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Lambert: Were There Some Harsh Words There? Yes, But Not Over the Top
Sunday, 29th Dec 2019 20:06

Town boss Paul Lambert kept his squad in the dressing room for an hour after the Blues’ 5-3 defeat at Lincoln City for a meeting in which he said there were some “home truths” told.

The media were kept waiting until 6pm to speak to Lambert following the Blues’ third defeat in four league games.

“They started better than us,” Lambert reflected on the match. “They got a good goal [from their perspective] but it was from our throw-in, which was the disappointing thing.

“We started to play and got a grip of the game and Luke Garbutt scored a really good freekick. I thought that was what we deserved in the first half, I thought we were right in the game.

“Then we lost a really poor goal towards the end, one long ball and Will [Norris] got caught, maybe by his own admission he should have stayed on his line.

“But I would never criticise Will Norris as he’s been excellent for us. But those things happen, [and it] gave them the impetus in the second half.”

At 2-2 in the second half Town had again got a foothold in the game but let it slip, which Lambert said was the biggest frustration.

“That was the thing, that was the disappointing thing,” he added. “We came out and we got the equaliser and that that point you think it’s going to go either way.

“Again we had a throw-in on the left side, we never got hold of the ball. And then they scored to make it 3-2, then it went to 4-2, then we go back in and got another to make if 4-3. The fifth goal, we put everybody forward and we tried to get an equaliser.

“To lose five goals when we didn’t even look like losing a goal [in games earlier in the season], we have to get back to that. And [we shouldn’t be] scoring three goals away from home and still losing.

He added: “We have been pretty solid over most of the season but you can’t score three goals and lose five away from home, that’s too much.”

Regarding the meeting after the game, he said: “We just spoke in there, no raised voices or anything like that, but maybe some home truths and a lot of things like that.

“The guys are good. I cannot fault their effort. Were there some harsh words there? Yes, but not over the top where it becomes mayhem.”

Did the players have their say as well as him? “You have a relationship with the guys, they’re good guys. If you go in there in a crazed frenzy then people can be frightened or switch off, there are some young guys in there, 18, 19, 20-year-olds.

“It’s part of the game, it’s part of their upbringing and if you go in there and rant and rave I’m not so sure they’ll take it in. It was a meeting that hopefully will be beneficial.”

Asked whether there are enough leaders or characters in his squad, he said: “I think you’ve got to step up to the plate now, I think you’ve got to step up regardless of whether you’re 18 or 19, you’ve got to step up to the plate, I think that’s important.

“Some of them are young, some are older and quiet, different personalities but you can have a different personality and be quiet but you can also be pretty nasty with it.”

Is that the type of player he might need to add to his squad in January? “I always think if you’re 19 or 20, played in 100-odd games, you’ve always got to have that desire, hunger, the eye of the tiger, the normal things of football.

“I was never 6ft 3in myself, never built massively but to beat me you had to go some and that’s what you try and instil in the guys. And we have to get that back.”

Town were without Cole Skuse and Jon Nolan due to knocks, Lambert confirmed: “Cole hurt his neck against Gillingham and he woke up the other morning with wry neck, he couldn’t turn his neck, he was robotic.

“Nolo hurt his foot against Portsmouth and it was showing because his coverage of the football pitch was well down, so he was struggling.”

In their absence Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes started in the middle of midfield and Lambert felt they did some aspects of the game well despite the scoreline.

“I thought they were good,” he said. “They’re really, really good footballers, the guys, really, really good. Again, they need to step up to the plate, even though they’re young kids.

“I thought football-wise, passing, really good, really happy with the two kids. I don’t have a problem with that but the actual devilment, as I call it, to be nasty, to win things, win big trophies or titles or be champions, you have to have a little bit of a streak in you.”

Janoi Donacien limped off towards the end of the first half with an injury which had hampered him for much of the half.

“I think the guy’s head hit his knee, the back of his head has hit knee and so we’ll need to see how he is,” Lambert said.

Questioned on how worrying he feels the current run - seven league games without a win and no victories over 90 minutes in the last 10 in all competitions - he said: “Any run when you don’t win, even when you lose two it’s worrying. Do you know what the craziest thing is, we’re still in that bloody position, we’re still up there.

“I think Wycombe lost and Peterborough lost today, I think it’s going to go that way all the time. We’re having a run now which nobody wants but we’re still well in that mix.

“Everybody has to accept we’re going to lose games at competition level, you’re going to lose. OK, we lose but you have to try put it right as quick as you can. But you also have to concentrate on all the good things that have put you in this position.

