Lambert Left Rueing Failure to Take Chances
Saturday, 22nd Feb 2020 18:21
Town boss Paul Lambert was left ruing the Blues’ failure to take their first-half chances after their 1-0 home defeat to Oxford United.
“I’ve just counted five really good chances in the first half,” he said. “The lads are doing really well playing-wise, they’re creating chances, the stats, I’m never one for stats, but they back up the chances we’re creating and not taking them.
“I’m not going to sit here and chastise the guys, they do everything how we ask them to go and do it. They create, they do the right things, it’s just that little finishing touch really. We’ve just got to keep working hard and hopefully that changes.”
Town were less dominant in the second half, did Lambert want to see more from his side after the break?
“They defended well, the crosses,” he reflected. “We had some really good areas, good moves, crosses into the box, good situations, good moments. That becomes the final pass, they defended strongly and tried to hit us on the counter but there was never really much threat from them on that side of it.
“Whereas we were trying to knock on the door, but it just never unlocked. But the chances in the first half, if you take one or two of them then it becomes a totally different game.
“I think if we’d gone in two or three up I don’t think anybody would have begrudged us that.”
Regarding the introduction of Freddie Sears as a sub in the 90th minute, he said: “I just thought Judgey was doing well. I just thought ‘Do we do it or not?’ because there wasn’t too much wrong regarding dominating the ball, that was totally fine.
“We thought ‘Should we out him on earlier or should we put him on now?”. I’d rather try something than not try anything. The team wasn’t under any danger, they weren’t really breaking at all against us.”
He added: “If you’re a sub and you get on, it doesn’t matter if you’re on for a minute. A great manager used to say to me, ‘If you come on in the 90th minute and there’s a minute to go, make sure you give me 90 minutes in that one minute’. And that’s always stuck with me, and he was a great, great manager.”
The Town boss said he wasn’t sure what happened regarding Kayden Jackson’s sending off, a card of a type the striker won’t have been looking for on his 26th birthday, which was for an apparent stamp on Oxford skipper Rob Dickie.
“I’ve not seen it yet, I’d need to see it,” he said. “People are saying he stamped on the guy but I’ve not seen it. I’ve not seen it, your angle is looking down, I can’t see that. I don’t know.”
Lambert says the striker was less than impressed with the dismissal: “No, he’s not that type of player, Kayden, not that type of player. I’d have to have a look at it to see what happened.”
He says he’ll consider an appeal if he believes there are grounds, although was concerned that there might be the possibility of an increased ban.
“It’s three games as it stands for violent conduct. But, as I said before, I can’t comment as I’ve not seen it.”
Lambert admits he is now very short of strikers with James Norwood out for a number of weeks having undergone groin surgery yesterday.
“Yes, but as I said earlier on, sometimes adversity can make you stronger in a lot of aspects of it,” he said. “And if that’s the case we have to get on with it and we have to go through with it.
“We’re lucky we’re getting Freddie back and Bish back, which is a bonus. If it is three games and we don’t appeal it, we’ll look at it. As I say, sometimes adversity can make you stronger.
“There’s Freddie, there’s Bish. I’ve no [problem] with the guys, they did great with the ball, but the chances, the chances, you have got to score when you’re making them. There’s no grey area. There’s pressure on the guys to score and you’ve got to take them when they come.”
Flynn Downes looked to be feeling what appeared to be a groin problem in the second half but Lambert was hopeful that the midfielder will be fine.
“We thought that when he did it but I think he just slipped, so hopefully he’s OK,” he said.
At the end there were boos from some sections of the support aimed towards Lambert and assistant Stuart Taylor and the Blues manager said he understood the frustrations.
“Yes, unbelievable fanbase it’s got,” he said. “I’ve said it before, I say it every week, they want to see their team win.
“When you’re at a big club you have to take what’s coming, good and bad. One, I’ll never criticise, two, I’ll never get caught up with the whole thing.
“I’ve played in front of ferocious support before where if you made one mistake, dear oh dear, that was a volley.
“For me, it’s not an issue, for the younger guys, we have to stick together. But you couldn’t criticise the Ipswich support at all, never in a million years could you criticise them because of the way they come in their numbers and everything that’s happened over the last few years, months or whatever it is. You could never criticise the support, they’ve been unbelievable for me.”
Regarding Town’s recent form of four wins in 22 games in all competitions, Lambert admitted it’s not good enough for a team chasing promotion.
“Absolutely,” he said. “We’re dominating games, it’s not as if we’re not dominating games. If we’d taken our chances in the last few games we wouldn’t be sitting where we are.
“The chances are getting created, we just have to take the chances. I won’t ever go out there and chastise them and throw them under the bus, as they say, it’s my team, stick with them and we go again next week.
“We cannot change, we have to go and try and win the games. We’ve still got a lot of games, seven at home as we’ve said before but we have to win.”
Similarly, he concedes that Town would now appear to need a long run of wins to get themselves back in the hunt.
“Yes, we have to go and do it, which is possible because we dominate the games,” he said. “So it is possible it’s not as if we’re not dominating games, that’s not the case.
“Every time we start a game, every time we have the ball we look as if we can score. It’s just that little bit of composure in that box, and hopefully that will come.”
Oxford manager Karl Robinson was delighted with his “amazing” players, who he felt deserved the three points.
“They gave me everything and I’m proud to manage these players. The players showed a great calmness in sticking to the game plan,” he said.
“It’s a big step forward but I’m not getting carried away as it’s always about tomorrow. It’s more than 30 years since we got a result here.
“The difference was the calmness the players showed in sticking to the game plan and in Matty Taylor we have a player who is always going to find space in the box and score.
“It’s hard to break us down once we get a goal ahead and I apologise to the home fans who call me a cheat and I’m sure if they went away to a top team they would want to do the same things to get a result.”
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