|Doncaster Rovers 4 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 20th October 2020 Kick-off 19:00
Lambert: We've Got to Be Better Without the Ball
Tuesday, 20th Oct 2020 22:22
Town boss Paul Lambert admitted that Doncaster Rovers were the better side in the second half with his team not getting going after the break as they were defeated 4-1, but felt the Blues had started the game very well before losing their way.
With Town having taken the lead via an own goal on the quarter-hour, a 4-1 defeat looked a very unlikely outcome for much of the first period.
“I thought for about 30 minutes we were brilliant, we played some incredible football, really, really good,” Lambert said. “We got a really good goal, we looked really good, football-wise it was excellent.
“I thought their first two goals were fortuitous goals, they got a ricochet for the first one and the second one was a cross which bypassed everybody and went in.
“In the second half, they were better than us, we never got going. All credit to them, they were better than us in the second half but for about half an hour, the way that game was going we looked really good. But we lost and we have to bounce back.”
At 2-1 Town were in the game but then Toto Nsiala conceded a penalty which led to the third and then Tomas Holy’s wayward pass saw Rovers net their fourth only two minutes later.
“The penalty, they guys are saying it wasn’t inside the box, whether it was [I don’t know]. They should have had a penalty down here [when Gwion Edwards tripped Jon Taylor], but maybe the referee didn’t give it because he thought he’d got that one wrong.
“And the fourth one was a mistake but that’s no problem, a mistake’s no problem because Tomas tried to play the ball to Toto. I’m telling them to play that way and for so many games we’ve been excellent at it.
“We won’t go away from it, we have the principles of how we’re going to play. We’ve got to be better without the ball, that’s for sure.”
While that playing-it-out-from-the-back approach take a while to perfect? “For six games we’ve been brilliant at it, really good. But you get games like that, I’m not going to let one defeat blight what’s happened in the last six games or so. We lost but we’re a really, really good side, and I think that’s evident.”
Is Holy comfortable with ball at his feet? “Yes, because he has been, he’s been really, really good. I don’t have a problem there either. I won’t give the guys any blame, they play the way I want them to play and a lot of that football was really good.”
The Blues had won five and drawn one of their first six in the league - while conceding only twice - but a defeat was going to come at some point.
“You want to be a perfectionist,” Lambert reflected. “You want to go through the season without losing but, as you asked, ‘How did that become 4-1?’. But it did. And we have to go back down the road, regroup and go again on Saturday.”
The Blues, who dropped to second as a result of the defeat, are quickly back to action at third-placed Lincoln on Saturday.
“We’ve loads of games,” the Blues manager continued. “As I say, I’m really happy with the football, I’ve not any problems with that.
“Second half I think we did the basics wrong, we never worked hard to get the ball back, which normally we’re bang on it all the time. That might just be that little knock that we might have needed.”
Regarding Teddy Bishop being left on the bench with Jon Nolan making his return to the XI, Lambert says that that’s something that’s going to happen with matches coming thick and fast.
“It could be,” he said. “If Bish had played season after season after season and played 100, 200 games then we might have said ‘OK, you go again’ but that lad’s only been back playing consecutive games [recently] so we’ve got to watch him because we’re down to the bare bones in the middle of the pitch.”
Asked when Kayden Jackson, who tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend, might be back, he said: “He’s got to self-isolate so we don’t know. Yesterday was an incredible thing with all the guys getting tested and the staff getting tested and we couldn’t train.
“We did the right thing for everybody’s health. In my opinion the club did the right thing in getting everybody tested and making sure they were alright. But training wasn’t the best preparation, that’s for sure.”
Lambert says one plus out of yesterday’s events is that the procedures which have been put in place appear to be working.
“That’s the good thing,” he continued. “The guys tried everything to be safe, but you’re never quite sure if that’s always going to be the case.
“But training wasn’t the best preparation because we couldn’t train really. Hopefukly Kayden’s OK.”
He says he had some of the club’s young players on standby in case first-teamers tested positive and had to pull out.
“We had half a dozen of the kids on standby because we couldn’t really do anything else,” he said. “The staff could have had it, seven guys could have had it.
“We got word late last night that everybody was OK. I thought if Kayden had it somebody else was going to. How they’ve not is incredible. It was the right decision to get everybody done.”
Did yesterday have an impact on today’s performance? “We never trained yesterday at all, it was like a walking thing with distancing everywhere on the pitch.
“We had to walk and lads couldn’t tackle each other or anything like that, couldn’t get close to each other, so that was disruptive.
“But it’s not an excuse for tonight, we lost because we started the game really well, we played really well for 30 minutes or so and some of the football was excellent, that’s not a problem. We just never did the basics without the ball.”
Striker Oli Hawkins returned from his groin injury as a second-half sub and Lambert is hoping the ex-Portsmouth man will be able to start at Lincoln, while Stephen Ward may also be available after his achilles problem.
“We’ll see how he is,” he said. “We hope he’s OK and he’s come through that OK and we’ll see how he is between now and Saturday.
“Wardy trained well the other day, so he’s doing really well. Hopefully he’s not far off, maybe he’s OK [for Saturday].”
Rovers manager Darren Moore was pleased to see his side match the Blues and force errors from Town.
“We had to match their workrate and endeavour while also being very good in our individual battles across the pitch,” he told his club's official website.
“It’s always nice when you see the players implementing the things in the game that were asked of them beforehand.
“The players got their jobs right and that forced errors from Ipswich which then led to us scoring some good goals.”
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