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Lambert: Draw Probably a Fair Result
Saturday, 9th Nov 2019 18:23

Blues boss Paul Lambert conceded that a draw was probably a fair result following the 1-1 FA Cup stalemate with Lincoln City at Portman Road but admitted a replay was the last thing he wanted.

Town are set to travel to Sincil Bank a week on Wednesday to take on the Imps for a second time.

“Probably, yes,” he said when asked if the result was a fair reflection of the tie. “The penalty save was a big moment.

“In the first half we never really got going, the second half was a lot better, we changed the system a little bit and we got stronger and stronger as the game went on. We got a great goal ourselves and, obviously, the penalty save was a big moment.”

He said the draw was the result he was hoping to avoid: “A draw and a replay, yes. But it is what it is, you can’t change it, that’s the ruling. You’ve got to go up there on the Wednesday.

“I just heard it’s a week on Wednesday. The lads are still away on international duty but I think that’s the rule, so if that’s the case we have to play.”

He says he had no regrets about changing all 10 of his outfield players: “None, because I trust the guys, they’re equally as important as the guys who have been playing, so not one bit.

“Football’s changed, it’s totally changed. You don’t just have one to 11 or 18 everybody’s got a role to play.

“I’m happy with the team, the guys that played, we got stronger. No, I don’t have any regrets.”

Asked whether it was inevitable given the changes that the first half would be disjointed, he added: “Not just that, there’s some guys who have not played for a couple of weeks, some guys have just come back from injury.

“The guys went in there, difficult game, they played a really strong side which has played most of their games.

“And our lads had more or less come in and were playing against them, so I was happy and the second half was good.”

He says he asked them for more intensity at half-time: “We spoke about it, not a shouting match or anything like that. It was, ‘What can we do better? Where do with think it’s not working?’.

“We changed the system in the second half and we got more dominance and in the second half of thought we looked more like ourselves.”

Lambert felt Andre Dozzell will have been given a boost having scored his goal and was also pleased with the 20-year-old’s overall display in the second half.

“Lovely, great and to be fair to him I thought as the second half wore on he was getting better, he was the one that was actually dictating the play. I thought in the second half he was excellent,” he said.

Was the half-time change of system, which saw Dozzell move inside, aimed at getting him on the ball more after the break? “There was that and he plays really brilliant football round the corners at times, he really does.

“As I said before, he’s a young lad who had a really bad injury and he’s a big talent, Andre Dozzell.

“I thought in the second half he was the one dictating where the ball was going, he was the one that was dictating the speed of the game, so for me the second half from him was very good.”

Lambert felt there were plenty of positives to take from the match: “I thought Dozzell was good, I thought Toto Nsiala responded well after giving away the penalty. I don’t know if it was a penalty or not, I’ll have to see it again.

“I thought Myles Kenlock looked like him old self again, Anthony Georgiou getting game time, Will Keane getting game time, so there were a lot of good things from that, the only downside was we have to have a replay.

“We could have done without it and I’m pretty sure Lincoln would probably be the same. But look at all the scores today, there were a helluva lot of draws. It’s just fitting it in when we have to go and play.”

Regarding Town’s near-10-year, 15-game wait for an FA Cup win, he says it was something which was part of the overall apathy he found at the club when he took charge a year ago.

“I think it was a culmination of everything really, I think there was a disconnection of the support from the club, people moaning, ‘This isn’t not going right, that’s not going right’,” he recalled.

“Things like the FA Cup get thrown in and no progress. I think it was a culmination of everything that was happening. As I said before, the first point of call was to get the supporters back into it.

“Not getting through a round for 10 years is an incredible stat any way you want to look at it. But the big thing was we had to get the fans coming back in and wanting to enjoy football again, making it exciting.

“And I think that’s the biggest thing, making the football club exciting again. You see that many young ones coming along now, which is great. We’re getting 20,000 people here for a league game, 11,000 when it’s not even a season ticket game.”

Did he have any thoughts about that when naming a side with so many changes? “I trust the guys, absolutely. We played a really strong Lincoln side, these guys have been playing all their games. I don’t think they made many changes, one in fact.

“We have a young kid, Dobra, Will Keane has just come back from injury, Anthony Georgiou, his first start, Huws, not many for two years. Dozzell has not played many games.

Janoi Donacien’s been out of the team for a few weeks. James Wilson, a couple of weeks but did well. Toto’s just come back from injury. Myles has been out of the team for a few weeks, Flynn has come back after suspension having been brilliant for us.”

Lambert says it’s more a case of getting minutes into the players involved today rather than resting the regular League One starters.

