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Lambert Not Giving Up on Top Two Finish
Friday, 28th Feb 2020 10:58

Town manager Paul Lambert insists the Bues haven't given up on a top two place, despite being ninth, nine points behind leaders Rotherham and second-placed Coventry. Lambert’s side have 11 games left to play, as have the Millers, while the Sky Blues have 12 matches remaining.

Town are three points off the top six and the Blues boss says he is confident that his team can still finish in one of those places, despite recording just four wins in their last 18 League One matches.

“Aye, I always am,” he said. “We’ve got everything to play for, there are a lot of games to play. As I said before, let’s see what happens come May.”

Is an automatic place beyond the Blues? “No, you go for everything. Until somebody says it’s mathematically impossible, you go for it.

“If we can get in the top two, great. You go on a run, great. There’s going to be a helluva lot of twists and turns in this league before anything is decided. You never give up until somebody says it’s not possible.”

Lambert believes his squad is capable of picking up the results required in the final few months of the season.

“Absolutely, we’re still in the mix,” he said. “We have to break that barrier of the fear factor at home. We definitely have to get that [out of the way].

“The away form has been really, really good. We have to break the barrier at home. But football-wise, I’ve watched the Oxford game back and we had four clear-cut chances to put the ball in the net and we lost the goal with their first attack really.

“We had four great chances and when you have that dominance you have to score. That’s it in a nutshell.

“If you play well like that, you’ve got to score at that moment. If you don’t do that it puts pressure on everyone.

“We have to take our chances, we’ve got to have that freedom, the lads have got to have the freedom to go and play, to make mistakes, which is fine, but you’ve got to be able to handle the expectance level.

“I’ve said that before, you’ve got to be able to handle that, but football-wise, especially in the first half, and it was the same at Sunderland, in the first half there we were totally dominant. You’ve got to score when you’re on top.”

Lambert was asked whether the most galling thing at present is the Blues having got themselves back to the top of the table in January only to fall away to their current position.

“Aye, but I said to you at the beginning there are going to be bumps and bruises along the way. I was never carried away because we were [top],” he said.

“We’ve only really come out of the top six the other week, we’ve been in the top six all season, so I knew we were doing really, really well but I knew there were twists and turns going to happen.

“I knew we were never going to be maintain the start because it’s a tough, tough league and with injuries and the amount of games we had, but we’re still in a position to do something ourselves.

“We don’t need to rely on anybody else, we’re still in a position [to do something ourselves]. As a football player, manager or coach, you want things in your own hands and if you’ve got that, that’s half the battle.”

Quizzed on whether he has a target for the number of wins required from the final 11 fixtures, he reflected: “I think we just tick them off game by game. Go to this one and try and win it, try and win Tuesday, try and win Saturday. I think that’s the way we do it.

“You want the guys to be free in their heads to be able to play, just go and have the freedom to go and play. Don’t worry about anything else, just enjoy playing football. You do that and the results will come.”

What does he believe has been the biggest factor which has seen the Blues drop from top to ninth? “I think the expectancy level at the club, because football-wise we’ve dominated a helluva lot of games. But you’ve got to score when you’ve got that dominance.

“The level of expectancy, especially at home with so many people coming, some of the guys aren’t used to it. You can go through the experienced guys with that as well.

“You have to be used to that pressure of trying to win something. Football-wise, there’s been a helluva lot of good stuff, chances, incredible. That’s just fine margins. If you take care of that then you’ll be up there.”

Lambert believes the squad will benefit from the experience: “Without a doubt. The way I view Ipswich Town, even if I wasn’t here and I was coming to the stadium to watch a game, in the eighties you knew Ipswich Town was a huge club, you knew the size of the stadium, you knew the level of what you were coming in to.

“So when you sign here or you play here, you have to be able to handle that whole scenario, that’s what comes to the table. You play here, you have to handle that.

“For me it’s not a problem because I played with big clubs, I had that all my life, this sort of feeling. But for these guys it’s new, a lot of these guys, even the experienced guys, it’s new for them. Big club, big fanbase, big expectancy level, that’s new.

“But once you master that, you can virtually go through anything. It’s just having that initial [period]. And to answer the question whether they will be better for it, 100 per cent they will be.”

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BlueBlood90 added 11:03 - Feb 28
Just shut up and focus on actually making the play offs places first please.

carlo88 added 11:05 - Feb 28
With four points out of the last twenty-four? The man's completely deluded.

Karlosfandangal added 11:07 - Feb 28
Not a hope in hell and the same goes for the play offs and if you do get us in the play offs we will never beat Peterborough or Sunderland or Portsmouth etc

MickMillsTash added 11:08 - Feb 28
Lambert Bull sh1t Bingo-
got the I've played for a big club
Missing great support- terrific support, oh my word

can we not just play all our games behind closed doors- say its about Coruna - and we'll all meet up again in August rested, pain eased from the last 3 seasons and ready for 2020/21 season ?

muhrensleftfoot added 11:08 - Feb 28
So Lambert's played with big clubs has he? He's not mentioned that before

Blue_badge added 11:09 - Feb 28
na, na, na, blah, blah, I played with big clubs, blah.
Nothing insightful or interesting to say, He's rapidly becoming a joke.

