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Lincoln City 1 v 0 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 24th October 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That in a Game of Football in All My Time
Saturday, 24th Oct 2020 18:23

Town boss Paul Lambert slammed the performance of referee Kevin Johnson following the Blues’ 1-0 defeat at Lincoln, the official having awarded the Imps a controversial second-half spot-kick, which was converted by League One top scorer Jorge Grant. Lambert was sent off for remonstrating after the final whistle, Jon Nolan having been dismissed for a wild lunge in injury time.

“I’ve never seen anything like that in a game of football in all my time,” Lambert said. “I think whoever is the head of the referees should look at that. That was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like that in all my time in football. But they walk away from here, no issues.

“There were two clear fouls on Teddy Bishop [in the run-up to the penalty incident], 100 per cent. Incredible decisions, they were flabbergasting. But he gets in his car and walks away.”

The Town players had shown their frustrations with referee Johnson, who coincidentally refereed the first FA Cup tie between the teams last season, in the first half and Lambert says it wasn’t just the penalty incident which irked him.

“He was dreadful. Dreadful,” he said. “As I’ve said before, it’s professional football. That standard’s not acceptable. We never lost to Lincoln, we lost to the guy in the middle, I don’t know his name. I just think he was dreadful.”

Asked if he regretted his remonstrations and whether his criticisms went over the top, he said: “No, because it was true. It’s true. We get criticised for a lot of things, so should they.”

Does he get to have his say? “I’ll be phoning Mike Jones [the national group director of the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited)], I’ll definitely be phoning him because that was unacceptable.”

Was there any explanation from the referee? “The usual, an absolutely brilliant sign of arrogance. It’s wrong.”

Quizzed on whether Toto Nsiala was rash to make the challenge that led to the penalty, the Town manager said: “I’ve just seen it again. Toto’s used his strength against a young kid [Brennan Johnson], he’s used his arm. It’s just body strength. If you’ve giving fouls for that, you’d give fouls everywhere on the pitch.”

Turning away from the controversies and reflecting on the performance overall, Lambert was delighted with his team’s display.

“Brilliant, really happy with them, really, really happy,” he said. “We’re a right good side, you saw Lincoln’s reaction, they’re jumping with joy when they beat us. And we’ve still got to play them again.

“The way we’re playing is really, really good. Unbelievable football. I’m really happy with how we’re dominating games, so let’s see what happens.”

He added: “You lose games, but the way we played today, I’m so happy for them, to play that way was great. One, two-touch football, the possession of the ball, we were creating chances, the dominance of the game, we can’t ask for any more.”

Did Town test the Lincoln keeper enough? “That was the only thing you’d say with that. We should have pulled the trigger earlier with a lot of things. We had some good chances to do it but that’ll come. They sat really deep against us. There’s a long, long way to go.”

Nolan was red-carded for a frustrated tackle on Harry Anderson and Lambert could understand how his midfielder was feeling.

“Yes, but I understand that because Nolo was done here on the halfway line,” he said. “I won’t be taken any disciplinary action against him because of the occasion and the frustration has boiled over but there’s only one person that caused that.”

Nolan will now face a three-match suspension - Lambert himself will be subject to a touchline ban - leaving the Blues short of midfield options with Cole Skuse (knee) and Flynn Downes (knee) out for a couple of months and Alan Judge having missed today’s match with a more minor niggle.

“Judgey we couldn’t take a risk with him because of his hamstring but hopefully he’ll be OK for Tuesday.,” Lambert said.

Brett McGavin could also come into contention for a place in matchday squads and perhaps a place on the bench.

The 20-year-old wasn’t allowed out on loan before the window closed just over a week ago due to the number of central midfield injuries.

“We couldn’t really with the numbers that are out,” Lambert said. “We just have to get on with it.”

Lambert was pleased with Jack Lankester’s performance, the forward having made his first league start since January 2019.

“He did really well, it’s the after effects going forward now with Jack, seeing how he feels and how he recovers but performance-wise he was excellent,” he added.

He was also delighted with Oli Hawkins’s display: “We lost but performance-wise, I can’t ask for any more. Brilliant, really good.”

Last season Town made an impressive start and hit the top of the table before falling to back-to-back defeats which led to a significant slump.

Asked whether he had a message to fans worried that history might repeat itself this season, Lambert insisted: “We’re playing totally different, we’re a totally different team from last year. The way they’re playing, the confidence they’ve got there, no problem.

“We’ll just keep playing, don’t change because the way we’re dominating games, you tend to find when you start to dominate the ball you win more games than not.”

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Mr_Jingles added 18:26 - Oct 24
Big problem for us time and time again, is running out of ideas in the second half of games. No shots on target in the 2nd half at Donny and today.
Nevertheless COYB.

grow_our_own added 18:27 - Oct 24
It's good man-management to avoid critisising players in public. But Lambert's staunch defence of Nolan & Nsiala's challenges (sending-off & pen) are ridiculous:

"Toto’s used his strength"
"Yes, but I understand that because Nolo was done...I won’t be taken any disciplinary action”

He actually believes this stuff. The guy's judgement is simply awful and this is why his team-selections are so atrocious. Nsiala, Nolan and Judge are not League One promotion standard, yet Lambert never learns this. They'll be back in his team this season, and we'll still be in League One next year.

