Lambert: We Were a Bit Below But Showed Great Resilience
Saturday, 3rd Oct 2020 18:28
Boss Paul Lambert admitted his side was below par during their 1-1 draw away against the MK Dons but felt it was one of the best performances under his management from the perspective of showing resilience to hold on for the draw after being forced to play the final 22 minutes with 10 men.
Flynn Downes suffered a knee injury shortly after coming off the bench with the Blues having used all three of their subs.
The game at that stage was 1-1, Jon Nolan having put Town ahead on seven and Daniel Harvie having levelled for the Dons five minutes after half-time.
“I thought we were a bit below,” Lambert said. “I thought we started the game really well, we scored a really good goal.
“Freddie had a great chance to make it 2-0 and then I think we lost too much of the ball and the MK Dons came on, but they never really threatened until the one at the end of the first half, which I thought was a chance.
“Second half they put us under a lot of pressure but we still looked pretty dangerous on the counter.
“We lost Wardy [Stephen Ward, achilles injury], which was a blow and we lost Flynn, which was a blow.
“What I will say is that was right up with one of the best performances for different reasons, the resolve of the team, the desire was fantastic, guys throwing their bodies on the line. I’m really happy with them.”
He says it was a game they might have lost and his players were forced to dig in: “We did, and we showed incredible resilience. And again, we’re a big club, everybody wants to beat you. We’re still undefeated, we’re still in really good form, so I’m really pleased.”
Ward left the ground with a medical boot on his foot and Lambert says he's not sure the extent of his problem, or Downes's.
“I don’t know with Wardy, hopefully that’s just a precautionary thing," he said.
"It was my choice to take him off. I’m not sure he wanted to come off but I think an achilles is a dangerous injury if that goes.
“Flynn, we don’t know, that looks a little bit more serious but hopefully it’ll settle down and is OK. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Dons goalscorer Harvie might well have been red-carded in the first half when he kicked Blues skipper Luke Chambers off the ball.
“If it’s an off the ball incident and I think it was real good chance that that was what it was,” Lambert said when asked about the incident, which took place right in front of the dugouts and was spotted by the fourth official.
“I don’t know, I’d have to see it again but I’ve seen things in the Premier League, seen things in the Championship where people have been sent off. You can’t do things off the ball, that’s my argument on it.”
Reflecting on the point, he says it could prove to be a useful one in the context of the season with the Blues now sitting third behind new leaders Lincoln and Hull City, both still with 100 per cent records.
“It’s a great start, we’re playing really well, that was a really good performance for different reasons with 10 men for half an hour,” he added.
“And we still had counter-attack chances, I think Gwion [Edwards] should have pulled the trigger when he was going through, he did great, and I think he should have shot rather than tried to play Judgey in. Really happy with a lot of the stuff.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s game against Gillingham in the EFL Trophy, he says he will play a very young side, even if that means being fined for breaking the competition’s selection rules.
“It will be,” he said when asked if it would be a young team facing the Gills. “If it’s good enough for Jurgen Klopp to put out a young team when he’s got Premier League games and Champions League games, albeit it’s not the same level of competition, it’s certainly good enough for us.
“We’ll take the hit, whatever comes our way, but I have to look after the first team.”
He says he’ll not include players such as Kayden Jackson who are returning from injury.
“We play too many games, we have to play 50-odd games in a 35-week season,” he continued.
“I won’t do it because I put them at risk. It’s a crazy decision to have this tournament, a crazy decision. We run the risk of more injuries, allied to [James] Norwood’s one as well. I’ll make that choice.”
Regarding new loan signing Keanan Bennetts, he said: “He’ll be dynamic, we need to get him fit to see where he is. Hopefully he’ll be dynamic down that side. Give the kid a chance when he gets in and find his feet and see how he does.”
Lambert says Tuesday’s game will come too soon for the on-loan Borussia Mönchengladbach man.
“I think he needs a week or so with everybody here to find his feet,” he said. “The most important thing is the first team.”
Regarding further business, Lambert is not anticipating any further signings, although players could still move out.
“I really don’t know. One or two guys maybe will go, I don’t know but I don’t think we’ll get anybody else in,” he added.
Youngsters going out to gain experience? “Yes, we have to go out and see what happens between now and [the deadline].”
