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Lambert: Just Another Game, You Win Nothing in November
Monday, 25th Nov 2019 14:10

Boss Paul Lambert is treating Tuesday’s top against second match with his old club Wycombe Wanderers at Portman Road as just “another game”. The Blues manager insists he isn’t concerned that the Chairboys increased their lead over his side to five points via Saturday’s 1-0 injury-time victory over 10-man Doncaster with much of the season still to be played.

Lambert says he’s not looking at the match any differently because it’s a first-v-second clash.

“It's another game,” he said. “We live with pressure every day, this football club lives with pressure every day. It won’t change.

"It won’t change long after I’m away, it won’t change because of the size of the fanbase. Nearly 20,000 here again on Saturday was unbelievable.

“It’s brilliant, the atmosphere in the stadium was brilliant and I’m happy that the fans are coming back, the town’s getting involved with it. The club’s going the right way.”

Speaking after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Blackpool and Wycombe’s defeat of Doncaster via Joe Jacobson’s 92nd-minute penalty, which stretched the Chairboys’ lead at the top to five points, Lambert was far from concerned.

“It’s a disaster that, isn’t it? Absolutely unbelievable disaster, honestly. I think we've played 45 games, we’ve one game left, it’s an absolute disaster!” he joked.

“We’ve played 16 games. Can we lose the title this month? Can we? Maybe not.

“Let’s see what happens in May. We’ve got two games in hand. We’re a good side. Make no mistake about it, we’re a right good side. It’s November. You get nothing in November. We’ve lost a couple of games all season.

“Let’s see what happens in May. We’re a good side and we’re playing really well. A team [Blackpool] came here and sat in and sat in and sat in.”

Is he surprised Wycombe are at the top of the table? “I don’t know. I normally concentrate on our own [team]. Great start, I’m pretty sure if you ask [Chairboys manager] Gareth [Ainsworth] he’d be saying the same as me. Let’s see what happens. You get nothing in November.”

Lambert was in charge at Wycombe between June 2006 and May 2008 during which time the club, his first in England, played 108 games, winning 44, drawing 29 and losing 35.

Reflecting on his time at Adams Park, he added: “Good club, really good little club at that time. We got into a play-off and we got into a [League Cup] semi-final, which was great.

“I had some good guys there, really good players there. Good little club, a lot of good people there.”

He says he’s still in contact with commentator Alan Parry, who has a long-time association with the club and is a former director.

“AP’s still there. The only thing wrong with AP is that he’s a Rangers fan!” Lambert laughed. “But he’s a good guy.

“I don’t know if [president] Ivor [Beeks] is still there or not. If he is then hopefully I’ll see him. Matty Bloomfield played under me, he’s still there. I had a good time.”

Former Blues midfielder Bloomfield, Wycombe's captain, is a regular visitor to Playford Road coaching academy youngsters and Lambert says the two have crossed paths on a couple of occasions: “I’ve only seen him once or twice, I’m not really seen much of him.”

Lambert could stick with the 4-3-3 system utilised against Blackpool with Wycombe usually operating in a similar formation.

That may depend on the fitness of James Norwood. If the striker, who recently underwent groin surgery, is considered OK to return, as seems likely, then the Town boss may opt to go back to 4-4-2 with the former Tranmere man partnering Kayden Jackson.

Will Norris will continue in goal with Luke Garbutt again set to be the left-back. Kane Vincent-Young could be back after his groin operation on the right, which would be harsh on Janoi Donacien, who was among the Blues’ more impressive performers against the Tangerines at the weekend.

The Town manager could look to rotate one of his centre-halves - most likely Luke Woolfenden - which would probably see James Wilson return to the XI.

In midfield, Cole Skuse and Flynn Downes have been virtual ever-presents in the league this season and if Lambert moves back to a four-man midfield they’re likely to be in the centre.

If he plays three midfielders then they’re likely to keep their places but Lambert could rest Jon Nolan and bring in either Andre Dozzell of Emyr Huws.

Alan Judge seems likely to be in the wide left role whichever system Lambert employs with Danny Rowe or Gwion Edwards on the right.

