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Ipswich Town 0 v 1 Fleetwood Town
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 3rd March 2020 Kick-off 19:45
Lambert: Fleetwood is a Must-Win Game
Monday, 2nd Mar 2020 14:49

Boss Paul Lambert admits Tuesday’s home match against Fleetwood Town is a must-win fixture for the Blues as they look to get their faltering promotion push back on track.

Town go into the match having lost their last two and five of their last seven, dropped to ninth in the table, 10 points off the top two and five from the play-off places.

Fleetwood are one place ahead of Lambert’s men in eighth with three more points and two games in hand.

“Must-win,” Lambert said when asked about his thoughts going into the match following the defeat at Blackpool.

“They’ve done well, but we’re at home and we have to win. The focus is we have to win the game. We can’t afford to draw, we have to win.”

Quizzed on whether he will take an all guns blazing approach given that desperate need for a victory, he added: “That’s the way I always do it, that’s the way my career was.

"I don’t want to go out there for a draw, I don’t want to be defensive or anything like that, we go and try and win the game and that will always will be with me, that will never leave.”

Lambert recalled the game between the sides at Fleetwood in October when Town, at that stage in their early campaign pomp, won a tight fixture 1-0.

“It was a tough game, we played well that day and got the result with Kayden rebounding the freekick,” he continued. “Again it’s going to be another tough game.”

Freddie Sears and Teddy Bishop made their first league starts of the season at Blackpool following their injury absences. Asked whether they’d be ready to start a second game in four days, Lambert wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know,” he reflected. “I’ll have to see how they feel because they’ll be up there with the adrenaline and we have to be really careful how they are. But they’ll be round about it.”

Young forward Armando Dobra made a strong impression from the bench at Blackpool and will be hoping to make his full league debut before the end of the season.

Lambert agreed that the Albanian U19 international was lively when he came on against the Tangerines, as was fellow 18-year-old, striker Tyreece Simpson.

“He was. We’ll see how he feels after that, that was his first game for a little bit that young kid,” he said.

“But he did well. The two kids did well, but to throw them into this environment’s pretty unfair but that’s where we are as a club at the minute, we need the players and the two kids they’ve done themselves proud.”

Fans once again showed their frustrations following the defeat at Bloomfield Road but Lambert urged them to put their grievances to one side and get behind his team on Tuesday and in Saturday's similarly crucial home fixture against leaders Coventry City.

“We’re still in it,” he said. “I get the frustration, they travel all the hours and they were great again at Blackpool and I think they saw the team try to do the right things and [that they were] playing well but [will have been] disappointed with the goals. And we need them, there’s no other way to wrap that up, we need their support.”

Lambert will be forced into at least one change on Saturday with Flynn Downes serving the first game of a two-match ban following his 10th league booking of the season at Blackpool.

The game seems likely to be too soon for either Kane Vincent-Young and Danny Rowe as they continue their comebacks after groin and knee operations respectively.

If Lambert sticks with the 4-3-3 system employed against the Tangerines, then Jon Nolan seems likely to join Cole Skuse and Emyr Huws in the midfield.

At the back, despite having been critical of the defending on both Blackpool’s goals, Lambert, if he continues with the same formation, will probably stick with the back four of - from the right - Luke Woolfenden, skipper Luke Chambers, Josh Earl and Luke Garbutt.

Despite a shaky performance at Bloomfield Road in what were very difficult conditions for keepers, Tomas Holy seems likely to keep his place in goal.

Lambert will probably want to start Sears and Bishop either side of Will Keane up front but if it’s felt they’re not ready for two games in four days then Alan Judge, Gwion Edwards and Dobra could come into the reckoning for places in the XI.

Kayden Jackson will be serving the second game of his three-match ban for his red card against Oxford.

Fleetwood go into the game on the crest of a nine-game unbeaten run, last Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Sunderland having followed a five-match winning streak. Their weekend fixture at Tranmere was postponed due to the state of the Prenton Park pitch.

Away from home, the Cod Army have won five, drawn four and lost six in League One this season.

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton will be serving the first game of a two-match touchline ban having been red-carded at Wycombe Wanderers last month for abusive language towards a match official.

Striker Ched Evans is available after a three-game suspension having also been sent off against the Chairboys.

Midfielder Kyle Dempsey is expected to miss the rest of the season due to a stress fracture in his back, while Jordan Rossiter remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Ex-Town loanee Callum Connolly is currently on loan at Fleetwood from Everton having joined them in January.

In October in the first ever meeting between the sides, Jackson’s sixth goal of the season saw Town to a 1-0 victory over Fleetwood at Highbury, stretching the Blues’ lead at the top of League One to four points.

Jackson, who later missed a penalty, slammed home the rebound after a Garbutt freekick had been saved in the 58th minute.

Town were reduced to 10 men in injury time when James Wilson was dismissed for a second bookable offence but the Blues were able to hang on for their fifth away win of the season.

Tuesday’s referee is Neil Hair from Cambridgeshire, who has shown 77 yellow cards and three red in 25 games so far this season.

Hair’s only previous Town match was the 1-1 draw with Sunderland at Portman Road in August in which he booked Flynn Downes and one Black Cat.

One of Hair’s assistants will be Colchester-based official Aaron Farmer, who was the linesman whose advice led to referee Alan Young controversially disallowing Town’s goal in the November home game against Wycombe.

Farmer was also the referee for the U23s’ pre-season friendly at Coggeshall in July when he refused to officiate for the final 30 minutes of a game of three thirds as the teams were planning to rotate their players using roll-on, roll-off subs.