The international window closes on Monday and domestically shuts on Friday 16th October.
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|Mark added 18:36 - Oct 3|
Why did we risk using our final substitutions with 35 minutes to go?! What a gamble. Downes for Bishop I understand, but Judge for Sears?
|ArnieM added 18:38 - Oct 3|
All change for the cup game then . Can’t same I’m bothered tbh . Out injury list is atrocious , and growing by the week.
|Suffolkboy added 18:40 - Oct 3|
To the point ; as informative as we can really expect and thankfully brutally honest about the over intensive programme in the present circumstances .
A lack of decisive thinking typifies our governing bodies at the highest level , and unfortunately courageous actions do not follow ; no wonder we’ve a pyramid of uncertainty in the Leagues !
Never mind — come on you Blues , get fit, keep fit , keep performing ,keep defending and scoring ,and be assured there’s lots of people rooting for you !
|chopra777 added 18:40 - Oct 3|
This was a poor performance. We were over run in midfield and there seemed to be a lack of effort going forward. As PL has said we did defend diligently. PL needs to have a clever plan to go forward and make a few minor team changes even if he thinks the opposition is weaker. Still unbeaten, regroup and carry on.
|SickParrot added 18:49 - Oct 3|
We have 10 points (which is good) but we haven't played any good teams yet and we haven't dominated any of the games. Without an own goal, saves by Holy and poor finishing by our opponents we should probably have 3 draws and a loss. Poor management by Lambert today using all 3 subs so early. Bring on the down votes.
|Karlosfandangal added 19:13 - Oct 3|
We need Woof, McGuiness and Young back in the side. Downes and the new lad Bennett and we will be a proper force
|Gatehouse added 19:15 - Oct 3|
Is it me ? But what’s the point in Lamberts press interviews most managers talk in riddles or give not a lot away but Lambert rarely sees the same game we watch (or use too) he never knows anything about injuries and as for transfer speculation he seems totally oblivious!!! Look I know he knows more than he’s willing to say but in these times when as fans we only get to see most of towns games from a poor one positioned camera often with internet lags it would be really refreshing to have honest informative interviews. This world is really depressing and at the moment we can’t even look forward to weekends home and away with mates and the town so Mr Lambert please try and give us something to cheer us up I fear it’s going to be a long cold winter
|DifferentGravy added 19:28 - Oct 3|
Dreadful performance against a toothless MK Dons. Ward was greatly missed and Kenlock (he may be a nice chap) is simply not good enough. Our passing was wayward, Edwards did nothing until we went down to 10 men, amazed he hadnt been hooked by then.
|Taricco_Fan added 19:39 - Oct 3|
Poor from start to finish. A fortunate goal but otherwise we didn't threaten and were overrun in the second half. Holy had a shocker - calamity waiting to happen.
MK Dons are a better team than their league position suggests but far tougher tests await. I'm not convinced we have enough to mix it with the more savvy, physical sides.
|Sindre94 added 19:53 - Oct 3|
Lambert would have been absolutely hammered if he didn’t make the subs when he did, but still gets slated because he did. He can’t win, can he?
|blues1 added 20:03 - Oct 3|
Sindre94. Ur spot on. He cant win with some of our fans. As u say, if he hadnt made those substitutions and wed gone on not to win, or even to lose theyd have said why didnt he bring someone on to try to change it. Always easy to criticise after weve got that other injury, forcing us down to 10 men. Maybe people should be criticising Downes for making rash challenges which caused his injury
|blues1 added 20:07 - Oct 3|
Gate house. How would Lambert know anything about the injuries within 30 minutes of the full time whistle? It's unlikely anyone will know the 3extent of them for a few days yet, let alone the manager
|fistpumpfury added 20:44 - Oct 3|
Just remind me. What happened last season after beating a few mediocre sides in the early stages? Ipswich great, top of the league etc etc..... We went on to lose against any side above us.
