Lambert: We Were the Better Team, Blackpool Will Be Happy With a Point
Saturday, 23rd Nov 2019 18:15
Boss Paul Lambert was happy with the Blues’ display against Blackpool despite the game ending 2-2, believing Town were the better side. The Town manager felt there were questionable refereeing decisions on both Tangerines’ goals.
“I thought we were better team,” Lambert said. “I think Blackpool will be happy with a point, they set out their way to play, I think to hit us on the counter-attack.
“But we had so much of the ball and dominated the ball. I was happy with how we played, we had so much of the ball.
“You can encounter that, that’s probably the first team that’s come here and defended as deep as that. But, that’s what happened.”
He added: “I was really happy with how we played. We dominated the ball, as I said, they defended, they had a lot of guys behind the ball, their front two were dropping right to the halfway line to try and stop us playing.
“We did everything we could to try and get the result. But I was happy with the way we kept going.”
Regarding the first Blackpool goal, Lambert felt referee Stephen Martin ought to have stopped play with Cole Skuse down injured in the Town half.
“Unless somebody’s told me otherwise then I think the game’s meant to stop for a head injury,” he said.
“If there’s a head injury, I think that’s meant to be the rule, unless it’s changed, unless the rule’s changed. But it happens.”
Lambert, who exchanged views with Blackpool boss Simon Grayson on the touchline following the goal, added: “The referee calls it the way he sees it. It’s the way it is.”
The Blues boss was similarly quizzical about the Blackpool penalty: “I think the linesman said to the referee that there was no contact but the referee’s given it. That’s what I’ve heard. But that’s football.”
In the second half, fans in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand felt the ball had crossed the line before Jay Spearing cleared Kayden Jackson’s flick but Lambert was unable to give an authoritative view.
“I haven’t see that yet,” he said. “We make it exciting, that’s for sure. We keep going. Blackpool playing as deep as they did, that’s their prerogative, I don’t have a problem with that, we may have to encounter that, but that’s the first team that’s came and played as deep as that.”
The Blues manager had praise for Janoi Donacien, who made his first League One appearance since August.
“He did great,” he said. “I thought he did great at Lincoln the other night. I’ve been happy with him, he found himself out of the team because of Kane [Vincent-Young]’s form but he’s obviously got back in.
“I played Gwion [Edwards] up at Rochdale because I thought it was the right thing to do and Janoi came in and did great, so that’s what competition does.”
James Norwood, who returned from his groin op and started the two league games before the international break, missed out and Vincent-Young was also not considered ready after his more recent surgery.
“Him and Kane have had roughly the same kind of operation,” Lambert said when asked about Norwood’s absence. “He’s doing really well, the two of them are really well. I just thought this one was a bit early, he hasn’t done much training at all.
“I didn’t want to take a chance and risk it and then he’s out for another three of four games. It was just a precaution thing, I didn’t want want to throw the two of them in too early.”
Will they be OK for Tuesday’s home game against Wycombe? “I’ll see, he’s not done much training. He’ll have another few days under his belt and we’ll see how he is. This one I think was a bit early. And the same for Kane. We’ll see how the two of them are on Monday.”
Blackpool boss Simon Grayson felt the draw was a fair reflection of the match.
“I would say so," he said. "I think we looked threatening, they looked threatening. It was quite an open game, chances at both ends, so yes, I think it was about a fair result. Both teams could have won it, both teams could have lost it.
“We’re the away team, we've come here, it’s a difficult place to come to against a good team, up around the top couple of places, so we’ll take it for sure.”
He added: “You know when you come to Portman Road at it’s a tough place. They start the game very quickly, they get the crowd behind them and we didn’t deal with the first 15 minutes well enough.
“But we showed good spirit to get back into the game. Held our own, looked a threat on the counter-attack and obviously two decisions in the second half could have gone either way.”
Grayson felt there should be no complaints about his side's penalty but thought the Blues' was a decision which could have gone either way.
“Not from our perspective in terms of our penalty," he said. "The lad’s caught Sulley for definite.
"The other one could have gone either way. The ball’s up, coming out of the sky, Joe Nuttall’s not looking at the ball, he’s looking to try and head it and it’s just come down and hit him on the hand rather than hand to ball.
“I think if you were in the Premier League there would be a lot of people debating whether it’s a penalty or not. We accept it, we have to deal with it.
"We showed a lot of good spirit because we withstood a lot of pressure at the back end of the game but we still looked a threat going forward on the counter-attack.”
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