Lambert Still Targeting Top Two Friday, 14th Feb 2020 12:39
Boss Paul Lambert insists he is still looking at a top-two finish this season, despite the Blues currently sitting in seventh, seven points off leaders Rotherham - who have a game in hand - and six behind second-placed Peterborough United, although with Posh having played one game more than Town.
Yesterday, striker Freddie Sears suggested the Blues now probably have to target the play-offs but Lambert says his side is still aiming for an automatic place.
“Yes, of course we are. Freddie’s going, ‘OK, we’ll try, if we go on a great run we can definitely do it’,” he said. “[Can we] get in the top two? Absolutely we can because the run’s nine games at home, four away.
“There’s an incredible amount of points to play for. Nobody’s won the title yet, nobody’s got in the top six yet, there’s so much football to be played, so much.
“And if we go on a run, and hopefully it can happen, let’s see where it takes us. But you never discount what’s going to happen. You still go for automatic, absolutely you do.”
Sears also said that no one in the squad wants to be looking back on what would be a “wasted season” if the Blues fail to return to the Championship at the first time of asking.
“Absolutely, nobody wants to turn around and say, ‘We have to be in League One again’ but you’ve got to go and prove it,” Lambert said.
“What’s going to get you out of the league? Winning games. It’s not because we’re Ipswich Town, as I said to you before, if it was that easy Leeds United and other teams would have got out at the first time of asking. It’s difficult. It’s a difficult league.”
Does he believe the impressive start to the season raised expectations too high when it was perhaps inevitable there would be bumps in the road?
“I knew the start we had everybody was getting too carried away,” Lambert reflected.
“They were getting too carried away and I warned everybody you’re not seeing the big picture here. You’re getting too carried away saying ‘Okay we’re going to go unbeaten we’re going to do X, Y and Z.
“I knew right away when the bumps were going to start. If we had started poorly and we were on the run that we had at the start of the season everyone would have thought it was a genius turnaround.
“But it’s been a role reversal. I knew because I’ve been in the game long enough and I’m experienced enough to know there very rarely comes a season [where a club dominates all season], very rarely like Liverpool at the moment or Arsenal in the past, and Celtic. But it’s rare, it can happen, but predominately certain teams can have difficulties at certain times of the season.”
Does he believe there is enough quality, character and all the other components needed to turn things around again in the last 13 games?
“Other than the second half against Sunderland we’ve been playing pretty well on that last two games there,” he said.
“So, the indication is that we definitely have got more than enough, without a doubt, to get in.
“We’re a good side, all we need to do is finish it off. Whether it’s a striker, midfielder or defender, finish off the good work, but stick together with it, don’t alienate each other for it, you have to stick together.”
Could one good week prove to be pivotal? “I think that’s the big message, that we’ve nine games at home and there are 27 points at home and 12 away from home.
“The away form has been really, really good, the home is not been where you want to be, but you’ve got a target of 27 points. You win most of them, and you’re going to be there or thereabouts, that’s for sure.”
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Absolutely right, Lambert's objective has to be promotion. I hope it is a condition of his contract. A second season in League One would be a failure. Finishing behind teams with budgets far smaller than ours would be a failure. I hope we succeed.
It's one thing to say it Paul, but on current showing the players don't believe in it and you seem incapable of delivering it. The wheels have come off twice now this season and we look as mentally fragile as any Ipswich team I've seen. What happened to all the boasting about having overcome the relegation hangover and entertaining the fantasy that we might go unbeaten this season?
I really like PL but whilst we were getting results and he knew the bump was coming, he did not get us playing with a certain style and creating patterns of play. Now we find ourselves playing against inferior teams who did do that, and due to that lack of cohesion, not having been built in earlier months, we are almost incapable of creating anything from open play.
Am now thinking it is too late for the manager to fix this, but a change of personnel could yet turn this around and get on that run.
If we can't win games like Tuesday anyway, then lets change it back to 4-4-2 and not play Skuse alongside Downes, or keep the formation and play with 3 strikers....but definitely get some flair in the team. If not Bish then Judge, or a kid. Someone who can just do something different to the plodding football we now churning out routinely.
@Mark, it would indeed be a failure and also a disaster. With the squad he has at his disposal we should have pi**ed this league. There are lots of people posting that they knew from start of season that it would be a result if we even made play offs(same people went quiet after 15 odd games when we were top) WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE THEN. Also Lambert keeps banging on about how we have 9 home games to go, that would be great if we didn't have a better away record. Plus not having beaten anyone in top 8 we have teams like Coventry/Portsmouth who are hitting form to come to our place, doesn't bode well. We might just make play offs(forget automatic Lambert your dreaming) if 1/ keep Holy in goal - Norris should be nowhere near 1st team 2/Sears should play - BUT NOT AS A WINGBACK 3/ personally I would rather Terry Butcher make a comeback and play instead of Cole "the crab" Skuse 4/ Give Dobra some game time, it cannot hurt and he did well earlier in season when played. 5/ Hopefully Butcher can help sort defence out as we NEVER look like keeping a clen sheet against any half decent team.
Its all about home form, no other team in any division has 9 games at home and 4 games away. If it can be achieved at home then it wont just be automatic promotion, it will be champions as well. All of the others have to play each other as well. However with this squad we shouldn't be relying on others.
Fed up with all the words from manager and players, they should do their talking on the pitch and earn the astronomical money they are being paid. Lambo’s PR exercise will only be worthwhile if it comes with success on the pitch otherwise all the momentum will quickly erode away and home and away attendances will drop. Let’s beat Burton and get our promotion push back on track. COYB!
"It’s difficult. It’s a difficult league." Every league is difficult if you're a L1 side in L1 or L2 in L2, otherwise you'd be in a higher division But considering we were a Championship side now playing in a league lower, it should be less difficult - i.e. easier.
Strange that! Lambert targeting top 2 but sounds like the players aren't (Sears interview yesterday) the more realistic in the way we're now performing. Play-offs at best in my opinion for what it's worth.