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Lambert: The Way We Play Football is Important to Me
Friday, 23rd Oct 2020 12:06

Boss Paul Lambert says it’s important to him that the Blues don’t just playing winning football but play in the style they have shown so far this season, even if occasionally that approach might lead to errors, as was the case at Doncaster on Tuesday night.

Lambert has sought to instil a passing-out-from-the-back approach which had seen them to the top of League One in their first five matches conceding only twice.

However, they dropped to second following Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium with individual errors playing their part in the defeat.

Asked whether playing the game the right way is significant for him in addition to winning matches, he said: “If we can, yes. The way we play football is important to me. You tend to try and mirror teams you played in yourself and I was fortunate enough to play with some really good teams that played with the ball.

“We try our best and, as I’ve said before, if the guys make mistakes, it’s my problem as I’m the one telling them how to play that way.

“I love watching them play when they play like that, so there’s no problem as long as they keep doing it.”

The centre-halves have to believe in themselves when on the ball given the current approach.

“That’s it,“ Lambert continued. “All I’d say is that it’s my problem if they make a mistake. It becomes their problem if they don’t want to [risk making] the mistake and they don’t want to do it, that’s when it becomes their problem.

“It’s my problem if they do it and then they make a mistake, that is an issue because I’m telling them to play that way and I’m trying to make them better footballers for themselves to try and have success.”

Accrington and Doncaster have both sought to press the Blues from the front in the last two games, giving the backline little time on the ball.

Asked how they should deal with that, Lambert said: “Just bypass it. You have to recognise where the press is coming from and we know because we work on it, we do so many scenarios in training where a team high presses you or a team sits off, whatever might happen. We try our best to prepare for all sorts of scenarios.”

Reflecting further on the preparation work that goes on ahead of games on the field and off it, he added: “We show the guys some footage, what we think is relevant to our game and then we do it on the grass, so there are both sides of it there.

“I think the more repetition you do I think the more it becomes ingrained in your brain.

“They know the moves, they know the way we play but we’ve also got to show them on videos what we think what we can do better and what we have done pretty well, so there are both elements to that.”

He says games coming thick and fast in the manner they are at present - Saturday's trip to Lincoln is the third of three matches in 25 days - isn't good for the game or players.

“That’s a problem, the workload is a problem because you’re in this period of Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday.

“This isn’t healthy for football this playing every single midweek, it’s not good but this is the situation we’re in, that everybody’s in, that you don’t have any fans in as well, that’s tough in itself.

“There are so many things that people are doing their best to adjust to and I’m pretty sure every club in the land is doing the same.”

Lambert reiterated that he feels the EFL should have allowed the use of five substitutes this season, as was the case when 2019/20 resumed over the summer.

“I think so because over the course of the league I think there’s a 28 per cent rise in injuries, which is an incredible amount percentage-wise,” he said.

“The five in my opinion would have been a lot better and I think you might have got away with fewer injuries throughout the league, that would have been evident.

“I disagree with three because you’re still putting people under incredible stress after a long time out, so my thing would have been definitely five subs.

“I just think for a season and I think we could have done a lot better with the organisation of things, the five subs for this season without a doubt would have been beneficial for everybody.”

Photo: Pagepix

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BettyBlue added 12:14 - Oct 23
Excuses, excuses, excuses......

Suffolkboy added 12:17 - Oct 23
PL making lots of sense ,definitely has a proper perspective and seems increasingly confident to speak out .
Come on you Blues , put a good game together at Lincoln ,have faith ,play well enjoy the teamwork , go forward and don’t be afraid in any way ; positivity is correct !

WhoisJimmyJuan added 12:21 - Oct 23
To avoid a downward spiral like last season I think it is very important to avoid defeat on Saturday. The players need to believe they can beat top 6 teams.

MonkeyAlan added 13:08 - Oct 23
We will totally crumble again tomorrow. We cant cut it against the decent teams in this league. Our midfield is powder puff.

chepstowblue added 13:08 - Oct 23
That's fine, but playing out from the back and encouraging one-two's in or around our own box is a nonsense. If Liverpool and Man City look pathetic attempting it then god help us. There is absolutely nothing beneficial to come from it. We'd have had the cane at school as 8yr olds conceding goals of this nature. We appear to be playing some nice stuff at times but in slow motion. Other than Edward's there is so little individual pace in the side. No one to inject something different. Last season was similar. Running away with the league early on but seemingly devoid of confidence.Even after a very good start to the season I feel a bit down. For a few weeks teams were having shooting practice against us which is why the Donny result was no surprise. Tomorrow cant come quickly enough,tho at 4.50 I imagine my mood won't have changed much. And to the less intelligent on here...that doesn't mean I want us to lose.

Carberry added 13:11 - Oct 23
Did anyone know he'd played for some really good teams?

BlueSwede added 15:37 - Oct 23
Strange. When we were playing long balls people complained. Then we went back to playing the ball on the ground and to feet and people were thrilled - until one defeat. Then everything suddenly becomes wrong with playing that way too.
Individual misstakes happen, now we had a couple of them in the same game, but I for one - having both played and coached - feel it's right to keep faith in the style you want to play and improve that and the players instead of "dilly-dallying all the way".
That's the only way to long-term-success. Remember when Bobby Robson came his first seasons ended with the team finishing 12th, 18th and 19th.

Linkboy13 added 17:23 - Oct 23
I don't think there's any right or wrong way of playing, it depends on the players at your disposal, and the opposition you are playing. It's important that Hawkins plays tomorrow then it gives us both options, because against the better teams you are not going to get the same amount of space to play the shorter passing game.

algarvefan added 22:04 - Oct 23
I don't like playing out from the back unless it is safe and prudent to do so, players should not put other players in a difficult position so near to goal. I like however that we are trying to play the way we do and sticking with it, but you always have to counter the opposition and we always seem too slow on changing things to counter the opposition.

We have still had a good start to the season, played some good football and there is much to admire, so lets keep encouraging the players to play the correct way rather then getting on their or the managers back!!

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