“It can’t just be negative, negative, negative, it’s not good for anybody. Not good for anybody at the club, anybody that supports the club. You have to concentrate on good moments.

“But this is the time where you need everybody to group together and make sure that you become really, really watertight.”

At the end some fans reacted angrily towards Lambert as he went over to applaud them, something he says he understands.

“That’s football,” he said. “They’ve come in their thousands to watch, which is great. I’d never really criticise any supporters because they come and pay their money and for me I’ve played with massive clubs, I know what it’s like. I’ve played with clubs where you’re only as good as your last pass.

“For the young guys, they need the help from the supporters, and hopefully at the end of the season we can give them something to enjoy. but you take the upper cut that’s coming in your direction at the minute.”

He says it’s far from the first time he’s been on the end of criticism: “It’s not the first time and it’s not going to be the last. As I said before, I played with huge, worldwide renowned clubs where you’re only as good as your last pass.

“Me and the staff we try and help them the best that we can. People think the game is about managers. It’s not about managers, the game’s about players and supporters and that’s what people want to see.

“What I will do is stick with the players, they’ve given me absolutely everything in their bodies to do things right, for me no problem.”

Photo: TWTD

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MrTown added 20:08 - Dec 29
Absolute horseshoe*t, straight from the cliche managerial defeat handbook, mixed in with "I've played for a big team".

All nicely avoiding the fact any resolution to the fact we have won 1 in 11 games, and seems to be stumbling along with the same philosophy (no idea, no identity philosophy).

For me its sink or swim for Lambert at Wycombe.

He has been the architect of his own downfall with this rotation policy, both personnel and formation, and the football, is it really any better than MM's hoof ball, I'd unfortunately say it is not.

Big game New Year's Day, will be backing the boys and Lambert 100% at Adams Park no doubt though.

Carberry added 20:17 - Dec 29
I'm great arent I, nobody got past me, I've played for some huge clubs, in fact people just don't give me enough credit for my playing days and remember I won the European Cup, blah, blah, blah. (But between you and me I do struggle with this management business.)

Letchworth_Blue added 20:22 - Dec 29
What does he think all this guff he comes out with will actually change? He keeps saying that the lads are doing really well, playing really well, giving their all etc etc. However they have lost the ability to pass 5 yards without losing the ball, lost any ability to defend, look absolutely clueless going forward and hardly have any attempts at goal.

What great positives are there to take from the last 10 games, honestly!? We weren't that convincing in the first 10 either.

Stick with a team that can create chances, stop messing about with the defensive back 5 and encourage the strikers to have a shot once in a while.

Tractorboy1985 added 20:24 - Dec 29
You played for some big teams?? You should have said Paul... you’re boring.. one dimensional.. don’t know you’re best 11.. we don’t care if you played for Celtic or Dortmund.. once upon a time this club made mince meat out of those clubs and other elite clubs around Europe.. it’s about the here and now.. and now you are failing miserably! If this club fails to win promotion this season I really do fear for its future!

blue86 added 20:27 - Dec 29
Aghhh the mention of the big clubs paul played for, forgot about that! He does not mention it often? Lol. Seriously though, has he lost the dressing room with this pathetic rotation policy or what? Come on lambert you either need to sort this mess asap, or as ol Merlin would say foxtrot oscar! I actually want him to succeed, because if he does then we do obviously. Stick or twist?

Dissboyitfc added 20:28 - Dec 29
And if this carries on we will be out of the mix in the next few games.

Really not sure if he the person to get us out of this mess! I hope the players told him what they really think of the rotation policy.

AlanG296 added 20:29 - Dec 29
So players have given him everything in their bodies? Mostly s@!t I think.

Pezzer added 20:30 - Dec 29
Well play the same 11 again and give them the opportunity to prove they are up to it. Not another 5 or 6 changes.

blue86 added 20:34 - Dec 29
Tractorboy1985 - my thoughts exactly! Nobody cares who he played for! Just manage and concentrate on ending this losing streak.

bluerico added 20:34 - Dec 29
I will criticise Norris, he is not good enough! Holy should be our number one and play every game if fit. Until the manager recognises his best 11 and plays them most of the time I believe we will not be consistent enough to finish top 6, never mind top 2.

jas0999 added 20:34 - Dec 29
Little bored of this big team line.

Reality check: we are a League one club - struggling. Lambert needs to find a way to win and quickly. Lots of wins at that.

Dolphinblue added 20:37 - Dec 29
Fully behind Lambert and team, together we can do this!

