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Colchester United 1 v 0 Ipswich Town Trophy
Tuesday, 12th November 2019 Kick-off 19:30
Lambert: We Were Beaten By a Tackle
Tuesday, 12th Nov 2019 22:59

Town boss Paul Lambert had no complaints about his young side’s display, despite the Blues falling to a 1-0 defeat at Colchester in the Trophy.

Lambert’s side now face an away game in the second round of the competition with the loss pushing them to second in the group behind the U’s.

“No, for heavens sake, I’m proud of them, really, really proud of them,” Lambert said when asked if he had any complaints about his team’s performance. “I’m really happy with how they performed.

“We got beaten by a tackle, basically. That might have been their first venture into the half.

“You look at the team we had, they had a strong side out. It makes me smile how well we did.”

Lambert insisted he isn’t too bothered that his side will be away in the next round: “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether we’re away or at home. We’re in good form. I don’t have a problem.

“The kids have been great, the young guys coming into the team and the lads coming back from injury.

“We’ve so many games here. We have meetings every morning, every day to see who we play, what teams we play or what personnel we play and we sit with the fitness lads and the medical department and we see who can play many games on the bounce and who can’t.

“So we think it out, it’s not just off the cuff. We’re thinking weeks in advance what teams we’ll play, what personnel we’ll play. The club’s in a helluva good place.”

Lambert gave three players debuts, 19-year-old Brett McGavin (above) from the start and 16-year-old midfielders Liam Gibbs and Tawanda Chirewa from the bench late on, the latter becoming the club’s second-youngest senior player at 16 years and 31 days.

“He’s been doing really well, Brett,” the Blues boss continued. “I put him in and he did great. I thought Ben Folami did great, a helluva injury [ruptured achilles] he had. And Gibbs (below) came on and Tawanda coming on, Tommy Hughes I know a bit.

The two younger kids, I’ve seen them train, I’ve seen them play in games at the training ground and when they train with their own teams, along with little Jack Manly [U15s forward], who I think has got a really good chance as well.

“As I’ve said before, if you’re young enough and I think you’ve got a chance, I’ll throw you in.”

He added: “It’s great, if we can’t buy players for X amount of money, you’ve got to rear your own. You’ve got to have somebody willing to take a chance on them.

“As I’ve said, if I’d never had Alex Miller, Martin Ferguson and Drew Jarvie [at St Mirren] I wouldn’t be standing here having had the career I had. They threw me in at 15 years of age, 16, and if I hadn’t had those people believing in me I wouldn’t be standing here.”

Reflecting further on his own first steps in the senior game, he said: “Fifteen in a friendly and then my first competitive game was at 16. If I’d never had the manager I had I wouldn’t be standing here.

“I thank them, Martin and Drew Jarvie and Alex Miller, without them I wouldn’t have had the upbringing I had.”

Asked what he likes about Chirewa (above), who lives in Shenfield but qualifies to play international football for Zimbabwe, he added: “I’ve just seen loads of things in him. It’s great for him. He looks younger than 16 when you talk to him.

“I think it’s brilliant, I think it’s brilliant for the kids to experience the short bus journey, the pre-match, the experience of it, the dressing room. And I think it’s great, I really do. I think the club’s in a really good place.

“He’s not frightened of the ball, that’s for sure. He keeps taking the ball, along with Gibbo, he keeps taking the ball, there’s no fear factor in their game. You need somebody to throw them in. I’m happy, I’m really, really happy with what’s happened.”

He says he has watched the likes of Chirewa at Playford Road: “Yes, I’ve seen them train, I’ve seen them play, the lads at night. While you’re tucked up in your bed I’m watching the kids train.

“The academy deserve great credit for the kids that are coming through. As I’ve said before, you never, ever know. But they’ve got ability, that’s for sure.

“We had to get permission from his school and release from his school. I just think it’s brilliant, I think it’s a great story.