Following Saturday's victory over Doncaster, their fourth League One win in a row, manager Gareth Ainsworth said he would assess his squad today, the Chairboys having had a tough week with last Tuesday's FA Cup replay at home to Tranmere having gone to extra-time before the visitors - who coincidentally had also been reduced to 10 men - ran out 2-1 victors.

“We look forward now to picking the boys up, seeing where we are Monday morning with them all and going to Portman Road, which is phenomenal for Wycombe Wanderers fans and Wycombe Wanderers players,” he told his club's official site.

“Bringing anything back on Tuesday will be a result for us. They’re a strong side, favourites for the league I think, and rightly so.

“Paul Lambert obviously managed here and knows the club and has managed at the top level. It’s going to be a test.”

Away from home in League One this season, the Chairboys have won three, drawn four and lost only once, at Gillingham in September.

Town and Wycombe will be meeting in competitive action for the first time. The game was initially set to be played in October but was postponed due the Blues receiving international calls.

Blues right-back Donacien spent a short spell on loan with Wycombe between August and September 2015, making two starts.

Wycombe stalwart Bloomfield, 35, came through the Town academy and made one senior appearance as a sub before joining the Chairboys in December 2003. The Felixstowe-born midfielder has now made played more than 500 games for the Buckinghamshire side.

Tuesday’s referee is Alan Young from Cambridgeshire, who has shown 76 yellow cards and two red in 18 games so far this season.

Young is yet to referee a competitive Town first-team game but was in charge of Town’s 2-0 July 2012 friendly victory at Cambridge United and the 1-0 U21 Premier Cup defeat to Southampton at Portman Road in November 2014.

Squad from: Norris, Holy, Vincent-Young, Edwards, Donacien, Garbutt, Kenlock, Chambers (c), Wilson, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Skuse, Dozzell, Downes, Huws, Nolan, Judge, Rowe, Georgiou, Jackson, Norwood, Keane.

Photo: TWTD

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BobbyBell added 14:13 - Nov 25
I sincerely hope we win but I have this nasty feeling in my gut that Wycombe will be too good for us and the gap will grow to 8pts. Prove me wrong town, PLEASE.

tractorollson added 14:21 - Nov 25
I agree, i think we may lose this one but this is where we see how good we are. The gap will be 8 points if we lose then all that hard work gone as potentially venture into playoffs. We really need to win this i feel coyb!

BlueWiddow added 14:24 - Nov 25
Play two up top and get at them! Can Always replace Keane / Norwood if they tire, rather than starting with an isolated Jackson. COYB

alfromcol added 14:27 - Nov 25
Win and we are 2 poits behind, better goal difference and 2 games in hand. What could be better than that? Let's be positive folks

tractorollson added 14:31 - Nov 25
true @alfromcol hoping we stuff them, we are as good as anyone in this league!

DifferentGravy added 14:40 - Nov 25
Watched them play Tranmere. They hit it direct to a pacy front man and the big lump Akinfenwa. Dangerous from set pieces. But every time Tranmere got the ball down on the deck and played they looked as though they would hurt Wycombe

If we play the strongest 11 (Woolfy, Garbutt, Young, Downes, Norwood all in) and play TWO up front then we will beat them.

ChrisFelix added 14:42 - Nov 25
I know its a silly question but why is Chambers an automatic selection. Good servant of our club but he is slowing up on what was always was lack of pace. On saturday to me he could have done so much better with their first goal. Surely if we regain our Championship place Lambert doesnt intend to retain the status quo

TimmyH added 14:57 - Nov 25
Momentum is everything...lose to a club like Wycombe and a few players heads might drop somewhat and it just bunches us up with a number of clubs below.

dirtydingusmagee added 15:34 - Nov 25
agree TimmyH, Failure to win will knock confidence, and we will be back in the chasing pack .We need to up our game,

alfromcol added 15:46 - Nov 25
looks like a card waving Ref. 18 games, 76 yellows and 2 reds. last 2 teams to play Wycombe ended up with 10 players.

SheptonMalletBlue added 15:56 - Nov 25
Spot on christelix. Why should Woolfenden be dropped? He's better than Chambers! It should be Woolfenden and Wilson!!! Drop the fist pumper!!