HighgateBlue added 18:29 - Oct 24
For someone so good at losing, he's rather a bad loser...

On the penalty, it was softish, yes, but you see softish penalties given quite frequently, and players should know this. Nsiala needs to be far more savvy in the box, and he's looked back to his old self the last two games. Lambert throwing his toys out of the pram is not going to make us more likely to turn this (now traditional) slump around.

TheTrueBlue1878 added 18:31 - Oct 24
My word, if that’s his honest assessment, we are in real trouble.

blue86 added 18:31 - Oct 24
No excuses just action please Paul. It was a penalty, nsiala pushed in him in the box and if the shoe was on the other foot you would have claimed it was a penalty full stop. Please stop saying every game win lose or draw we played really really really really well. It gets really really really repetitive and annoying. We didnt play well we had no killer instinct! Less talk more action and we might get somewhere, bring in wolf and cornell and the more I think of it get sears or Jackson to partner big Oli upfront.

slade1 added 18:31 - Oct 24
Bad performance by the referee or not, we didn't score a goal.....simple as that!

carlo88 added 18:32 - Oct 24
Deluded. As usual

runaround added 18:34 - Oct 24
Sounds to me like he is trying to deflect away from his and his team’s inadequacies.
Whilst the penalty sounds soft or possibly wrong(I haven’t seen it so cannot give an opinion) the ref has had little to do with us not scoring & not creating much. If you don’t score you are not going to get points.
2 very winnable home matches ahead & 6 points in those will change the atmosphere to something more positive BUT it’s upto Lambert & the players to make that happen

Marinersnose added 18:35 - Oct 24
Agree with previous post that PL is correct to speak positively about performance and not criticise individuals but he saw the game differently to me. I can recall Edwards having a simple finish which was a clear cut scoring opportunity but I don’t recall too many more chances. For me we aren’t creating enough goal scoring opportunities despite having some talent in midfield. Too many players go missing for long periods of the game. Lincoln attacked with far more pace and purpose albeit a draw would’ve been a fair result

MonkeyAlan added 18:37 - Oct 24
If Lambert thought that was a good performance then he is more delusional than l gave him credit for. We are weak as water when we come up against a decent team.

Marinersnose added 18:39 - Oct 24
Runaround I would’ve wanted a penalty if it had been our player. No doubt in my mind. The worry was you could see what Nsiala was going to do before he committed the foul. He’s done well this season but he has this in his game and playing from the back is not his game. Not good enough imo but he’s done well under the circumstances

Saxonblue74 added 18:42 - Oct 24
That's a very worrying assessment. A 1 goal defeat should never come down to a poor refereeing display.

Buryblue78 added 18:42 - Oct 24
I presume the ref got his car from Fred Flintstone if he got in and walked away
At least I didn't waste a tenner watching us fail to shoot on target again in the second half
I haven't played for any big clubs so maybe I'm not qualified to comment but I'd imagine that helps
My patience is waring thin now grhhh!!!

Northstandveteran added 18:44 - Oct 24
But he ( the referee ) gets in his car and walks away.

Who was the ref today?

Fred Flintstone?

carlo88 added 18:48 - Oct 24
Must be immensely frustrating to see your whole career dying in front of your eyes.

Northstandveteran added 18:51 - Oct 24
Great minds think of bad jokes alike Buryblue 👏

Revett added 18:51 - Oct 24
Phil, is there any reason we don't get to see the opposition's managers comments as per the last few seasons?

LWNR2013 added 18:52 - Oct 24
I agree with the boss 👍

heavyweight added 18:55 - Oct 24
Does he think that because there is no crowd in the ground no one watches these games? I doubt any impartial or even partial observer could say we played 'unbelievable football'.

dirtydingusmagee added 18:56 - Oct 24
really ,really really, really really really , yes Paul frickin brilliant .

ringwoodblue added 19:02 - Oct 24
Fred Flintstone - lol!

After reading Lambos post-match comments, it just confirms to me that he is deluded. His own petulance by getting red carded sets a bad example for his players. Sadly I don’t think he has what it takes to manage a team to promotion but I don’t see Eddie Howe or anyone else coming in to replace him.

jas0999 added 19:10 - Oct 24
Brilliant?! Has he lost the plot?

Penalty was harsh, but no need for Toto to give the ref a decision to make. Sending off was the right call.

Carberry added 19:18 - Oct 24
He obviously believes coming out with this astonishing assessment of our performance will placate fans. Is he all there? Look at how angry I am does not cover up inadequacies in his ability or his team's. He's a losing manager even as he drops down the leagues, it's pathetic to see. He will take us nowhere and neither will the owner. And carlo88, that is one of the sharpest observations on here for a long time.

Karlosfandangal added 19:20 - Oct 24
What I have seen of Bennetts, he looks a real handful so play him.
The same for Woolfenden he is our best defender so play him
And if we are going to play tippy tippy football play McGuiness as what I saw of him in the Arsenal u21 game he look a really good ball playing defender

multiplescoregasms added 19:26 - Oct 24
Scoring more goals than the opposition are what wins games and gets promotion. We lack an out and out goal scorer and that is going to cost us over the season. Right now, that is where our main problem lies.

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