“He’s a young kid, him and Gibbo will go back and train at their level but this just gives them a little taster of what being a footballer can be like. It’s a good story.”

Lambert says that giving youngsters games has been a real positive of a competition of which he isn’t otherwise a fan.

“From that aspect yes, but long-term it’s not good because we play too many games in this country, the fixture pile-up, too many games,” he said. “But on that side of it, it’s OK.”

Lambert has a history of playing young players at his previous clubs and he insists it wasn’t a gamble giving them their chance this evening.

“It’s not a punt, it’s not a risk because I know they can do it. I know they can handle the ball,” he said.

“I know they can do things with it, I’m really proud of them. We dominated the game, start to finish. We’ve had so much dominance, so much great play.

“Colchester played a strong side, and we got beaten by a tackle. That’s the game. It’s not the result, the result doesn’t matter, it’s how well we played.”

He added: “It gives them a taster but I wouldn’t give them a taster for the experience. I think they can do little things with the ball. They can excite people, they can play with no fear.

“So from that point of view I’m really happy. We’ve got so many games coming up, but I’m happy deep down.”

One of the more experienced players involved, Emyr Huws, played his second full 90 minutes in four days, the first time the Welshman has played two whole games in such quick succession since Easter 2017 when the Blues beat Burton and then Newcastle.

“It’s incredible,” Lambert continued. “Even in the FA Cup, our back four, apart from Toto, started the season.

“Emyr has been in and out with his injury, but he’s getting better, that’s great for him that, it’s a big psychological boost for him doing back to back games. I think that’s great. There are so many good things there. I’m happy.”

Meanwhile, he says Kane Vincent-Young is doing well after his groin surgery: “He’s doing really well, Kane at the moment. We’ll see how he progresses through the next week or so.

“Lads will play in the FA Cup, then we’ve got the Blackpool game and the Wycombe game, so we’ve got loads of games. When you carry one or two knocks, it’s impossible to rest them.”

Colchester boss John McGreal admitted the winning goal was somewhat freakish.

“I thought Ryan played particularly well,” he told the Colchester Gazette. “He went in for the tackle, hit it and it’s sailed over their keeper.

“The keeper’s a man-mountain, so to beat him from there just shows the connection he had when he went in for the tackle.

“As he ran towards the bench, he looked really light-headed. I think it suddenly dawned on him he’d scored in a derby.”

The former Town defender added: “It was brilliant and nice for our fans to go home with a win in the derby.

“Ipswich had seven major players in their team. I know they rested a couple but those boys were in the Championship last year and now they’re top of League One.

“We know how difficult that division is from playing Coventry [in the FA Cup] on Saturday.

“That’s why it was such an excellent win for us. We were more disciplined defensively but it needed something brilliant or cheeky or lucky to win the game.

“As it was, it was a lucky strike that got us through but sometimes you need that in football.”

Photo: TWTD

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alfromcol added 23:30 - Nov 12
Yea OK, I hear what you say, but it was enbarrassing to watch. Beaten by a 2nd Division team's reserves.

Garv added 00:06 - Nov 13
Interesting read. As a fan base we can’t bleat on about never playing youth or giving them a chance and then complain when the manager does that in a pretty much meaningless game.

Fair play Lambert.

delias_cheesy_flaps added 00:22 - Nov 13
The one worrying trend is the way PL is always happy with the performance when most fans are far from happy with what they’ve witnessed on the pitch!
I know he has to protect these snowflakes and can’t publicly say it was a bag of sh!te but it’s also disingenuous to the supporters telling us black is white, when it’s quite clearly black!

pragmatic added 07:18 - Nov 13
These youngsters are the future as well as young supporters. Fortunately we have a manager who also believes in both.

J45 added 07:27 - Nov 13
I don’t think anybody is disagreeing with playing some youngsters last night and looking at what the future has to offer, everybody is behind what he is trying to do in that sense but please don’t come out and say we played well.

