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Lambert: You Can't Give Teams Two-Goal Starts
Saturday, 14th Dec 2019 18:21

Boss Paul Lambert blamed Town giving Bristol Rovers a two-goal start before getting going following the Blues’ 2-1 defeat to the Pirates at Portman Road.

Tyler Smith and Tom Nichols put the West Countrymen two goals in front before James Norwood pulled one back for Town, who had chances to find an equaliser but ultimately were unable to find the net again.

“You can’t given teams a two-goal start and then start to play in the game,” Lambert admitted.

“We started the game well and it was a poor goal from the throw-in and then we lost another poor goal for the second.

“And that brought us to life and from thereon in we had a good strong end to the second half, we should have had one or two back.

“We got a great goal ourselves. In the second half it was basically all us, we tried everything to score but it didn’t happen. We tried everything to score.”

He added: “It doesn’t matter what type of football you play, it’s always difficult [if you give the opposition a two-goal start].

“We went for it, we went for three lads up top, we went for everything we could but you can’t give anybody two goals as a start. It’s tough.”

Town’s early season success was built around a strong defence and succession of clean sheets Lambert was unhappy with the manner of the Pirates’ goals.

“The first one’s poor because it’s from a throw-in, that was a frustrating one,” he said. “The second one, we had the ball, we were comfortable with the ball and we lost it and the cross came into the back post and their lad put it in.

“That gives you that jolt and we responded really well. We got a really good goal, then chances left, right and centre, they were getting blocks in and defended really strongly. There’s still a helluva long way to go in this league, that’s for sure.”

Regarding Rovers skipper Ollie Clarke’s red card for a second bookable offence when he entered the field of play after treatment without permission from the referee, Lambert said he was unsure of the precise detail of the dismissal.

“I don’t know whether the fourth official told the guy to go on, I don’t know, I really don’t know the situation, I’ve just seen the guy coming on, whether they get told [I don’t know],” he said.

“I never saw the referee [wave him on] unless the referee’s given him [an indication I’ve not seen] to come on, but I don’t know.”

Overall, there were similarities with the performance against Coventry at St Andrew’s last Saturday when Town dominated the first half but ultimately without claiming the victory.

“I said that yesterday, the game’s about winning football matches,” he reflected. “Saturday [against Coventry] we could have been three of four up and it never materialised, the game’s 90 minutes, 45 minutes is not enough.

“Today we had most of the game and, at the very worst, it should have been 2-2 at half-time with the chances that we had.

“We tried everything in the second half, we limited them to no real chance or any real chances on the counter-attack, we dominated the ball from halfway.

“The lads tried everything, the lack of effort that we had on Tuesday, it was totally different from that.”

Town’s home form has been disappointing all season - their record reads won three, drawn four and lost two - with the Blues having picked up only 13 of their 36 points at Portman Road. Over the last six games they’re 19th in the League One home form table.

“No, too many draws,” Lambert admitted. “Not enough wins at home. Away from home we seem to be winning or getting good results.

“But, as I said, there’s a long, long way to go, there’s a helluva long way to go, there are so many twists and turns. We’re in a good position, the guys are disappointed but we’re in a good position still, we’re still in a good position. There’s a long way to go.”

What does he put the disappointing home form down to, opposition teams coming to frustrate?

“Yes, but that’s normal, any big club you’re at, any big club that’s got a fanbase you expect that. You have to be big enough and brave enough to handle it,” he said.

“I’m used to it, the guys, some of the lads will be used to that pressure, some of the younger ones will be a little bit different but it will make them better players.

“It takes a big player to play here, just because of the size of the fanbase. But it’s a great place to play, the atmosphere’s great, you can’t ask any more from the supporters. Everybody gets disappointed but as long as everybody sticks together, that’s the most important thing.”

Is patience vital in those circumstances, both on and off the field? “Yes, because there are so many games still to play, an incredible amount of games. As I said before, there will be twists and turns and bumps along the way.

“It’s important that the team remains focused on what they’re trying to achieve and if we can do it this year it will be brilliant because not many teams bounce back.

“If you look at the table, you look at other results, it’s incredible. Accrington beat Portsmouth 4-1, I think Rotherham lost.