Now, this season the bubble has burst after playing the Leagues worst club. I’ll make a prediction, Town won’t even make the play offs. We’re crap.
|DifferentGravy added 20:52 - Oct 3|
Sindre94..........I was screaming at the screen to make a player or formation change long before Lambert belatedly did. It was blindingly obvious that we were going to concede....just a matter of time. So in my opinion Lambert should have changed something far sooner. The injury to Downes was just unfortunate. ....but i question any manager who chooses to play Kenlock at this level.
|herfie added 21:13 - Oct 3|
In normal circumstances we shouldn’t be praising a gritty, determined, defensive display against any team in this league. Injuries - particularly to Ward- and then being reduced to 10, inevitably impacted today; but, in truth, we were consistently poor in key creative areas - and echoes of last season’s tepid displays were evident. If we were meant to have learned lessons, today’s overall performance might suggest otherwise. And that’s the worrying aspect, with much sterner tests to come. Part of this is down to under-performing individuals failing to match up a determined, physically robust, opposition, and partly down to inept management/coaching for not recognising opposition defensive frailties (age/lack of pace) and setting us up to get at them relentlessly.
But, it’s only one game. Next up in the league is A Stanley - another big, physical, outfit that saw us off last term - and from which point our season steadily imploded.
|cat added 21:38 - Oct 3|
“We play too many games, we have to play 50-odd games in a 35-week season,” he continued.
You've just had 6 months off FFS lol
|Northstandveteran added 23:04 - Oct 3|
Just a query, not a judgement.
We all know of the small squad and the amount of games the boys of 81 played, so how is it that the modern day footballer gets injured so much?
Are today's players more highly toned athletes that are more prone to getting hurt than those players that didn't receive the protection on the pitch that they do today?
If someone has the answer/answers to this I'd like an opinion.
|peaky69 added 02:01 - Oct 4|
Not sure how many actually watched the game as my perspective varies from most. Yes they had more of the ball, as we predicted mind you, but we always looked in control in the first half, always looked like we could score a goal on the break. The start of the second half was terrible as we failed to keep control of the ball when we did get it to create those chances. PL identified that and was making the changes, although I would have switched Edwards rather than Sears. Unfortunately they scored just as those changes were being readied. I thought the changes then provided us the impetus we needed and we actually looked back in control. Flynn's tackle was not hot headed, it was a necessary one you expect of any midfielder in that position. Luck however was not in his favour as it looked a nasty injury (hoping it's only a medial and not acl). The we defended, albeit with a couple of nervy Holy moments, superbly. They were reduced to firing in crosses wide and way up the field which any decent team should defend and we did.
Personally, I think if there were no injuries we win.
|Dear_oh_Dear added 04:10 - Oct 4|
peaky69- all correct. Apart from Downes. If you watched the last game he came on and startied throwing his weight around immediately without assessing the temperature/speed of the game then too. The challenge was rash, and it cost him and his team. Head not in the right place for me
|Les57 added 07:16 - Oct 4|
Putting it bluntly we were second best all day. Ended up with 10 players when in reality they should have been down to 10 long before us, even their local radio station said there was no way he should have remained on the pitch. As is the case, the same player then scores the equaliser and we manage to hang on for the final 20 minutes. A good point in the circumstances but rather toothless display.
|Cakeman added 08:03 - Oct 4|
Northstandveteran, my view on the injury side of things is that I believe the game is played at a much faster pace than it was back in the 70’s and 80’s. The players turn and accelerate quickly over the first few yards. This combined by the needless heavy watering of pitches makes the surface spongy which lends itself to the numerous ligament type injuries that now occur.
Off point a little but the fast pace of the game also contributes to poor refs decisions.
Back to Paul Lambert’s comments, I think he speaks a lot of sense pretty much all of the time. He does tend to repeat himself but what he does say is usually what I agree with. I don’t understand the criticism for his early sub changes. At least he is thinking about the game and trying to influence our performance. I would much rather he did this than sit back into the last ten minutes to give players just a few minutes. He could not predict Downes’ injury.
|cat added 08:59 - Oct 4|
Intensity North Vet.
The games so much quicker and the trainings so much more intense. You have to be supreme athlete’s nowadays and with data tracking there ain’t no hiding place.
If you play any sport to the absolute max then your more likely to pick up injuries.
This opinion comes from my own personal experiences. #sicknote!
|Northstandveteran added 09:05 - Oct 4|
I used to play snooker to the max as a teenager, hence my right wrist was always hurting.
I think that was the reason.......
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