It was 90 minutes of us trying to break down a pretty defensively minded Colchester and our only tactic was lump it towards Ben Folami who to his credit battled against two big centre backs all night, PL coming out and saying “it was a poor performance but good to get the young ones a game and they will learn from it” Is far better than basically lying, because if like myself you were one of the 2,700 then I will be surprised if you thought we played well.


BettyBlue added 08:52 - Nov 13
"We were beaten by a tackle"

No Paul, it was your team selection and your massive ego.

Keaneish added 08:55 - Nov 13
We’re in our worst form of the season PL...
I’m all for sugar coating from time-to-time and spinning the PR but let’s not tell fibs.

Lord_Mac added 09:44 - Nov 13
Completely different issue to Saturday. No arguments with team selection last night.

herfie added 09:49 - Nov 13
In what is a results-based business, am slightly uneasy at PL’s apparently relaxed view of last night’s defeat, albeit in a competition he clearly has little regard for.

Of course he’s always going to - In my opinion - overdo the post-match analysis, and see things through his managerial blue tinted specs, praising performances which supporters see quite differently. It’s the nature of the beast. But most of us who bear the scars and have the T-shirt, know the score! We’re never that good, or that bad. Perspective please, Paul!


Cheshire_Blue added 09:51 - Nov 13
Does anyone really care ?

Sharkey added 10:29 - Nov 13
When it comes to rhetoric, he's certainly more Trump than Obama. 'We dominated the game, start to finish . We had so much dominance, so much great play.'

Les57 added 11:59 - Nov 13
By disrespecting this and the FA cup match we now have two away games instead of one match at home. We could have mixed and matched the WHOLE squad and won both matches including giving one or two youngsters a game. Some of the recognised first team will not play a competitive match for nearly 3weeks. Barmy in my opinion.
If you do not want to play in competitions don’t enter them!

ArnieM added 12:07 - Nov 13
The kids WILL benefit enormously from this even if we can’t see that now. Bring in League One has given the Club a chance to bring a fair crop of youngsters on tbh. Us fans have got to see this and go with it .

brittaniaman added 12:14 - Nov 13
By the time Norwood and Jackson play again they will be rusty and need Matches to get them up to speed again, because I cannot see them playing until Sat. week against Blackpool, I am sure PL. will not risk them Wed. against Lincoln with the importance of the League.

dangerous30 added 13:11 - Nov 13
Yes he is going to build there confidence up by coming out and saying they played crap

Blue_Moses added 13:27 - Nov 13
Technically correct but we had nothing up front (looked like 4-6-0 for most of the game) and never looked like scoring ourselves. Winning mentality and all that. For a man who bangs on about the fans so much we've served up dross for the two cup games over the past few days

BurleysGloryDays added 14:52 - Nov 13
Hilarious reading some of these comments.

Our fans have done us very proud but should stick to supporting the team, that's our strength.

PL's is to understand what he's looking for in performances, to build long term projects, understand his assets, what he needs to develop, how he can keep us top of the league in a sustainable way by rotating so they players don't drop off with exhaustion in second half of the season, as happens so often to other clubs - and to ultimately have us win leagues or promotions.

That's his mission, ours is to support through thick and thin, have faith, trust and energy from the stands.

PL has DEFINITELY earned that from every supporter. It's not even a request from me to support him, it's a demand. He's the best thing that's happened to the club for nearly 20 years.

If you can only see the importance of one game, when we'd already qualified, on a Tues night in a pointless cup - you are very short sighted and probably not qualified to publish opinions.This goes for luxury FA cup run too. Bit of fun, NOT A PRIORITY AT ALL. Use it to test our assets and build build build.


ivandeighton added 16:26 - Nov 13
Lamberts priority is the league and we need our strongest team to get promoted. Not bothered about the cups get back to the big time I like what Lamberts doing

ITFCsince73 added 18:52 - Nov 13
Arniem I think most fans can and do see now.

Carberry added 21:12 - Nov 13
My BS meter has just exploded.

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