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Lambert: Lankester's Doing Really, Really Well
Friday, 9th Oct 2020 10:41

Blues manager Paul Lambert says forward Jack Lankester will have benefited from making his first start in 19 months in Tuesday’s 2-0 EFL Trophy victory over Gillingham at Portman Road.

The 20-year-old had last been named in a first-team competitive XI back in January 2019 with two stress fractures to his back which required surgery having sidelined him.

Prior to Tuesday the Bury-based youngster had made two sub appearances - picking up two assists on his return as the Blues won 2-0 at Bristol Rovers - but Lambert says his first start will have been a boost both physically and mentally.

“That was it,” he said. “That was his first game in nearly two years which is a helluva long time not to play football.

“He’s still short of total fitness but the lad is doing really, really well on that side of it. But you’ve got to kind of watch him.”


Where does Lambert see as Lankester’s best position? “The good thing for him and for me is he can play wide and he can play as a 10.

“As I said before, he’s a really talented footballer that lad, but we’ve got to watch him.

“The two injuries that he had were really not nice and it’s just about getting fitness with him and making sure we sustain his level.”
 
Reflecting further on the EFL Trophy game, having made his thoughts on the competition very clear, he says giving young players a senior game was the big positive.
 
“That was the only thing,” he said. “As I said before, you're playing 50-odd games in a 35-week season and I don't understand it.

“It was a poor decision whoever made the decision to play the tournament because the games are coming thick and fast and they're saying people are getting injured all the time. Well, no wonder. Use your common sense, and you'll be alright, you know.”
 
What pleased him most about Tuesday’s game? “Just the way we played. The football we played, we had over 600 passes in the game, we dominated the ball against a really strong side.

“The way we played was really, really pleasing and I'm happy with the kids. We worked with them on Monday and we had a little chat with them on Monday after training about what we thought, and they've played the way that I like the game to be played.”
 
Regarding 17-year-old centre-half Elkan Baggott, who is now away with the Indonesian U19s having made his debut against the Gills, he added: “He did great. But there's no expectancy from me. As I said before, for me, it's finished.

“He showed what he can do, can he sustain it? Time will tell. Can he develop because he will change and his body will develop and change as he becomes a man? It's really early stages but looking at him in that first stage, he was very good.

“I saw him playing against Millwall [for the U23s] a few weeks ago and I got him over to train, and he did well.

“So, he was always in the back of my mind where I could play him and I knew with the tournament coming up that I was going to change the team, and I knew I was going to play him.
 
Lambert says the academy will be more important going forward given the impact of the coronavirus crisis and the salary cap.
 
“It has to be that way because we can't go out and buy anybody,” he said. “We need time for those kids to develop as well, so there's a fine balance between trying to get results and those kids developing.

“A few of the kids that are there are doing really, really well and we’re hoping over the next 12 months or 24 months that they start to push their way in.”


Photo: Matchday Images



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OwainG1992 added 12:50 - Oct 9
Jack is going to integral to the future of our team.
Honestly a star in the making.
2

LWNR2013 added 13:27 - Oct 9
That’s Really, Really good.
0

Northstandveteran added 15:37 - Oct 9
Brilliant. Really really brilliant.
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Suffolkboy added 16:08 - Oct 9
With limitations and parameters absolutely defined right now ,PL seems a much more confident communicator and assertive in his manner and judgement .Excellent for one and all : let’s trust in our Manager ,give him support and continue to anticipate getting back into Portman Rd to actually see the boys expressing themselves on the pitch !
COYB
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