Lambert: Ludicrous Decision to Play the EFL Trophy This Season
Friday, 2nd Oct 2020 11:18
Blues manager Paul Lambert has slammed the decision to play the EFL Trophy this season with sides facing fixture congestion even without that tournament given the late start to the campaign due to the coronavirus crisis.
Town host Gillingham on Tuesday in the second of their three group games - they were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal’s U21s in the first - with the finalists facing a further five matches in the knockout stage.
The Blues played five games last season before exiting 2-1 at Exeter City in the round of 16.
“The way it was working with maybe 50-odd games in a 35-week season, it’s ludicrous and the other good idea is playing EFL Trophy, absolutely ludicrous that, really, really mental,” Lambert said.
“They should have sacrificed that tournament for one year at least until everybody gets over this and we get supporters back and we get everybody healthy. To go and play another six games is absolute nonsense.”
So you wouldn’t be too disappointed if you didn’t progress this year? “We go and try and win but you’re asking people to go through 50-odd games in a 35-week season. That’s absolutely mental. Mental whoever has told us to play that. It’s a crazy situation.”
Asked whether managers were consulted before the decision to play the competition was made, he responded: “What do you think? I’ve got no doubt every manager would have said they [the EFL] have to sacrifice something.
“Okay, the FA Cup is one game and penalties and the Carabao Cup is one game and penalties, fine. But we’re adding another six [sic] games into it, and it’s a ludicrous decision.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s game against the Gills, Lambert has previously said he would “try and play the kids” in the game. However, with the Charlton game on the following Saturday off, might he now field a stronger line-up?
“I don’t know,” he reflected. “As I’ve said, I don’t think it’s a competition that should have been played due to the pandemic and due to the amount of games.
“I think common sense had to prevail there and I don’t think it has, and they should have sacrificed that tournament for me this year, that’s for sure.”
However, he hasn’t ruled out the likes of Luke Woolfenden, Alan Judge and Kayden Jackson being involved as they continue their comebacks from injury.
“Woolfy, there’s a chance of him playing on Tuesday, but they’ve had a good week those guys,” he said.
“Kayden has obviously had a longer lay-off, Woolfy has been a few weeks and Judgy the same, so we’ll see how everybody is.”
Photo: Matchday Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 270 bloggers
Season's Beatings by Moggasknockdown
It is a bitterly disheartening experience supporting Ipswich. At every sliding doors moment in our recent history we have taken the wrong path, at every opportunity for schadenfreude an ex-player will decisively score, or create or generally remind us all that they are happier now, away from the depressing, soul-destroying experience that was their Ipswich career.
Cycle of Hurt by Steve_M
It's hard not to see a club that has got nearly every big decision wrong and come out on the wrong side of almost every promotion or relegation fight over 19 years as being in anything other than terminal decline. The very obvious exception to that pattern of failure was the appointment of Mick McCarthy and his first few years here.
Climbing Up the Walls by Mullet
The world has undoubtedly changed and with it, until some indeterminate point, football has done too. Not only have we seen another club disappear as the fans of Macclesfield joined those of Bury in being locked out of the game, we might count ourselves lucky to only be locked out of Portman Road for our own good.
A Head in the Right Place by NormEmerges
A nice victory against Wigan, well played the Town, and you achieved it without what many consider our best player. For the second match in a row, Flynn Downes was left out because “his head wasn’t in the right place”.
Pyramid Strong by Mullet
On Friday the members of League One voted by majority to instigate a salary cap. In doing so they not only limit everybody in the division to spending £2.5m per season, but they limit themselves in making the transition to established second tier side or beyond.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]