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Lambert: We Should Have Been a Couple Up After Excellent First Half
Saturday, 8th Feb 2020 18:08

Town boss Paul Lambert felt the Blues should have been “a couple” of goals up at the break after an “excellent” first-half display before ultimately falling to a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland.

Chris Maguire’s 81st-minute goal saw the Black Cats to victory over Town, who are down to seventh and out of the top six for the first time since the opening weekend of the season.

“I thought we were excellent in the first half, we should have been a couple up,” Lambert said. “That would have given us a foothold in the game.

“But I thought we played really, really well in the first half. Sunderland came back strongly, which you would expect, in the second half.

“We rode our luck [when Sunderland hit] the crossbar, we had one or two chances in the second half and I thought we should have had a penalty because Emyr Huws won that header. Anywhere on the pitch I think that’s a freekick, so that didn’t go our way.

“Sunderland had a good game in the second half but I thought in the first half we were very, very good.”

Lambert’s big frustration was not turning that first-half display into goals: “We should have, we had chances to do it. We had really great areas to really hurt them and [the goals] never materialised.

“Maybe we have to hunt other teams now rather than the other way around. We have to hunt teams, for the first time we’re out of the top six this season, sometimes that can help you, at certain times. You have to go on a run, we have to go on a run.

“As I said before, it’s not a league like the Premier League where Liverpool are so far ahead it looks like you’ll never catch them. There are still a lot of teams in this division who can catch up.”

Reflecting further on whether Town being out of the top six and now among the hunters rather than the hunted in the automatic promotion and play-off places, he added: “The pressure’s off to that extent. But if we play like that, we’re certainly going to win a lot more games than we lose.

“Football-wise, I was really happy with how we dominated the game. We had so much control of the game in the first half. But you’ve got to score when you have those chances and we never managed to score.”

Why, not for the first time this season, was there such a disparity between the performances in the first and second halves?

“You’ve got to give Sunderland credit,” Lambert continued. “What do want, Sunderland to let us play 90 minutes like that? No chance. There are two teams there. They’re a good side, they’ve got a great fanbase behind them, a big noise, you expect them to come and have a go at you.

“Football-wise, we rode our luck in the second half but we also had one or two chances in that second half when we should have pulled the trigger and not tried to walk it into the net.

“But the football we played in the first half, we should have been comfortable in the first half.”

Lambert felt the display was significantly better than the performances in the previous defeats at Rotherham and at home to Peterborough last weekend.

“That wouldn’t have been hard that,” he admitted. “The control we had today was really pleasing, that was good. But at the top end of the pitch is where you earn your corn and we just didn’t manage to score.”

Town have hardly been free-scoring this season but Lambert says the lack of goals hasn’t been an ongoing concern.

“No, we were winning games, it doesn’t matter whether you’re winning 1-0 or 2-0, we were winning games,” he added.

“As I said, now we become the hunter, now we have to hunt teams down and see if they can handle being in there. There’s a long, long way to go, 14 games to go. We have to start to win.”

Janoi Donacien was subbed in the second half but Lambert is hopeful the right-back hasn’t suffered an injury.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t know if it was cramp in his calf at the minute, so if that’s all it is then hopefully he’ll be OK for Tuesday.”

Regarding Emyr Huws, who started on the bench, he added: “Emyr had that ankle knock, he only started to train on Wednesday, I think.

“And Jon Nolan had recovered from his heel thing and I thought he did well for his first game in a number of weeks. As I said before, the first half, the control was really, really good.”

Lambert says he made his decision on which of his keepers to field close to the game: “I never decided right up until the last minute who I was going to go with.

“As I said before, Will Norris has done great and I was never going to chastise him for a mistake that everybody makes. He’s a top goalkeeper.

“Tomas Holy I felt had bided his time and I thought he did well today. He had nothing really to do, so Tomas is in there at the minute.”

Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson felt his team had to dig deep to win the match against a Town side which impressed him.

“A good team Ipswich, we knew they’d come with some response to the heavy defeat at home last week and they certainly did, they started quick,” he said.

“We were a bit slow to get into our stride. I think we were a bit slow with our build-up play in the first half.

“We grew into the first half, I felt. At half-time we spoke and said we needed to speed the game up and get Ipswich on the back foot, step onto them all over the pitch, play with a bit more forward momentum.

“And when we did that you felt there was only one winner. We’d hit the bar, we’d hit the post, we’d had other good chances, but eventually the goal came. I felt it was a deserved victory against a very good team.”

Regarding the winning goal, he added: “It was a tremendous finish from Chris, he has got that calmness and quality you need to separate tight games and I was pleased that the chance felled to him because he is clinical in those situations.”

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blue86 added 18:10 - Feb 8
Lambert..... shut up, why dont you tell us about the top clubs you played for? Heard it all before.

blueboy1981 added 18:13 - Feb 8
All past tense Lambert - you ended up losing again - and it could so easily have been 3-0, or had you forgotten ?
Out foxed again by a better Manager, it has to be said.

dukey44 added 18:16 - Feb 8
Sorry but had enough of Mr Lambert now... He doesnt watch same game as fans...

oldegold added 18:16 - Feb 8
it's a 90 minute effort...when will we ever learn ?

shouldistayorcounago added 18:18 - Feb 8
Outplayed by a better team - said it before and will say it again, we're a top 8 side with the players we have. Anything we achieve beyond that will be a mircale. We were a shambles last year, its insanity to think we'd dominate this season with the lack of investment/proven players.