“We have too many games,” he continued. “One guy gets injured and I know another guy will be up to speed. It’s not about giving him a gift and him a gift for not playing, it’s not that at all.

“It’s about getting everybody up to speed where if one guy gets injured I know another guy is more or less up to speed with the guy that’s got injured. It’s not a present if you play under me, you have to earn it.

“And every guy who played today I trust them and they’ve earned the right to play, so not a problem.”

Lincoln manager Michael Appleton thought his side did enough to claim the victory.

“I thought they improved [in the second half], obviously they changed their shape a couple of times, but the keeper didn’t have much to do in terms of saves," he said.

“There was stuff being flashed across the box but you'd expect that in a cup tie away from home against the highest-ranked team in the competition.

“But we should have had a penalty in the first half, we’ve missed a penalty in the second, the keeper’s had to make a few decent saves.

“Disappointed but delighted with the performance. A good experience for some of the younger players in the team, which I’m sure they enjoyed apart from not getting through.

“But we’re still in the hat, we get an opportunity to see who we will potentially play in the next round if we’re lucky enough to get through.”

Appleton is well aware of the Blues' previous visit to Sincil Bank in a third-round replay in 2017 which the Imps - then in the National League with Town in the Championship - won 1-0.

“It’s a little bit of added spice to it, isn’t it?" he added. "And that was always the way today.

"From us, it was one of them where we’ve done enough in the game, the players are disappointed down there, and rightly so, but I keep reminding everyone, there’s another opportunity around the corner at some point.

“The fact that it’s at home, and we’ve done OK at home of late, and there’s a little bit of decent history on our side, so hopefully we’ll do the same again.”

Photo: TWTD

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rgp1 added 18:41 - Nov 9
I agree 100 per cent with Lamberts comments, we have possibly the largest squad in the division and in my opinion the one with by far the best quality. What better way to get these players up to speed with more games, and yes I know people don't like loads of changes but nowadays it happens with all teams whether we like it or not so get used to it!

Saxonblue74 added 18:51 - Nov 9
How can you make wholesale changes for this match then refer to some of the players being away on internationals for the replay? What's his point? Perhaps I'm missing something but I don't understand?!

TractorCam added 18:51 - Nov 9
Replay was the last thing you wanted? Should have played a strong team then. Failing that, should have told Norris to turn around and thunder it into his net in the last minute.


speccybaz added 18:53 - Nov 9
Don’t get me wrong I like Lambert and he’s done wonders off the field. But I do think he got what he least wanted and yet most deserved today. The groans from all around when we saw the team sheet, pretty much relying on Keane upfront and playing Dozzell wide right all showed a lack of respect for the FA Cup and the home fans. Yes, some changes I get. But ten changes? If it was the Col U game I could understand it, especially with no league game ‘til 23rd. Just who is he going to pick on Tuesday? That said well done to the lads for the second half performance. COYB

Mark added 18:54 - Nov 9
I was disappointed to see ten changes when we don't have a league match for another two weeks, and it backfired as now we have another fixture to add to our list. We could have given most of today's team a run out at Colchester on Tuesday night surely.

ITFCsince73 added 18:58 - Nov 9
The team was picked for today’s game and Tuesday.

runaround added 19:20 - Nov 9
ITFCsince73 - will be at least 3 changes Tuesday as Dozzell, Downes & Dobra will be away on international duty. Also not sure Keane or Huws can play 2 games in 3 days. Think Lambert got it wrong making too many changes with no league games for 2 weeks

richardpaul added 19:49 - Nov 9
I am old enough to remember Ipswich winning the FA Cup in 1978 The excitement of each winning round to the semi final against WBA then the eventual final Yes we were a top division team but we had a manager in Sir Bob who for whatever the competition wanted to win so put out a team to do that
Time has gone on and priorities seemed to have changed as the money cow is league status and cup competitions seemed to be a distraction rather than a means to pit ourselves against better opposition to see how we compare Maybe this is the rationale behind the fielding of second team players in the hope that we will not progress and therefore have more resources for the league
The long suffering fans,and there are many on this forum, would I think welcome a cup run realistically not to win it but to at least compete Remember the blue and white all the way from Suffolk to Wembley
We are now in a season of ballots with an election in the offing Should the question be
Do you want a cup run to excite the fans or
Concentrate on the league
Would we have an equal split or maybe the romantics amongst us would vote for the excitement
I for one think that the strongest team available should be deployed to Lincoln to win the replay and continue in the cup

ITFCsince73 added 20:13 - Nov 9
Yes Runaround quite right. The team with the same type player was my meaning.
We’re in 2 cup competitions and top of the league.
Lambo hasn’t got much wrong so far.
We didn’t have to play a 1st 11, unlike every other team had to from L1.
We have a huge squad for a reason, Lambo stated all this before 1st league game of the season.
Our 1st 11 will take no part in Cup games, only minimal if needed.
This has been known for months, can’t understand the shock from people on here.
Our 1st 11 rarely get beat, that’s the main thing.

