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Lankester: I'm Ready to Show What I Can Do
Sunday, 25th Oct 2020 19:04

Blues forward Jack Lankester made his first league start since January 2019 at Lincoln on Saturday and says he’s now ready to play his part following his lengthy injury absence.

The progress of Lankester into the first team was one of the few bright spots in the 2018/19 relegation season but having made five starts and six sub appearance the Bury St Edmunds-born academy product suffered the first of two stress fractures to his back which put him out of action until the start of this season.

Having made two League One sub appearances and played his first full 90 minutes in the recent EFL Trophy victory over Gillingham, the 20-year-old made another significant step at Lincoln when he made his first league start in 21 months.

“I’m ready to go and I’m ready to show what I can do in the league,” Lankester said following Saturday’s match.

Does he understand why manager Paul Lambert might have been holding him back after his long spell out?

“I understand where he’s coming from but in a game like this he’s put his trust in me and I’ve shown what I can do, so hopefully this is the first of many,” he added.

“I can go again Tuesday, I’m feeling fine. They took me off after 80 minutes and I felt fine, so I’m ready to go again Tuesday.”

Reflecting on his performance against the Imps, he said: “I think I did well, I think I showed the bits I can do when I get in dangerous positions, killer passes and stuff.”

Did he feel he grew into the game? “Once you get the first few minutes out the way, you can definitely grow into the game, and I think I did that.”

Perhaps the highlight of his performance was a superb second-half through ball for Gwion Edwards which fed the Welshman in on the left of the area in a dangerous position.

“Me and Gwion have been working so that if one of us is cutting in the other one will always be on, so it was nice for it to come off,” he said.

There was also one stylish turn away from his man in the centre circle: “That’s what I try and do as a player, I’m always trying to go forward with it and take players out the game.”

Having made his first league start, a second senior goal - the first came against Millwall at Portman Road in January 2019 - is his next target.

“It’s coming! It’s just a waiting game now,” he insisted. “I’ll get chances and hopefully I’ll take them.”

And he’s keen to be given the opportunity from free-kicks with a number of other players having had a go in the opening fixtures but so far with little success.

“I’d have liked the one today but let Gwion take it,” he said. “I’ve been practicing every day so when one next comes on the left side, I’m taking it.”

Lankester says he likes playing on the right of the front three in the 4-3-3 system the Blues are currently utilising.

“I love it,” he enthused. “I love playing on the right and being able to get into pockets and coming in on my left foot, I think that’s where I’m most dangerous, so I do enjoy it.”

He says he’s not just there to play out on the touchline but to tuck inside: “Definitely because the manager knows I can cause trouble in there.

“And especially now with Chambo playing right-back on the overlap, I think we can be quite dangerous down that side.”

He says skipper Chambers talks him through games: “It helps massively, he’s always talking, always in your ear, defensively and in attack, it does help.”

Lankester is aware that there is plenty of competition for places in his role with Edwards, Freddie Sears and Keanan Bennetts all fighting for two spots in the side.

“There’s healthy competition, all of us we get along together, are always helping each other all the time in training,” he said.

Turning to the 1-0 defeat at Lincoln, who now top the division, Lankester felt the Blues were unfortunate not to take something from the match with a controversial 77th-minute Jorge Grant penalty the difference between the teams.

“I thought we were very unlucky, I thought we dominated possession of the ball and played some really nice football, and just think the decision went against us,” he said. “But that’s football and we’ve just got to move on.”

The performance was far better than at Doncaster, where Town lost 4-1 on Tuesday, despite the result ultimately being the same.

“It was a great reaction, I thought we played with great style,” Lankester continued. “We kept the ball and showed a physical side and, like I said, I think we were unlucky.”

Was the referee’s performance a frustration? “I think that’s just football, you’re going to get games like that. I think the boys dealt with it well. Things went against us and we carried on and we kept going right to the very end.”

Lankester believes that Town will bounce back from the back-to-back defeats: “We played the football, we were probably the better team and showed everyone what we can do, and that will pay off again like it did in the previous six games.

“I think we all know that it’s just a bump in the road that happens in football and we’re all in it together and we’ll go again on Tuesday.”

The Blues attacker knows that following those two defeats, which have seen Town drop from top to fourth in League One, fans will expect six points from this week’s two home games against Gillingham and Crewe Alexandra.

“Yes, and that’s what we’re going for,” he said. “Every game we go out there, we go to win and we’ll be doing exactly that.”

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MickMillsTash added 20:56 - Oct 25
Hard to tell when not at the game but it looks more 4-5-1 to me than 4-3-3
Lankester did ok, I think he carries more of a goal threat than Judge so keen he stays in the side. Would like to have seen him swap side with Edwards for 10 minutes at 0-0 yesterday when it looked like no one was going to score.

DifferentGravy added 21:08 - Oct 25
Youre spot on MMTash......its very much a 4-5-1. The distinct lack of crosses/shots and mazy dribbles down the line/into the box highlight this.

Lambert doesnt have a plan B and relies heavily on our passing game to open up a space for deep running midfielders. But when Andre is picking up the ball from the centre half in our own area, Bishop is playing feet n back in our own half and the majority of passes Nolan plays are backward......we simply dont have the players upfield.

Thought Jack was o.k and no more than that. But obviously he needs games to get up to speed and will reserve judgement until such time

Upthetown1970 added 21:09 - Oct 25
Thought Jack done ok and will probably be rested on Tuesday due to the nature of the injuries hes had. Hes definitely enthusiastic but for me is still not quite there yet. The EFL match against Gillingham I thought others were ahead of him. I believe Jack needs more games to get that sharpness back. Jack can be massive for us in this league but we must also look after him.

KiwiBlue2 added 22:12 - Oct 25
Likely to see him on the bench on Tuesday I suspect. I am hoping that Bennetts gets a start then. Feel that Woolfie or McGuinness and Cornell might also get a start along with Huws. Important that we pick up two wins this week to keep us thereabouts .....

Billericay12 added 07:56 - Oct 26
4-5-1 / 4-3-3 is more or less the same thing really. If it looks like a 4-5-1 it is because the 2 wide players are not getting forward enough to support the central striker which is exactly what happened hence the lack of a goal threat or crosses into the box. Too much sideway passing in our own half with no purpose. Not seeing the brave surging runs from Bishop that we did in the earlier games this season.

ArnieM added 09:01 - Oct 26
We need some pace in this side , get done of these kids in the team . They’re fearless !

BettyBlue added 09:17 - Oct 26
Every game Paul Lambert and his team have the opportunity to show what they can do.

Very sad so few bother to take up the opportunity.

Ericgates12 added 09:20 - Oct 26
Not the greatest performance against Lincoln in my opinion and we were lucky to only lose 1-0. Agree that we need to give some of our younger players a chance. McGavin and Gibbs had great games in the Teophy match but haven't been anywhere near although we are missing players in our midfield (1 match no midfielder on the bench). Time to play our more talented players and not just play experience!!. If Huws and Nolan can be given time on the pitch then McGavin and Gibbs must think to themselves am I not better than them. Gibbs for me although young deserves a chance. McGavin another who deserves a chance.

FAcup78 added 09:27 - Oct 26
Have to agree with Ericgates12 get the young lad Gibbs on the pitch.
Lambert now has a real dilemma as I dont believe some players again performed well against Lincoln so chance over!!. Time for change!!!

Pencilpete added 10:03 - Oct 26
Why didn't you show us on Saturday then ?

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