TR11BLU added 20:40 - Dec 29
Players need to take a long hard look at themselves, most just not good enough and defending was shocking.
Send Norris back and stick with Holy. Kenlock as LB and Garbett in front of him, play Judge just Behind Jackson and Norwood, Downes and Nolan sitting deeper.
We have the players to get out of this league but must settle on a consistent 11.Dont need additions, in fact we need to ship some out.
Lambert to get us out of this mess or fall on his sword. Change would be the wrong choice now.

Bert added 20:44 - Dec 29
Apart from the comments about his own playing career, I find little to argue with Lambert re his post match interview. We lost badly again, we are disheartened, we are worried but no point hiding behind the sofa and making barbed comments about Lambert. He acknowledges we have a problem so it is for him to sort. The team that played today, with two exceptions is the team that many of would have chosen. He played two up front but our strikers are out of form. This happens and so it is for Wycombe and Peterborough. We have to get it right and the tide will turn. For now please let's not get back to the horrible MM days on this forum. Opinions yes but personal attacks no.

Dolphinblue added 20:44 - Dec 29
Holy must play though and we miss fully fit Skuse

runningout added 20:45 - Dec 29
Norris was a bit embarrassing with his attempt to gain yards, apart from the ref booboo bit

Woodbridgian added 20:46 - Dec 29
Lambert is completely deluded, no acceptance that any of this is down to him and absolutely no idea how he sorts it out. Cut the BS and if and as if suggested in your boxing day comments you aren't committed then in your own words, pick up your jacket of the peg and go !

Dolphinblue added 20:47 - Dec 29
Trublue11 agree...Garbutt left midfield, judge in hole where surely he will be effective in this league, give it time to gel.

muhrensleftfoot added 20:49 - Dec 29
Best squad in League one by a country mile. The lack of ideas, shots on goal, confidence, is only down to one man and his tactics

blue86 added 20:50 - Dec 29
TR11BLU - I agree with you, kenlock back at lb, not because kenlock is great, but we can then push garbutt to left mid, and the other points you made are spot on, but............. will lambert do this? Or will he keep rotating and speaking bullsh*t? Tough call!

PSGBlue added 20:51 - Dec 29
Not counting August and September, Lambert's record has been poor. To be fair, he inherited a poor squad but at the same time built a relationship with the fans, by cleverly trying to be on their side against Evans. He said this club deserved better. By the end of last season he was one of us, his performance on the bench at Norwich last season convinced us he was a blue.

By late September he was almost god like, but there again so was MM as we sat second in the league a few seasons back.

Since then his rotation of the squad, the refusal to play games on International weekends has ruined it all. But much like MM its not his fault, we are up there with the rest of them battling away. Which players' turn is it this week to come out just ahead of the Wycombe game and tell us we should all pull in the same direction and everything will turn out just fine. We had that all last season and look what happened.

The truth is, the team have lost their way, no-one knows if they are playing let alone which position they will occupy from week to week. Yes, Evans is to partly blame, but his investment at this level is surely enough to provide a competitive team.

The buck stops with the manager with the team selection and tactics. The swapping of goalkeepers is a real puzzle. Surely its the goalkeeper who helps organize the back four.

Losing 5-3 against Lincoln, who were non-league three seasons back is totally unacceptable. As was the defeat at home to Bristol Rovers, we are Ipswich Town for heavens sake, not Rochdale or Accrington. We expect and deserve more!

Whilst still top six, it may not be fair to sack Lambert quite yet, I do not believe anyone can come and turn it around that quick. But if we are 10th/12th come the end of January, I think the time will of come to let Lambert go.


SickParrot added 20:52 - Dec 29
Message for you Paul. Fans are sick of you saying that you played for big clubs & were a top player. How's that going to get us out of this dreadful run? You keep telling us that you've got a really good side and that the players always give 100%, so why can't we win a game? It's a long time since you achieved anything as a manager, so time to step up and earn your wages.

afrodids added 20:52 - Dec 29
Roy Keane - 7 premier league titles, 4 fa cups , 1 championships league! Still a Sh1t manager he's won more than you PL so we don't really care who you've played for, it's irrelevant!

runningout added 20:53 - Dec 29
I haven’t been one to wine about our past managers. Although Hurst and his oppo were a bad choice. John Duncan too. Most of our Managers have had a fair whack at it!! PL mentions criticism being taken : “ Your only as good as your last pass” Slightly concerning.

TractorBeezer added 20:54 - Dec 29
How about 2 hours at Playford Road before we take on Wycombe

An hour on practicing crisp passing (that we delivered during the first few games. There are now too many loopy/floaty balls that have crept in.

An hour to practice basics of defending...including who marks who...and effective communications.

Then select our best team and subs. Eliminate riddles.

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