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Lambert: I Thought the Lads Responded Well
Wednesday, 1st Jan 2020 18:52

Town boss Paul Lambert was pleased with the way his side responded to Sunday’s 5-3 defeat at Lincoln in their 1-1 New Year’s Day draw away against leaders Wycombe Wanderers.

“I thought we were excellent, I thought the lads responded great,” Lambert said. “I thought there were a lot of good things there. I thought some of the football we played was really good.

“The goal was a world-class goal, what a ball that was from Luke [Garbutt] and a great header.

“Judgey, if there was anybody on the pitch that you thought would score it would have been the wee man the way he was playing because he was really high in confidence.

“There were a load of good things there. The goal was disappointing because we’re experienced enough between Luke Chambers] and James [Wilson] to pull somebody on his toes, so that was a disappointment, but other than that the guys were good.”

Given the recent run is confidence a bit fragile that opposition teams might hit back? “Not really because I thought we were dominating the game with the ball. I thought we were very, very good with the ball.

“You knew when the big lad [Adebayo Akinfenwa] came on it was going to be a long ball game, that’s the way they play.”

Regarding Judge, who forced a number of saves from Chairboys’ keeper Ryan Allsop, Lambert added: “I thought his general game was great, that was much more like him. We moved the ball really well, the pitch was heavy we moved it really well and there were a lot of good things there.”

Judge placed the ball for Garbutt’s freekick which led to Norwood’s goal, which delighted the Blues boss, whose first English club as a manager was Wycombe.

“We work on a lot of stuff, he knows exactly where to put it, but you need somebody on the end of it. It was a great cross, he’s got a terrific left foot,” he said.

Speaking last month, Lambert said that Town were talking to Everton about Garbutt’s future. Asked whether there was any progress on that front, the Scot added: “I think a lot will depend on money, what we can do and what we can’t do. A lot will depend on that.”

Reflecting on the result against the division’s leaders and the more positive performance, he says it’s a platform to build on.

“That’s the message, now we kick on from here,” he said. “If we keep doing that for the remaining 21 games then we’ll be right in it, that’s for sure.”

He said that the reaction to Sunday and the lengthy post-match chat in the dressing room pleased him.

“You can’t play the game without running,” he said. “You can’t play the game without work, you can’t play the game without desire.

“We were outfought with everything on Sunday and we got what we deserved. Even though we scored three goals it still wasn’t good enough.

“That’s the way to play the game. I was brought up with sheer effort and graft, I’m from a tough area myself and I know exactly what it’s like to get to the top and you’ve got to work.”

Quizzed on Gwion Edwards’s first-half display, Lambert also had praise for a number of other players.

“There was some really good play,” he said. “Flynn was spreading it about, I thought Emyr Huws was doing really, really well from being out for a long time, so I was really happy with him.

“There were balls going in the box and we did have chances. Was Gwion’s shot cleared off the line?

“There were loads of good things there, some strange decisions I have to say with the refereeing, but I don’t think that’s new in this division, that’s for sure.”

Lambert explained why he switched to three at the back: “I did it because I thought we had to get Judgey somewhere in there.

“The two lads up top by their own admission Sunday wasn’t good enough, so I thought I’d throw them back in to get a reaction, and we certainly did that.”

Is Judge’s best position behind the front two? “I don’t know. Maybe Judgey will probably say it is. Everybody’s going to say what they feel is best for themselves but we have to try and get where we think the team is the most important rather than the individual and if we do that, I always say to them, if we sacrifice the ‘me ‘for the ‘we’ we’ll be alright.”

Lambert says the dressing room was a much happier place after the match than it was at Lincoln, despite not claiming all three points.

“Absolutely. It’s frustrated because they should have won, but they know the level was right up there, that’s the level to play,” he said.

A big positive was Teddy Bishop returning as a late sub after suffering another frustrating injury in pre-season.

“Aye, it’s a good thing for him, he’s looked lively in training, albeit he’s only had a few minutes on the pitch,” he said.

“I’m delighted with him coming back because he’s different from what we’ve got being a ball carrier, I’m delighted to have him back.”

Regarding Cole Skuse and Jon Nolan, who were again absent, he added: “They weren’t ready, Nolo’s foot was still giving him a little cause for concern and Cole’s got the strain in his neck, so it was too risky to try them.”

Could they be involved against Exeter in the Leasing.com Trophy on Saturday? “I don’t know, but we’ll go strong and we’ll try to get through. One or two guys I’ll give games to but it’ll be a helluva strong side, that’s for sure.”

Janoi Donacien missed out after suffering a dead leg in the game at Lincoln.

Lambert confirmed that Freddie Sears was left out having played a significant part of the game at Lincoln having only just returned from his ACL injury.

