Lambert: The Football We Played Was Incredible
Tuesday, 6th Oct 2020 22:07
Town boss Paul Lambert was delighted with his young side as they defeated Gillingham 2-0 in the EFL Trophy, hailing the performance as “incredible”.
Second-half goals from Armando Dobra and Ben Folami saw the Blues to a comfortable win over a more senior Gills team.
“I thought the football was incredible from the young guys. The three experienced guys, Janoi [Donacien], Woolfy [Luke Woolfenden] and [David] Cornell, I thought they were excellent.
“As a team I thought the football we played was incredible, against a really good side. They’ve started the season well, they were really strong, they had strong guys, but we were really, really good.”
Seventeen-year-old Indonesia U19s call-up Elkan Baggott made a composed debut at centre-half but Lambert was at pains not to praise any particular individual in what he felt was an excellent team display.
“You may as well talk about the team,” he reflected. “I’m not singling out any player as that will do them a disservice. All of them were incredible, every one of them was really, really good, I’m really pleased.
“I’ve got my own thoughts on each player individually but it’s unfair I think to say anything about one guy because you never know how it affects young players.”
He added: “We have to earn the right to win the game. We played incredible, we played really good. We used the ball really well, we made the pitch really big, we had some really good movement.
“We had young guys that we worked with yesterday who’ve done really, really well and it’s a small step for them.
“I don’t know how many times they’ve all played together. Some guys have not played too many games, some guys I’ve watched them over the last few weeks against Millwall and Norwich [for the U23s] and I’ve seen some really good things from certain guys and I just think whoever impresses me when I come and watch, then we give them chances.”
Lambert had no qualms about fielding such a young side, despite a £5,000 fine which is set to come their way as a result, although they will receive £10,000 for winning the tie in 90 minutes.
“I told you at the weekend what we were going to do,” he said. “I’ve told you before, I think it’s an absolute disgrace we have to play these games. Every team has injuries, every team,[we’re in] the pandemic, we have injuries all over the place at the minute.
“If there’s a fine then we take it because it’s not right to play this tournament, in my opinion.
“People might want to play it, I think it’s wrong, even though people say it gave the kids that chance, but I still think it’s wrong for the modern world of football to play competitions we don’t need to play.”
He added: “I didn’t want to play it, which is why the kids came in. I think it’s a nonsense, I really do.
“We have 50-odd games to try and fit into 35 weeks. I don’t even think there’s a sponsor for the competition. They haven’t even played the final for last year yet, and yet we’re still playing. It’s an absolute nonsense that we are.
“Number one, you get too many injuries, number two, pre-season’s been ridiculously long, we’ve had six months off. Everything goes against the logic of trying to play these games.”
Turning to the two goals, he said: “Great goal from Dobra, it was a helluva strike, it really was, different class the goal. He did really, really well the whole game, Dobs. The goal was great.
“And [Liam] Gibbs [who created the second], I think is a really good footballer, a good football brain. Again it’s small steps but I go back to what I said, I can’t praise any individual [above any other].”
Lambert says he’s still keen to get the likes of Dobra out on loan to gain further first team experience.
“We have to get these guys out,” he continued. “I don’t think anybody should get bowled over by how well we played, it’s only one game.
“We played really well against a good side, we played some really terrific football. Physically we knew we couldn’t beat Gillingham, so we spoke about a few things which could make them better going into a physical battle and I thought they used the ball [well], the speed of the ball, the two-touch and the movement was first class.
“They need time, that ain’t going to be a really quick fix, they need time to develop. Whether people get time, nobody knows in football management. But the way they played tonight, I’m pretty sure they’ve impressed a few people, and that was the aim.”
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