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Lambert: No Complaints, We Didn't Do Enough
Tuesday, 28th Jan 2020 23:19

Town boss Paul Lambert had no complaints about the Blues 1-0 defeat at Rotherham which, along with Wycombe’s 2-1 home win over Blackpool, has seen Town drop to third in League One. The Blues boss added that he didn't expect to be handed any of the Bartosz Bialkowski cash ahead of Friday's transfer deadline.

“It wasn’t great on the eye football-wise, but we lost the game,” Lambert said. “I’ve got no complaints, I don’t think we did enough to win the game other than the last 15 or 20 minutes when I thought we started to get a grip of the game but the ball was more in the air than on the ground.

“They’re stronger than us physically. Set plays, freekicks, corners come into your box and they’re effective at what they do. I was disappointed that it was a set play that hurt us.”

The Blues midfield never gained control of the game and dominated possession in the manner they have in recent weeks and Lambert says it was never going to be that sort of match.

“There was no chance it was ever going to be that type of game,” he said. “It was always going to be that type, in the air, the way Rotherham play. But credit to them, they do it well.”

Was it a deliberate tactic to play a lot of balls over the top for Kayden Jackson to chase? “No, it wasn’t. We tried to play, I said to try and play football against it because it’s going to come on top of you all the time, don’t get caught up in playing the same because it’s not going to benefit us. No, that wasn’t the tactic, that was just the way the game materialised.”

Despite having been second best for the most part, the Blues almost grabbed a late equaliser with Luke Garbutt forcing Millers keeper Daniel Iversen to make an impressive save from a freekick and sub James Norwood hitting the post from what seemed to be an impossible angle.

“I know and then it just wasn’t our night, he reflected. “I thought Norwood did well when he came on. He was a bit more lively than he has been. Garbutt’s freekick, he’s always going to hit the target but it wasn’t enough.”

Lambert says the pattern of the game went as he anticipated: “I didn’t expect anything different. We spoke about it yesterday in the build-up to the game - it’s going to come in the box, the ball will be more times in the air then on the ground.

“And that’s the way it went. It was just a set play which hurt us but we had a chance to equalise at the death.”

Reflecting on what was a frantic first half, he said: “I don’t think we took the ball at the back as well as we have been. That for me was the one thing we should have done better.

“In the second half it was only in the last 15 or 20 minutes when we started to get a grip of it and might have got an equaliser at the end.”

Town were unchanged for the third match running but Lambert says he didn’t consider making switches with the Blues in good form: “No, not really. You guys moan when you rotate, what do you want to do?

“No, the team was playing well, it’s still playing well so there was never any need for me to change anything.”

However, like other managers he believes there is too much football: “There are too many games, everybody’s complaining, Klopp, Guardiola. Everybody’s complaining there are too many games. Replays and whatever, it’s a nonsense, there are too many games. It’s not good for anybody.”

Emyr Huws was subbed having picked up a knock in the second half but Lambert says it’s not related to the knee problem which saw the Welshman miss a season and a half of football.

“It’s a different injury, it’s not his knee, it’s his ankle,” he said. “There are one or two little knocks in there, which you’d expect after a game like that.”

Asked whether he’ll look at changes ahead of the weekend, he added: “I don’t know, I’ll see how they are. I’ll see how the guys are, they’ve been in great form since January, we’ll have to wait and see how they are.”

Missing from the 18 was recent signing Josh Earl, who suffered an injury in training. Lambert says the staff are not yet sure whether it’s serious or a more minor problem.

“We don’t know,” he said. “He got a knock yesterday in training and he’ll get a scan tomorrow and we’ll see how he is.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s home match against Peterborough, he said: “That’ll be another hard game, but we’re at home and the form’s been good.

“I wasn’t too disappointed tonight, OK, I’m disappointed to lose, the game was what it was, it was never going to be a purist’s football match, we just get ready, we go again tomorrow and we’ll see during the rest of the week.”

Does he worry that other sides will take a similar approach to Rotherham in future matches? “I don’t think there are too many teams that play like that in the league or as good as that in the league with the physicality that they’ve got. I don’t think we’ll come across that too many times.”