“Too much to play nearly 70 minutes and then go back into another one of that magnitude,” Lambert said. “I think it’s too dangerous. He’s another one that could be involved on Saturday.”

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SamWhiteUK added 18:57 - Jan 1
Might want to check Akinfenwa's first name, Phil.

Norris at fault for the goal. That should hopefully settle the keeper debate (that PL is having with himself). Norris can go back for all I care.

TimmyH added 18:58 - Jan 1
“I thought we were excellent, I thought the lads responded great,” Lambert said. “I thought there were a lot of good things there. I thought some of the football we played was really good." - more over exaggeration but we're all getting use to it by now, a slight improvement over recent displays no more no less.

Karlosfandangal added 19:00 - Jan 1
Well done Town much better now to kick on. Play a settled side and top 2 will be in our reach

ArnieM added 19:08 - Jan 1
Not really an exaggeration, because Town responded very well from a disastrous game at Lincoln the lads “ stepped up to the plate”. Now PL needs to allow this team to settle down together.

BuckieBlue added 19:14 - Jan 1
Better performance by most accounts, Norwood back scoring, stability at top (presumably for foreseeable future even if PL doesn't last till 2025), results elsewhere show nobody is consistent in this league at the moment (therefore league there to be won), reasons to be cheerful going into 2020....

Dolphinblue added 19:16 - Jan 1
Spot on Lambert keep doing a FANTASTIC job COYB

pennblue added 19:20 - Jan 1
Let's get some perspective here, we just played the League Leaders away from home and got a respectable point. I know we all want to walk the League, but we really need to be a bit more patient. We still have Lankester to come back, Bishop played a bit, Sears the same with Vincent Young to return. We do have a promising crop of youngsters, we just need to sort the central defence.

cat added 19:59 - Jan 1
Yep better performance today Lambert, more shots, good possession and we largely controlled the game. Step in the right direction, this league should be ours if the staff are too it.

Pezzer added 20:23 - Jan 1
Not much he could do about the horrendous errors in their goal- although Holy maybe a better choice.

stevieiriswattii added 21:15 - Jan 1
Definitely an improved performance, reminiscent of the early part of the season. Norris largely untroubled, but caught in no mans land again. How Wycombe are top is a mystery. Their two performances against us have been some of the worst I have seen this season.

PhilTWTD added 22:45 - Jan 1

Amended, think the old Crewe keeper must have come to mind when I was typing.

BettyBlue added 09:14 - Jan 2
Paul, we played less than average and again and drew.

We couldn't even win ugly by holding onto a lead.

You are a total failure. When are you going to win a game. We all know you can talk crap but when are you actually going to win a game.

OldClactonBlue added 10:18 - Jan 2
If I was you Paul I would follow the lead of the great RR and start your team rebuilding with a quality Centre Half (like Allan Hunter). Our defence is a shambles at the moment and the constant changes are not helping Luke Woolfenden, who does look a quality player but needs help from the experienced people around him.

Pilgrimblue added 10:37 - Jan 2
I thought it was a better performance all round after the Lincoln disaster. Got back movement and good width just a shame that keeper made error in what was always going to be a tight game.
Hope PL will now stick with Holy and keep same side with few changes for injuries/suspensions. Also need to get subs on earlier if game needs changing. Subs need more time if they're to be effective.
Good to see Bishop.

PortmanTerrorist added 11:10 - Jan 2
Huws might be on the pitch but not really playing. All the Centre Backs have issues and will continue to do so until we play a settled back line and they can prepare better to actually hold a Line !

To be this bad and still be better than the leaders (barring GK position) bodes well, but any manager who fails to get this group promoted should have questions asked of him, length of contract regardless.

Bishop being fit would make all the difference to this group alongside Flynn in the Centre....but feel like I may have said something similar before every year for past 5 !

Edmundo added 11:23 - Jan 2
Keeping Garbutt is vital, but it might mean we lose out on signing a quality CB this season. I'd personally rather stick with the squad we have, wring the best out of th hem and we'll go up, then maybe ME will be happy to pony up for a CB and another winger.

TractorRoyNo1 added 11:33 - Jan 2
How on earth have we allowed these tin pot outfits to get above is - come on town, no mercy in 2020, just win, win win.

Gazelle added 13:57 - Jan 2
Don't often go to an away game i thought we did ok and will be even better when KVY is fit, could do with a Murphy type target man up front though and Holy back in goal.. A friend who was invited into the changing room before the start told me the atmosphere is brilliant and was most impressed with Chambers and Lambert.

Gazelle added 14:30 - Jan 2
We've won 8 out of 15 with Holy in goal inc 8 clean sheets but won only 2 of the 8 games Norris has played with 2 clean sheets. Both have conceded 11.

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