Pecker added 11:11 - Feb 28
Just embarrassing.

Nobbysnuts added 11:23 - Feb 28
Dont worry paul the rest of us have definitely given up. We really really really have.

hammo56 added 11:37 - Feb 28
But would we want to be the hunted?
For god’s sake just concentrate on trying to win a couple of games in succession or beating a side in the top 6 as we seem incapable of doing that let alone finishing in the top 2.

Pencilpete added 11:44 - Feb 28
4 wins in 22 doesnt inspire confidence that we can do anything other than continue to fall away in the limp way we gave since November.

The fact that Lambert wont stick a rocket up their ar$es means the players get the impression they're doing ok and if they dont perform well thats football.

I'm utterly embarrassed that we can get turned over by Accrington, Peterborough, Oxford, Bristol Rovers ETC and I say that with the greatest of respect to those clubs. The current set of players are a disgrace to the badge and the shirt.

hammo56 added 11:50 - Feb 28
Think I’m going to purchase a facial mask for the Fleetwood game.
Not because of concern about coronavirus but to help stop the smell of BS coming out of Portman Road.

tractorboybig added 12:03 - Feb 28
does anyone take any notice of this gobbite?

londontractorboy57 added 12:07 - Feb 28
Nobbysnuts added 11:23 - Feb 28
Dont worry paul the rest of us have definitely given up. We really really really have

We would be better off being relegated ?

ITFCsince73 added 12:16 - Feb 28
Don’t panic! We have at least another season of this.
Management, Coaching Staff. So called senior players.
All on long lucrative contracts. And will cost millions to remove.
A billionaire owner who won’t pay those millions.
A mid table L1 club for now....may as well accept it.

ITFCsince73 added 12:21 - Feb 28
Yes London tractor much better being relegated.
At the time nobody mentioned Mick mas special blokes would be staying on to lead the team though.
So obviously on that note not better.

Lathers added 12:21 - Feb 28
Maybe if Lambert didn’t have a 5 year contract in place he might be a bit more concerned about his own job security and push the team harder to make the top 2. At the start of the season worse case scenario was missing out on automatic promotion - I certainly didn’t think we’d be struggling to finish in the top 6 but I can’t see how we are going to do it. There’s at least 10 better (organised) teams in this division right now.

StringerBell added 12:22 - Feb 28
What a fecking buffoon. Does anyone really take any notice of his meaningless platitudes anymore.
5 more years of this guff.

DifferentGravy added 12:23 - Feb 28
4 wins in 22.

Just to get into the playoffs will (judging by previous seasons) require 70+ points. Which means we need at least 6 wins from the final 11 games........

...................4 wins in 22.................

DurhamTownFan added 12:39 - Feb 28
You put those chances in the bin in about November when this pointless rotation rubbish started. 4 wins from 22. Not happening, is it!?

All you've ever had is two good seasons with Norwich. What else have you achieved as a manager?

Little to be optimistic about right now.

ringwoodblue added 12:40 - Feb 28
So Mr Lambert, you are saying that we’ve fallen to ninth because of the high number of fans in attendance and their level of expectancy on those poor players who can’t deal with the pressure. What a load of tosh! So the fans should stay away and not expect anything and then we’ll be fine

Go on like this and we will be the hunted again next year but hunted by those in the relegation places rather than the promotion contenders.

I’m so fed up of all the garbage this man comes out with. I’m tempted not to read it anymore.

JDAndCoke added 12:41 - Feb 28
Whether you agree or disagree, does anyone actually expect Lambert to come out and say "we've given up on the top two". He's asked a question and he answers in a positive way like all managers of every club. A little context and common sense would do a lot of people on here some good

TractorRoyNo1 added 12:47 - Feb 28
If home pressure is too great, blame china-fu and play behind closed doors, I'll celebrate the win as if I was there.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 12:49 - Feb 28
I'm afraid I've given up on the top two. I haven't totally given up on top six, but I'm not wildly confident. It's likely, though, that there will be more ups and downs before the final curtain. A good end-of-season run-in would probably swing the mood back to what is was before the slump. So let's hope for that (and continue to support the team).

Chrisd added 12:50 - Feb 28
Have the players had that memo PL?

Carberry added 12:53 - Feb 28
My BS meter has just blown up. What a diatribe of insulting blather. Let's not wait until May, let's do it tomorrow and the next game. He knows this is the best job he can get to top up his pension, no 'Lambert out' chants from the crowd, no journalists asking difficult questions, it's a free ride. And it's all our fault for turning up in numbers - nice one PR Paul.

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