|Blackpool 2 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 29th February 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: That Was a Sore One
Saturday, 29th Feb 2020 18:40
Town boss Paul Lambert admitted the Blues’ last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Blackpool was a “sore one” believing his side deserved to take all three points let alone draw the fixture.
Joe Nuttall headed the winner deep in injury time to add to Town’s continuing frustrations.
“It’s a sore one because I don’t think we even deserved to draw the game, I thought we deserved to win the game,” Lambert said.
“I thought we should have had a penalty in the first half, Freddie Sears has got his body between the man and the ball and everybody knows if you’re in front and there’s a slight touch that’s a penalty.
“It doesn’t matter if the referee thinks there’s not enough of a touch, that’s wrong, it’s still a penalty. If that was outside the box I think it would have been a freekick.”
Sears, who scored Town’s goal on his first league start of the season, might have won it for the Blues seconds before the Tangerines’ winner.
“I thought Freddie was excellent, I don’t know how much he had in the tank, but I thought he was excellent,” Lambert added.
“It was a great goal he scored and you thought when he went through there that he was going to poke it by the goalkeeper.
“Their goal, the ball travels 70 yards and we should have dealt with it. We should have stopped the cross, Garbs should have stopped it travelling that way anyway. Josh Earl should have stopped the cross but it goes in the box and anything can happen from there. That was gutting.”
Blackpool’s first goal was even worse from a Town defensive perspective, Lambert admitted.
“I don’t know what Garbs is thinking there because he’s trying a flick at the edge of this box, it’s like a roll and a flick," he said.
“That’s not professional football. Professional football is exactly what it is, professional, it’s not five-a-side, it’s not for fun, it’s a professional game.”
Overall the game was the same story as plenty of other recent fixtures - plenty of controlled possession from the Blues but with their chances not taken while the opposition took their opportunities.
“It doesn’t matter how well you’re playing, the lads know they’re playing well, we ask them their opinions on how they feel and they feel comfortable, playing really well,” Lambert continued. “They know themselves, they can't defend that way and expect to win games.”
Lambert admitted he’s becoming as fed up as fans of Town’s games following the same pattern and him making the same post-match assessment.
“I’m bored of saying it, I’m actually bored talking to you about it,” he said. “It’s the same stuff I’m saying to you. You may as well just wheel me out and say the same stuff, it’s exactly the same.
“Number one, you can’t defend that way and do silly things like that, number two you can’t dominate games as much as we do and not score.
“The lads have given us everything, you can’t ask any more than that, playing well, but you’ve got to be ruthless in both boxes to win games. That’s why it’s called the professional football game.”
How is that fixed? “We’ve just got to keep working with the guys, keep them upbeat and hopefully that turns. You’ve got to work in training, you’ve got to work in the games, you’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to be ruthless with a lot of stuff.
“I’ve never been involved in football where some nice guys win things, you’ve got to have that nasty streak in you and we’ve got to get that out of them.”
Does he feel the squad lacks that edge? “There’s got to be a nasty streak and not an acceptance then your career will go far. If you think you’re just going to play football for 15 or 20 years and be a footballer, that’s not what you want, you want to win something.”
Town are now five points off the play-offs with 10 left to play with their season in danger of being over well before the final weeks.
“That’s the thing, I just said to them, ‘You’re in a really good position still to do something but you cannot defend the way we defended there and have the dominance of the game and not take chances’,” Lambert added.
Is the pressure starting to get to them? “Yes, but I’ll go back to it, if you don’t want pressure, don’t play for the football club. The football club brings that. You embrace it or you get frightened by it. You have to embrace it, it’s a big club and you need big people to step up to the plate and now is the time to step up to the plate.”
Do they still believe they can make it? “Aye, because they’re playing well, that’s the thing, they’re playing [enough] to do it. Coming up here, I thought we should have won the game. We had some really good chances to get a few goals but they never materialised.
“The young kids came on and did well for us, Freddie back is a bonus, Bish back is a bonus but you’ve got to start taking chances.”
Town next host Fleetwood and Coventry at Portman Road and Lambert is in no doubt about what’s required from those games.
“We have to win and if we do that then we’re right back in it, but we have to win,” he said.
And Town will be without Flynn Downes for those games with the midfielder having picked up his 10th league booking of the season.
“That was a strange one because I thought the referee gave us the foul initially and I don’t know why he changed his mind," he said. “He gave us the foul then booked Flynn, so I don’t know what he saw there. Flynn will be missed for those two games.”
Asked whether the current form is solidifying his thoughts on what might need to be done to the squad over the summer, he said: “This club has to improve. I’ve said it before, and I’d say it even if I wasn’t here, the club is that big that it should be better than what it is, that’s for sure.
“The football club generates a massive support behind it and it needs big players to stand up. I said before, if you can’t handle pressure, you shouldn’t play for the football club because the football club demands that and you have to thrive on that.”
Town have now lost five of their last seven and have won just four of their last 23 in all competition over 90 minutes.
Asked whether how there is an element of self-reflection during runs of this type, he added: “Yes, there always is, even when I win, there’s always things, I never do anything other than try to get the team to win.
“The good thing is the guys give me everything, I can’t ask any more than their commitment and their effort and the way they play, but you’ve got to be ruthless in both boxes. But I’ve always done that from the day I started playing football.”
He added: “I used to be horrendous losing games and then I went and spoke to an old manager and asked them how they handled defeats and he gave me the best bit of advice I’ve ever had from a top manager, which was to analyse it for 24 hours and if you let it go any further than that it’s going to kill you and it’ll kill your team and it’ll kill everybody else.
“And I understand what he meant by that. That was the best bit of advice I think I’ve ever had.”
How does he put belief into fans and players in the current circumstances? “Winning, that’s what’s going to turn it around. The lads I can’t fault the way they play, they come here and dominate most of the game, they have chances to score, they play well but as I said before you cannot defend that way, it’s not right defending.”
On a positive note, 18-year-old striker Tyreece Simpson made his league debut from the bench and made a positive impact.
“He did, he’s a strong, strong kid with a nice touch as well,” Lambert said. “He’s only a kid, but I thought he and Dobra did well when they came on.
“He’s one for the future, Tyreece, as is Dobra is and other guys, but they need time. They need time. But I agree with you, I think he did well.”
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