Yesterday saw keeper Bialkowski’s permanent move to Millwall completed with the Blues believed to have received an initial fee likely to have been in the £500,000 to £600,000 range with the Poland international’s former club Notts County receiving a sell-on fee of £30,000.

However, Lambert says he’ll not be getting that cash to spend on additions before Friday’s 11pm deadline.

“We won’t get that,” he said. “As I said before, that’s not going to come back in, it’s over a period of time. We don’t have the money to go and spend.”

Asked if he expects there to be any additions before Friday’s deadline, he added: “Not if we’ve no money, we can’t.

“Might I get someone in on loan? Not unless something comes up then [owner] Marcus [Evans] might say ‘OK, it’s feasible to do it’. But we can’t go out and get anybody. We’ll need to see.

“But again, you’re getting people that teams don’t want, guys that aren’t fit, that’s the problem in January.”

If he still has the same squad after the deadline will he be happy? “I’m delighted with the guys. We’re in a good position, we’re in good form. OK, tonight we lost but the team could have been a draw at the end of it.”

Questioned on whether there had been any interest in any of his players with Blackpool having been linked with Jon Nolan, Lambert said: “It doesn’t make sense. There’s nobody going to go. I’ve not heard anything from any manager. If I hear from a manager then it’s different but I’ve not heard from any manager.”

He added: “As I said before, you end up getting players that teams don’t want and you’ve got to get them fit. That’s the problem with the January window.”

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ArnieM added 23:26 - Jan 28
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the two most physical hoof merchants in the league are occupying the top two positions, that’s what this league is all about and Town have NEVER dealt with physical teams. It’ll be playoffs for us I think .

SingBlue added 23:32 - Jan 28
Oh dear that’s poor, distinct lack of fight from a weak manager who is building a frail team. He is saying sod the 900 travelling fans but I can’t work out how to beat any team that has strength and cohesion (I.E. anyone in the top 8!). Wow where is the fight Paul? All I’m seeing is that against anyone half decent, we turn up get paid then feck off again....

braveblue added 23:35 - Jan 28
£500k in but no spending. Sound familiar?

JaySwitch added 23:37 - Jan 28
We still can't beat any of the top teams in this league, we're gonna finish 3rd and lose the playoff semi's :'(

BeattiesBackPocket added 23:53 - Jan 28
Can the Evans supporters really not see why were in the state we are? A player who was carrying a slight injury in Bart Starr of season commanding a 900,000 fee now a few months later recapturing his old form again and we sell for 500,000 it’s all we’ve ever done accept half ars@d offers in desperation. Same with Webster we desperately sell for 5 mill then he goes a year later for over 25 million! That’s the difference between having a strong owner who won’t be held to ransom and take the first offer going and ours. It makes no sense!

Taricco_Fan added 00:01 - Jan 29
Our inability to beat any of the top eight in this division is all on Lambert. Tactically he's not up to it, this being apparent since early in his tenure. Being a motivator only gets a manager so far.

That five year contract didn't - and still doesn't - look too clever.

timkatieadamitfc added 01:34 - Jan 29
Exactly @tariccofan - He knows EXACTLY how Rotherham play, so wtf did he not play 6 ft 7” holy in goal to counteract balls being constantly lumped into our box
Can’t knock Rotherham, that’s twice they’ve deservedly beat us and they’re good at what they do.

LegendofthePhoenix added 06:20 - Jan 29
PL says that he intended to play the ball on the ground, but it just panned out that we kept playing balls over the top. The main culprit in my view was Huws, he's been great recently but last night just kept knocking balls over the top - so why not remove him at half time and bring Bishop on? Norwood was far more effective than either Jackson or Keane in that battle, but didn't get enough minutes on the pitch. When it's not working Paul, make the changes earlier please.