“It’s a really tough league, really tough. But we’re in a good position, we’ve a game in hand but we need to start to win.”

Lambert confirmed that Janoi Donacien dropped out of the side due to illness: “Janoi wasn’t well, we just got informed this morning that he wasn’t well, he woke up with a virus which was disappointing, so we had to kind of rejig it a little bit. But there were a lot of good things there.”

He says that meant he was forced to change his team selection more widely than just at right-back where Cole Skuse filled in.

“I had different things in my head this morning and then Janoi’s thing changed it a little bit so we had to move one or two of the lads," he added.

“That’s why sometimes I don’t name the team on the Friday because anything can happen during the night. I can’t fault the lads for their effort.”

There were muted boos at the final whistle but Lambert’s message to fans is not to panic, despite the Blues going through a tougher patch - they have now gone four league games without a win and seven matches in all competitions without a win over 90 minutes - after their impressive start to the campaign.

“Stay with it, don’t get into the mode it was a few years ago,” he urged. “Enjoy the journey, enjoy the ride, it’ll be up and down but it’ll be exciting.

“We might not win every game but it’ll be exciting and don’t get caught into the apathy or anything like that. Everybody knows the disappointment, everybody knows it.

“It’s a fabulous fanbase, it’s got incredible support behind it, but stick with it. As I said, there will be twists and turns, the guys, some of the younger ones, it can be a bit hard on them because you never know how young ones react in front of it, and the young ones will certainly need the support.”

Rovers boss Graham Coughlan praised his side’s commitment and determination to hang on for their victory.

“I’ve got top, top players,” he said. “Bodies on the line, blocks. They go out and put their bodies on the line and the crowd respond to them and the crowd respond to then. Sheer honesty and sheer hard work and that’ll get you places.”

The Irishman felt the red card hampered them in the latter stages and was unwarranted.

“We had good organisation and structure and the sending off killed us,” he added.

“I don’t think it was a necessary sending off, you can’t hear anything and the fourth official had waved him on.“

Coughlan, whose side has now won four in a row in the league and are undefeated in 10 in all competitions, surprised reporters by calling his own position into question, with later claims he had told the club and the players he was leaving.

“I need to go home and sit with my wife and my kids this evening and spend some time with them," he said.

"I’ve got a decision to make with my own life and my own career with where I’m going and what I’m doing.

“I don’t know where I can take this football club. I’ve got decision to make personally. So I’m going to spend this evening with my wife and kids and see which way I wake up in the morning.”

Photo: TWTD

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Mark added 18:26 - Dec 14
I didn't think we deserved to lose today and it was a decent attacking line up. But when the players keep changing it is unsurprising that the understanding between players is not there, and that can be costly defensively. We need to find a settled side.

brittaniaman added 18:27 - Dec 14
I noticed Lambert sat down looking Lost and Dejected after they scored there 2nd goal, with that look of What Do I Do now.???

martin587 added 18:33 - Dec 14
Paul for crying out loud PLEASE don’t keep making so many team and tactical changes.The team looks like strangers.🙏

surgery added 18:34 - Dec 14
Well pick a settled starting eleven and stop postponing unnecessary games then, ever thought that might be a start?

jas0999 added 18:35 - Dec 14
Deserved something today. But you simply can’t defend like we are at the moment - particularly when we are also struggling to score goals.

Walk_the_Wark added 18:36 - Dec 14
Why do we employ so many 'so called' 'professional' footballers that cannot hit the target when presented with a chance on goal?

ArnieM added 18:39 - Dec 14
Pick the same (your BEST) 11players for a run of 7-8 games , whatever the results.

Choose the most EFFECTIVE FORMATION ...... and STICK WITH IT.

planetblue_2011 added 18:45 - Dec 14
I’m sorry Lambert don’t agree with that we should be able To Come back from 2-0 down against any team in this league 1!! We should of got at least a point today plus they go down to 10 men & still can’t find a way back with 3 strikers on the field for 90mins.
You have made the team disjointed, keep changing it. Sort out a settled 11 it’s not rocket science fella. Poor again today teams are finding Portman rd to easy where it should be a fortress.

