
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