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Lambert: Midfield Trio Have Done Really, Really Well
Friday, 11th Sep 2020 14:10

Blues manager Paul Lambert has praised midfield trio Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Jon Nolan for the way they have started the season.

Asked what has impressed him about the way they’ve begun the campaign, Lambert said: “The way we’ve moved the ball, I think the speed of the ball was excellent.

“The rotation has been really good with the three of them. They’re different players to each other but the way they’ve moved and interlinked with each other has been really good.

“The speed of the ball has been a big, big factor for me. I think if you always move the ball quickly, it’s very difficult to get near it. Those three have done really, really well.”

But for having been given a few days off the clear his head, Flynn Downes would have started last week’s match and Lambert says he has plenty of other players also knocking on the door for a place in the side.

“Emyr Huws is there as well, who I think is a really good player,” he said. “Cole Skuse is to come back as well.

"Judgy [Alan Judge] played well there as well, so I’ve got loads of options there, which is why I’ve said that that’s probably the strongest part of the team at the minute, the centre midfield.

“But I can only pick three out of six or seven. But, at this moment, the midfield three is strong.”

Lambert has told his players that if they’ve got the shirt they should keep hold of it: “That’s it, because you could find yourself not in the team again and it’s a long time to come back, depending on how results go and how people are playing.

"If you’re in it at the beginning, I’d make sure I was going to stay in it.”

Asked whether he feels this year could be the year in which Dozzell, now 21 having replicated his father Jason’s achievement of scoring on his debut aged only 16 back in April 2016, finally establishes himself as a first-team regular, he said: "Do you know what, he's got an incredible pass on him, he looks forward at every opportunity, he's got a great pass on him.

“I don't know what happened in years gone by. I know he had a bad injury on his knee, lack of strength maybe played a little bit into that.

“I think the way he's started the season he's been absolutely great for us. Left foot, he can hit a pass, he plays a real forward pass really quickly, he plays around corners really quickly, so I've been delighted with how he's started the season, Andre.

“I had a wee chat with him again at the start of the season about what I thought. He's certainly stepped up that's for sure, but his performance level at this minute is very, very high.

“We were talking the other day and you can probably correct me here if I'm wrong, but I don't know how many games Andre has ever played back to back, it can't be that many.

“So you're going into the unknown with him on that side of it. But talent-wise, football-wise and playing one or two touch – absolutely fantastic, really, really good.

“Is he the most dynamic player? No, but he's got an incredible attribute with that left foot, so I'm really really hoping he will sustain game after game.

“It's the same with Bish as well. Bish hasn't played many games back-to-back, so it's a test for these two guys to play back-to-back games, I think that's going to be a big thing for them this year."

Photo: Matchday Images

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TimmyH added 14:23 - Sep 11
Yawn! more spin from PL...I remember when we had at least 1 combative creative scorer in midfield in the squad who could score i.e. Norris, Westlake, Miller, Magilton, Garvan etc. but have to say that was a good decade or so ago and haven't had one in the same class as the fore-mentioned since.

Cakeman added 14:29 - Sep 11
Hopefully this trio will get an injury free run of games. I get the feeling Paul Lambert is not happy with one or two of the players who have recently had their heads turned by other clubs and/or their respective agents.
I really hope the players currently wearing the shirt will do well and continue to play in the starting eleven.
I may be wrong but I think the supporters will appreciate what our manager is now trying to do and fair play to him because he’s been honest enough to admit he didn’t get it right last season.

Len_Brennan added 15:02 - Sep 11
They don't have enough bite in them for me. They are all good footballers, but that's not enough, particularly at League 1 level where playing good football through the middle is not a priority. We've played 2 competitive games, but both in low value cups, against an unsettled Bristol Rovers team trying to recover from the loss of key players, and the Arsenal youths; both let our midfielders play. The league is a different story; maybe Wigan will be soft due to their problems, but the successful sides in this league, eg Rotherham & Wycombe from last year, are direct & physical, with combative midfield.
I hope I'm wrong, but without the presence of Downes (& I would have Huws in there too), I see us getting bullied in too many games over the course of the season with that formation, to win promotion. Where is the cover for the defence going to come from? We will be asking a lot of our centre half partnership, which hasn't even been established yet. Nsiala will need to become everything he wasn't when playing last season if so; if we are going to be playing out from the back through Woolfenden, we'll need strength & stability alongside him.

dirtydingusmagee added 16:00 - Sep 11
really really well, really really really well, incredible even . Lets hope it stays that way then Paul, and when anyone plays badly and makes costly blunders, you will let them know they really really need to up their game this season .

runningout added 18:28 - Sep 11
Hope Nolan can keep improving and not fade in games

Bert added 20:12 - Sep 11
Well over 4 years since Dozzell made his debut and scored. He has to step up now and prove his worth. I hope he will take his chance now.

KiwiBlue2 added 03:37 - Sep 12
Having Downes (when things settle down) or Huws in between Dozzel and Bishop is the ideal for me. Am also looking forward to K V-Y returning. With Ward at left back those parts of the team are looking promising with Woolfie developing nicely, just need Nsiala to really come on and pressure Chambers.

ringwoodblue added 12:16 - Sep 12
As long as Downes is a Town player he should be in the team as he’s the best midfielder we have by far. We currently pay his wages and I don’t buy all this “unsettled“ garbage so he must play for me. I’d also pick Huws over Nolan or Doz. Bishop I agree deserves to have a run in the team.

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