Kickingblock added 16:36 - Nov 25
Please make our home advantage count. Come on you supporters! Make some noise! Remember who has to get your team going and keep them going!

bomber21 added 17:44 - Nov 25
Sorry,just don't get Lambert's thinking on this one,"just another game" it's a massive game it could and will define our whole season and if he does not realise that he needs to think again,positive team selection and tactics and have a right go.He has done well to get the crowds back and the feel good factor,mainly with BS which is getting tedious with every game,now is the time to step up,a WIN and a good performance nothing less.

cat added 17:54 - Nov 25
Pull the other one Lambo, it’s more than just another game, but if he thinks it relieves a bit of pressure then fair play to the man. Looking forward to this one, with the largest and arguably the best squad, 20k of fans behind the tram there ain’t no hiding place.

Linkboy13 added 17:55 - Nov 25
Just another game not important i find Lambert's comments and tactics baffling. I know the numpties will say look at the league but it's only November it's May that counts .Anyone who's not wearing blue tinted glasses will see we've not really been very convincing in our performances.

Dissboyitfc added 19:32 - Nov 25
Whilst that is true, Liverpool are 8 points clear of Leicester and i know who my money is on to win the Premier League>

Massively important game tomorrow no two ways about it! Been along while since we had a 6 pointer at the top of a division.

Never agreed with the postpone of this game at the time and still dont! PL complains about too many games he also says it doesnt matter who plays i trust them all, so why postpone games and create extra games? the mind boggles at times.

Nothing less than 3 points will do! it is a game we need to take all the points from!


brittaniaman added 19:42 - Nov 25
We know you do not win anything in November Paul, bot the Points you lose in November will certainly make a difference come next May ???

SamsDad added 19:58 - Nov 25
We do like to see the negative in everything don’t we?

Clearly we want to win, but if we don’t we carry on. Wycombe have played 10 home and 8 away games, we have played 7 at home and 9 away. I know that stat is going to provoke a response about us being better away or poor at home but even so I’m just trying to show that things aren’t that bad really.

Have a look at Wycombe’s run of games coming up. It’s very difficult pretty much until the end of January and they have to do it on the back of an enforced break of 2 and a half weeks. The don’t have another fixture of any kind until Dec 14. As many of us know that’s a season killer 😉

dirtydingusmagee added 21:23 - Nov 25
SamsDad'' things arent that bad'',but if we upped our game [and we do need to] it could be a lot better, .We have mustered some results but we havnt been a force to be feared. We are not looking a class above the clubs we have encountered so far and we have had our nose bloodied a couple of times by teams we should have beaten .

ringwoodblue added 21:30 - Nov 25
I think Wycombe are long overdue a beating and as others have already said, if we play our best players and two up front I reckon we are the team to do it. Don’t understand why Akinfenwa is such a threat, he’s 37 and about as mobile as a wheelbarrow full of breeze blocks. Wolfie will keep him quiet! I predict 2-1 to the Town.

NITFC added 21:56 - Nov 25
With the games in hand I don't think it's a must win game. But it's certainly one that we can't afford to lose

PMK added 06:17 - Nov 26
Why does my page keep reloading because of a problem?

On an iPhone.

Dissboyitfc added 07:29 - Nov 26
pmk.. really annoying me too!

Kickingblock added 07:34 - Nov 26
It is just another game but it's also another chance. Please can we see the first team on their A game tonight!

BeattiesBackPocket added 09:58 - Nov 26
Home form needs to improve I know we’ve only lost one but drawn games we should’ve won we seem to have a back of going a goal up then taking our foot off the pedal like we did Saturday. First 15 and last 15 minutes Saturday we played with urgency, skill and on the front foot but the rest of the game was pretty average. One up front really hasn’t and doesn’t work for me especially at home and whilst one up front works for a lot of premier league teams they have the goals and quality from midfield to support their lone striker whereas Jackson was pretty much on his own. This for me despite what he says is massive we need to win or it’s an 8 point gap already. For me I’d rather have points on the board than games in hand which is why it puzzles me we couldn’t continue to play games on international break

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