BlueHarmony added 06:22 - Jan 29
Totally agree Timka. I thought exactly the same when he talked about the threat earlier in the week. Seemed an obvious solution

Saxonblue74 added 06:33 - Jan 29
Yes TimKatie, very strange that Holy didn't get the nod yesterday and regularly in my opinion. That said, Norris had a good game last night. It is bewildering that Lambert knows all the questions prior to the game but seems to have no answers whatsoever! Yes Rotherham play direct and physical football but why should that prevent us playing our game? Surely we should still be able to string a few passes together and create a few chances? Title winning teams dictate games, they lead, not follow!

harlingblue added 06:34 - Jan 29
Paul Lambert was obviously a good footballer in Scotland and Germany, he has let us know that many times. He was a good Manager at Colchester, having beaten Norwich 7-1, was a very good Manager at Norwich, but then a downward path?
At Ipswich Town (home of THE ENGLISH GREATEST MANAGERS, Ramsey and Robson, Burley, a Scot, was good too), he is small fry. To play a long ball game against the (giants) of Rotherham is naive management/coaching to the extreme. Two top teams of League One, and only one turns up. I feel sorry for those (900+ fans) that were at the game.Brian Kluug and his U23 Manangers would have done better?

SitfcB added 06:39 - Jan 29
Wycombe beat Blackpool.

hoppy added 07:03 - Jan 29
If PL isn’t getting any of the Bart money to spend before Friday, why the hell was there the rush to do the deal with Millwall now, for a much reduced fee? He’s having a good season and could’ve stayed on loan for the rest of it, and then do a deal at the end of the season - with Millwall OR any other interested clubs, of which there were at least a couple. Could’ve commanded a larger fee than we’d agreed last summer based on his form - not vastly less as it appears we have done.

Dolphinblue added 07:11 - Jan 29
Oh here we go...we lost so thenegcrew come crawling out of their holes 😪. No way Wycombe will be in top 2 come end of the season. We got turned over by a powerful Rotherham team, move on.

norfolkbluey added 07:35 - Jan 29
Agree Dolphin blue but you have to also agree with the fact Holy should have been in goal with his height and Norwood is the type of player to enjoy a scrap and is not intimidated by physical opposition. I think PL actually did get it wrong in hindsight but as you say it is one match. The most important thing is to win the next match and move on. My only worry is we are not scoring enough goals and that is something that should and must be addressed.

londontractorboy57 added 07:35 - Jan 29
oh for the days of Mickma it was the same basic football but at least we got results still at least the foul mouthed numbskulls are happy or are they?

Barty added 08:29 - Jan 29
Very disappointing night - just not up for it !!!! Our failure to beat any of the top teams says a lot I'm afraid. We need a proven goal scorer.

planetblue_2011 added 08:44 - Jan 29
Is that all we got for Bart unbelievable!! oh well suppose it’s better than nothing!!
If we bring anyone else in I would say a tall target man who could of come in useful last night. Other than that think we’re ok. Move on from that game now just fingers crossed we can up the tempo against P’boro because it’s gonna be a harder game with the form they are in.

ChrisFelix added 08:45 - Jan 29
Repeat of the home game. You would have thought Lambert & his team would have leant their lesson. Holy & Norwood should have started

howdonblue added 09:20 - Jan 29
ArnieM you hit the proverbial nail on the head .
Town can’t cope with the physical stuff.

We need some horses for courses in our side as well at this level .

Otherwise this little trip to league 1 maybe long term

howdonblue added 09:21 - Jan 29
And and of course the return of our own goalkeeper as well !

blueboy1981 added 09:30 - Jan 29
Admit it Lambert - you, and your team just aren’t good enough to win the 3rd Division, yes 3rd Division is all it is ....... not Champions League, which is where you seem to think you should be.

carlo88 added 09:35 - Jan 29
Moaning about money, had a tantrum about his position and rewarded with a five year contract; now he's moaning about too many games having already been knocked out of three cups. Perhaps look at your own shortcomings occasionally.

blueboy1981 added 09:37 - Jan 29
Londontractorboy57 - cut the numbskull name calling, no decent, respectful ITFC supporter needs to name call and be insulting, irrespective of views.
Tells everything people need to know about you, and then treat with deserved disdain. I’m assuming you know what that means ... !!

r2d2 added 09:48 - Jan 29
McCartney would have bullied his way out of this league easily, but then, if we still had Mick we wouldnt be in this league. #numbskulls

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