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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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Mark added 12:46 - Feb 14
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.

SouperJim added 12:51 - Feb 14
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?

PortmanTerrorist added 12:59 - Feb 14
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.

If not then 0-0 tomorrow or a goal either way.

ParisBlue added 13:00 - Feb 14
this division is very streaky. Its quite possible we suddenly go on a decent run and things look better. Top 2 not out of the question.

We've certainly made life difficult for ourselves though. No excuses...

Suffolkboy added 13:14 - Feb 14
Go to it Blues !!Show us again what you can do !!

timkatieadamitfc added 13:15 - Feb 14
@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.

grow_our_own added 13:18 - Feb 14
You need to start selecting attacking midfielders who actually score and create goals then Paul. Not Judge, Nolan and either Huws or Skuse. Muppet.

TractorBoy added 13:27 - Feb 14
He talks about getting carried away at the start but comes up with that hand-holding rubbish to celebrate. Great work.

Essexnblue added 13:34 - Feb 14
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.

ringwoodblue added 13:38 - Feb 14
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!

JewellintheTown added 14:04 - Feb 14
"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.

Westy added 14:04 - Feb 14
This is possible but to stand a chance we have to win the home games.

Karlosfandangal added 14:18 - Feb 14
Mmmm and if Coventry win their two games they are 11 points ahead of us and if they beat us 14 oh and Portsmouth 7 and oh Sunderland 5 oh and Peterborough 4 goals in the last 3 games.

Oh wait we are a free scoring side who will win all our home games.......easy top 2..... sorry Champions and in 5 years time we will be knocking on Liverpool’s door

runningout added 14:23 - Feb 14
Got to have winning attitude whatever. Our bunch of fake professionals don’t give that impression at the moment

TimmyH added 15:34 - Feb 14
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.

Karlosfandangal added 15:48 - Feb 14

I agree but I will put money on us losing to Peterborough in the semi final

ThaiBlue added 16:49 - Feb 14
Hope im wrong but cant see it,especially with lambert,chambers and skuse in the team.

therein61 added 17:41 - Feb 14
The optimist in me says this is not impossible what is impossible is a trainer putting a donkey in the stalls to win the derby.

ivandeighton added 18:23 - Feb 14
Got to target top to with nine home games it's in our hands can't believe the negativety

BettyBlue added 18:29 - Feb 14
It may be mathematically possible but 25/1 shows the real situation.

Why all this talk of home games? We haven't been bothered about p*ssing away points at PR so far this season.

Pecker added 18:41 - Feb 14
Totally clueless. Phil asked a few simple questions and he got all flustered. Just get your coat and go do some radio work in Germany you plum.

HackneyBlue added 18:45 - Feb 14

HackneyBlue added 18:45 - Feb 14

Doctor_Earman added 00:33 - Feb 15
More PR spin from PR Paul. Face it people, top two is GONE. Sears was right in what he said, we are now targeting the play-offs. Some may not like to hear that but it's the truth.

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