Len_Brennan added 18:46 - Dec 14
We have a side that can't get any momentum due to the constant chopping & changing of personnel & formation; which is rarely to do with sudden illness. A side with such a strong squad & who really should be expecting automatic promotion from this league, should always be capable of scoring at least 3 goals in a game. This side really struggles to score however & provides little confidence that we can come from behind to win, regardless of who or how many are up front.
Settled sides learn how to open up the opposition & have the confidence to do it.

planetblue_2011 added 18:47 - Dec 14
Formations are crap as well lambert

prebbs007 added 18:54 - Dec 14
You can’t make 4 or 5 changes every week you berk !

Carberry added 19:07 - Dec 14
It's a really, really big club with a massive fanbase, really, really fantastic support like nowhere else I've ever been. It's massive, really, really massive, unbelievable, really, really unbelievable. (Have I distracted them from my inability to coach winning teams?)

BettyBlue added 19:12 - Dec 14
“I can’t believe the negativity here, it’s incredible. I’d love to have seen it when it wasn’t going well."

10 games without a win and you can't sort it out. What are we paying you for?

Dissboyitfc added 19:14 - Dec 14
nothing to add to any of the above posts, stop the rotation and altering the system and things might start to pick up!

Thought Dozzell played well and i thought Keane looked really good on the ball showed some lovely touches at times.

Whats happening now many of us saw coming, so many fortunate 1-0 wins, they had to run out at some point and looks like they have. We really dont look like scoring more than one goal a game. For me Jackson and norwood arent good enough! before anyone says they need the service, they did have service they dont seem to be able to take the opportunities

I can see the crowds starting to dwindle if this continues. Lambert has been here long enough to know his favoured starting 11, pick them and stick with them for a run of games!

Gforce added 19:36 - Dec 14
I heard from a good source Lambert was so incensed with the performance on Tuesday night against Coventry,that he cancelled the players Christmas party.I don't think he will have changed his mind after today's performance !!


londontractorboy57 added 19:46 - Dec 14
Looks like those that wished for a change are starting to wish again still it was better we went down.How far have we got drop before the numbskulls stop wishing.

cat added 19:57 - Dec 14
We are playing some good stuff but we lack creativity. We may have bossed the possession but it was mostly around the half way line. To many sideward passes from the midfield and no one with the exception of Garbutt and Nolan had the nads to take a player on. Lambert was God after the first 11 games but I will admit here I’m rapidly going off him.

Cloddyseedbed added 20:15 - Dec 14
You can't make 5-6 changes to the team every game and expect them to be able to perform. Whether that be on a Sunday morning or Barcelona. The team needs consistency through picking the strongest team every match. Resting players what a joke. 20 matches in 19 weeks!! A lot of them are not up to speed because of not playing enough, not too much.

Kickingblock added 20:25 - Dec 14
It looked a good / capable line up.
Unfortunately, the first half hour was a carry on from the previous game. Perhaps, they would benefit from a sports shrink.

smellmycheese added 20:25 - Dec 14
Too much panicking on here. Win game in hand, win at Wycombe on New Years Day, then 1 point off top. Everybody has forgotten about the glorious goal we scored. Keep patient and the wins will return without a doubt. There is a huge amount of talent in this team and squad . Other teams know that and this is why they sit so deep behind the ball and try to stifle that.

Lightningboy added 20:33 - Dec 14
We don’t seem to have recovered from the the loss of Kane Vincent Young - no coincidence that our best spell of good attacking football this season came when he was playing.

Injuries to the likes of Norwood & Chambers aren’t helping either..i’ll be happy if we can get to 40 pts by the beginning of January & by then hopefully Sears will be back but we obviously need a couple more players - Tommy Smith would be a no-brainer for starters.

minesapint added 21:03 - Dec 14
I have never known anyone repeat himself as much as PL does. He says everything he has to say in his first two sentences, then says it again, and again, and...

pablo123 added 21:13 - Dec 14
No sh#t Sherlock . !! And please stop saying we are a big club , we havnt been for a long long time !! Just do one back to Norfolk !!!

Skip73 added 21:19 - Dec 14
And you can't keep changing half the team every match and expect to keep winning, but hey ho.

tractorollson added 21:35 - Dec 14
By this time of year we should have a settled 11 and only change it due to injuries or if a few players arent playing well. As a supporter if we can see it what are the players thinking!

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