Carberry added 20:49 - Nov 9
Sadly PR Paul is deluded, he thinks he's managing Man City, 'It's not 1-11 or even 18'. Will someone mention to him that we are a League 1 club who are skint, we aren't rotating players because we have important Champions League fixtures coming up. He has taken us into the world of Mickey Mouse competitions which can be the testing ground for 2nd rate players and youngsters but when the FA Cup comes along pay it some respect and don't BS all of us when asked about the 10 changes with what a great job you have done and try to ignore the question. Time to see through this charlatan.

herfie added 20:54 - Nov 9
Speaking as a huge admirer of PL, have to say that, on this occasion, his decisions - and rationale behind them - were pretty flawed. But, hey, he’s allowed to show he’s not perfect - just like the rest of us. Important thing is that, away from the glare of cameras and mics, he’ll pick over the bones and learn the lessons. Particularly in respect of avoiding a very unwelcome midweek match etc.

rfretwell added 21:11 - Nov 9
But will he Herfie? It doesn't seem very likely!

herfie added 21:24 - Nov 9
Probably right, rfretwell. He’s a stubborn Jock! (But a fairly canny one...)

shakytown added 21:34 - Nov 9
Sad how as former winners of this great competition we no longer care a jot about it. The proud memories of 1978 are being demeaned by a decade of sad indifference and shows how far this once proud club has fallen.

Linkboy13 added 22:25 - Nov 9
Yes he got it wrong today but this lack of respect for the cup has been going on for years . Two things we did find out today Dozzell is a far better player in the middle of midfield, and in 55yrs of supporting town Nsiala has got to be one of the worst players ive seen in a blue shirt reckless, clumsy and so slow.

NITFC added 23:24 - Nov 9
Linkboy. And don't forget Will Keane. A very poor footballer with a shockingly bad goalscoring record for someone who plays up front.


multiplescoregasms added 23:34 - Nov 9
It's 9 years since our last F A Cup win. This was the day to chgange that. Put out at least a half full first eleven and then game would probably have been won by the hour. Instead we put out a full team of 'squad players' and blow the chance of actually winning a cup game. I appreciate that the league is the important thing for us, but come on, a cup win isn't much to ask for. Dreadful team selection today. Very disappointed in the attitude that clubs now have in the FA Cup. So sorry Sir Bobby.

eddiespearitt03 added 01:37 - Nov 10
It is a disgrace that we have shown no ambition or interest in a cup competition for the last 10-15 seasons.

ITFC_95 added 02:02 - Nov 10
I understand the frustration at not winning an cup game for 10 years but we have a massive squad compared to most in league 1. Realistically we are never going to win the whole thing so why not give some game time to the likes of huws, Dozzell and Keane (who need games to recover/develop). As long as we are the championship next year I think anyone with any sense wouldn’t give 2 hoots whether we got to the 5th round of the fa cup or not

Beattiesballbag added 03:28 - Nov 10

"We played a really strong Lincoln side, these guys have been playing all their games. I don’t think they made many changes, one in fact"
Exactly!! & it's much the same in the league, we've been lucky & nicking wins in spite of his rotational policy not because of it.
Seriously though, how is it these other managers haven't been charged with bullying....making their players play a competitive game every week, don't they understand they could be burnt out within a couple of weeks!!

brittaniaman added 11:15 - Nov 10
Lincoln seem to be our Bogey side, and the fact is we have got to play them now 4 times this season
I thought we done well enough with the 10 changes to their 1 but it still means we have got that unwanted extra game against them

AlanG296 added 15:51 - Nov 10
By the time Lambert next put's his best 11 on the field, it will be 18 days since the last time. That's longer than a premier league mid-season break.

BettyBlue added 17:04 - Nov 10
How can Paul Lambert justify postponing games left right and centre when on bit part player is called up for an U23 international, yet he can field a side with 11 changes for the FA Cup?

We will end up like Portsmouth or Sunderland last season. Top of the table till Christmas and then blowing up when the pressures on.

ITFCsince73 added 17:24 - Nov 10
Bettyblue. Luton were top most of the season.
Pompey or Sunderland was never really in the mix

inghamspur added 17:28 - Nov 10
Dozzell had another anonymous game. The only thing he did was score a goal. Not sure what people see in him.

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