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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