MrTown added 18:18 - Feb 8
He literally spins everything to the way he wants it to be heard.

Out the top six - could be a good thing, could relieve the pressure.
Playing away from home - could be a good thing, relieve the pressure of Portman Road

When we don’t go up - he’ll say it’s a good thing and a chance to rebuild and we’ve had a good season and the club was in bad place blah blah.

Chat sh*t. Get Banged.

runaround added 18:24 - Feb 8
Dear oh dear Mr Lambert

Mark added 18:26 - Feb 8
“The pressure’s off to that extent."

Just a reminder that we are Ipswich Town Football Club, with one of the biggest squads and wage budgets in this league, if not the biggest. To be outside the play-off places means we are failing and need a big improvement. The pressure is on. If Lambert cannot get the best out of this squad he needs to bring in coaches to help him to do, and fast.

Skip73 added 18:27 - Feb 8
SHUT UP LAMBERT!! I, and I'm sure, many others have had enough of hearing this crap every week.

TimmyH added 18:27 - Feb 8
'Should have would have could have'...words you hear from losers, I knew what was coming after half time Paul but you obviously didn't have the nuance to see what was coming or change the game tactically through that half. From good to rubbish - not the first time that has happened this season either!

norfolkbluey added 18:32 - Feb 8
Have we got any players who can score goals? Lambert can't hide anymore. Great first half but beaten by a superior tactician. This has been apparent for at least twelve games now. I think this has happened before Mr Lambert !!!!! Think it might be a time to retire before you drag us down any further.

ArnieM added 18:34 - Feb 8
Lambert your team can’t hit a barn door from 2 foot . Not a hope in hell if going up or even finishing in top six .

jas0999 added 18:41 - Feb 8
I fail to see how the first half could be excellent when we failed to take our chances. That’s anything but excellent.

Bert added 18:41 - Feb 8
Criticise Lambert but do so in a manner that doesn’t make us fans look stupid.

ITFCsince73 added 18:45 - Feb 8
Have we a player who can wear the arm band and drive his team to any kind of success.
But we choose to stick with what’s failed for 7 years.
We have chosen to fix many broken parts over the last 18 months.
But over sentiment we choose to carry on with this area unchanged.
To our downfall...

cooper442 added 18:47 - Feb 8
What has this man actually brought to the club?? ,I feel peoples continuous support of him baffling. We could soon be overtaken by Accrington for christs sake .

MattinLondon added 18:49 - Feb 8
Whereas there’s no shame in losing away at Sunderland, we are now paying the price for being poor since October. The only way now for automatic promotion is to win nearly all of our remaining games - not sure that is a realistic ambition now.

PL comes across as a passionate man - but even if we do go up, I’m not sure he’s the man to keep us up, let alone push forward from there.

BettyBlue added 18:55 - Feb 8
What are we paying this idiot to do exactly?

Surely someone else can wear an Adidas track suit and spout cobblers for less than £1m a season.

MurcianITCC added 19:17 - Feb 8
Since...for the love of...change the record. You don't like Chambers, we know. How about the rest of this shambles of a team?
I've tried to remain positive...but like many more I'm now very concerned about our form and how we turn this around.
I appreciate the press will ask then report the questions answered but maybe it's time the staff of Ipswich Town FC stopped talking the talk....

SickParrot added 19:33 - Feb 8
14 games left. Need to be much better than the last 14 games, 3 wins and 14 points.

ChrisFelix added 19:38 - Feb 8
I wonder if we kept the same 2 up front rather than keep chop & change we would have more success. During our unbeaten period it was Jackson & Norwood & this worked well. Good strikers hunt in pairs

Hegansheros added 19:50 - Feb 8
This fool is not the man for us. The owner is not the man for us. The players are not good enough, perhaps with better managment they could be. I have no idea where all this is going, but I fear the worst for the club I love.

brassy added 19:50 - Feb 8
IF my aunt had balls she,d be me uncle

cat added 20:17 - Feb 8
Meno to lambert - it’s a game of 2 halves so start playing both. After a poor run of results and a win percentage of 27% (fecking embarrassing that) most clubs would be thinking of freshening it up a bit, but ITFC? no way, instead opting to hand out a 5 year contract, you just couldn’t make it up. I refuse to believe our squad is not good enough for promotion in what’s a very pish poor league, so you don’t need to be Einstein to work out where the problem lies.

ITFCsince73 added 20:25 - Feb 8
Murcian. I’ve no issues with Chambo as a player. It’s not as if we are blessed with better defenders. I don’t jump on the Evans or Lambo out bandwagon. We have a squad that’s capable.
We have a manager who has the experience to get promotion.
The club captaincy and team leadership has failed over many years.
We now play with no leadership. As a team we drift in and out of games continuously.
There’s no issue with squad quality. We started the season 12 unbeaten. Now sinking fast, 3 wins in 19.
You post looking for answers, I give 1. You don’t like my opinion.
Can you come up with better?


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