More recently and less eventfully, Farmer was an assistant in the 5-3 defeat at Lincoln City in late December.

Squad from: Holy, Norris, Edwards, Donacien, Garbutt, Kenlock, Earl, Chambers (c), Wilson, Woolfenden, Skuse, Dozzell, Huws, Bishop, Judge, Nolan, Dobra, Hughes, Keane, Sears, Simpson.

Photo: TWTD

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DifferentGravy added 14:50 - Mar 2
You are tactically inept Lambert and your win ratio says it all

Doctor_Earman added 15:12 - Mar 2
''Fleetwood is a Must-Win Game''...AND Coventry, AND Bristol Rovers, AND Portsmouth, AND Southend etc.

therein61 added 15:23 - Mar 2
Last chance saloon coming up for PL and squad so get your rear ends into gear give us something to shout about(positively) for a change and with luck and a fair wind we might just nick 6th place as yet c.o.y.b.

SamWhiteUK added 15:30 - Mar 2
Really, Paul? Have we been "all guns blazing" all season? I think not. Tripe.

runningout added 15:41 - Mar 2
should always have Must win trait and win with ruthlessness but respect. We are a complete and utter embarrassment, and I’m ashamed right now. I as a fan of this once mighty club have NOT been up to the task either, and consider myself a terd

BeattiesBackPocket added 15:45 - Mar 2
Every game should be a must win otherwise you’re not giving it your full effort anyway ffs

BeattiesBackPocket added 15:45 - Mar 2
Every game should be a must win otherwise you’re not giving it your full effort anyway ffs

essextractorboy93 added 15:58 - Mar 2
Aaron Farmer is one of the linesmen for this game??? He shouldn't be allowed to officiate an Ipswich game, he is from Colchester! I cant imagine he has a neutral view of our club. Seriously surprised someone so local can run the line. Do the EFL not have rules about this sort of stuff?

Against Wycombe he was an absolute shambles. Him and the ref (different ref to tomorrow) were absolutely pathetic in that game. We should have had a goal and Wycombe should not have had a penalty, it was clearly outside the box.

Saxonblue74 added 16:08 - Mar 2
Nice to hear it's going to be all guns blazing.......until he says that's the way it's always been! With the emphasis on "must win" itll be interesting to hear the post match interview if we don't!

Carberry added 16:13 - Mar 2
Do we not see the Press conferences any more or has PR Paul banned them?

TimmyH added 16:21 - Mar 2
Can you remember when Lambert said a month or so back (might have been against Stanley) that it wasn't all about 1 game being a must win in the pre-match interview, well we've got to the point now he says it himself...but us fans could see this coming some way off, shame Paul couldn't!

runningout added 16:37 - Mar 2
Even if we’re lucky enough to win v a good Fleetwood team. I believe we are going in one direction ‘and it’s not up’ Hate to heap crap on Paul Lambert or any of our managers whoever they were or are and promise I won’t again. But our illustrious squad of players are not responding week in week out

cat added 16:39 - Mar 2
I’m all for getting behind Lambert and the lads tomorrow and Saturday, but as I’ve said before, failure to finish top 6 then I’m afraid that kind of support is not going to be sustainable.
Giving Lambert a tad of pre match credit, he does set the team up to win and I like the possession based football he trying to employ. Its far better watching your team controlling the game and in possession as it’s all about ‘letting the ball do the work’

pragmatic added 16:47 - Mar 2
if we continue to create chances as in last few games & do not score enough to win then it is players who have let us down, you may moan about lambert but he isn’t on the pitch continually missing chances & defending poorly. Coyb

brittaniaman added 17:02 - Mar 2
you said a must win against Blackpool, Oxford so what happened ??? and now you are saying against the MIGHTY FLEETWOOD ??

aloanagain added 17:13 - Mar 2
Just as well we cancelled earlier games to keep the players fit for the run in. Seems to be working a treat.

ITFCsince73 added 17:32 - Mar 2
Funny...I thought all games are must win.

herfie added 17:35 - Mar 2
He’s right. Total focus, commitment and determination required from those wearing the shirts to make it happen. Win individual battles, be brave, win every second ball, make the right decisions, cut out stupid, individual, errors and get the footballing basics right. Do all of those things, and we have a chance. COYB!

ChrisR added 17:37 - Mar 2
Exactly which games are not must win ? oh yes all those against top 8 sides then ?

norfolkbluey added 17:37 - Mar 2
Cat I think you're right but can you see us winning on our present run of form? Sadly I think not but lets hope not relying on Keane especially. Play the youth up front as they are not predictable and they could run their defence ragged! The most important thing is we are resolute in defence and don't make errors. One can hope for miracles and perhaps the season reignites tomorrow night.

martin587 added 17:41 - Mar 2
PL every game now is a must win game not just tomorrow so don’t let the supporters down again.

JewellintheTown added 18:09 - Mar 2
How low have we sunk if we're talking about a must win game being against Fleetwood?
Should be a given, but not with this squad.

cat added 18:17 - Mar 2
Norfolkbluey - on current form then ‘not a cats hell....‘!

I think a win tomorrow is a realistic possibility, but then again I think that most games (doh)

cooper442 added 19:02 - Mar 2
"All guns blazing" if we don't win the next two games ,the only bloke getting the Bullet is Paul Lambert.

Kickingblock added 19:25 - Mar 2
That linesman is in for some serious abuse the moment he makes any mistake.

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