|Ipswich Town 1 v 0 Crewe Alexandra|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 31st October 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: We Rode Our Luck
Saturday, 31st Oct 2020 18:21
Town boss Paul Lambert admitted his side rode their luck as they defeat Crewe Alexandra 1-0 at Portman Road via Oli Hawkins’s first goal for the club.
The Blues were second best, particularly in the first half, and Lambert said that was partly down to his team underperforming while also giving credit to the Railwaymen.
“Both, we never turned up in the first half,” he said. “We expected things to happen but [they don’t] if you don’t do the basics in football.
“First and foremost you have to work hard and run and fight, they’re the basics, everything else comes after that.
“We rode our luck to go in at half-time 0-0, they were the better team, and Tomas Holy made a great save to keep us at 0-0.
“We never played well in the first half, but there aren’t many times I’ve said that this season.
“I’ve been in the game long enough to know you’ll get things when you don’t deserve it, and when you do deserve it you’ll lose.”
What was his message to his players at half-time? “We don’t have a divine right just to turn up, we have to be bang on the money every week, we can’t turn up being off it, in any game of football.
“It doesn’t matter what game you play, you have to be bang at it, you have to respect the opponent, respect what you’re up against, knowing you’re not going to get it all your own way.
“It’s a blessing in disguise sometimes because you think it’s not going to happen again.”
He added: “I’ve been here nearly two years and there are games when I’ve walked away not believing we’ve lost them and we’ve got nothing.
“You take the three points. I’ve played football a long time, I’ve been a manager a long time and there are times when you’ve been really under the cosh and you win. And there have been times when you’ve been absolutely flying and you lose.
“That’s the secret, don’t get too high when you win and don’t get too low when you lose.”
Lambert was pleased to see summer signing Hawkins get off the mark: “It was a great goal, we took the corner really quick. It was a great ball from Judgey and Oli’s header was great.
“I’m delighted for him because he’s a really good guy and he’s a lot better than a lot of people give him credit for.
“I’m delighted for everybody because it’s really, really tough situation we’re asking these situation, asking these guys, the Crewe guys as well, Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, that is extremely tough, and you’ve got to go and do it again.
Lambert also had praise for Kayden Jackson, who made his first appearance after his positive Covid-19 test as a sub.
“I thought he did well when he came on in the last half hour, made an impact,” he said. “We’ve two young kids at the back [Luke Woolfenden and Mark McGuinness], Toto [Nsiala] and James [Wilson] have done great, but the way the situation at the minute is at the minute, we need everybody to perform, all the guys because you’re going to get game after game the way this is going.”
Keeper Holy made one crucial save in the first half and out in a solid display throughout.
“Great, he’s a big lad and he made some good saves there in the second half as well,” Lambert continued.
“Overall view, we rode our luck, we’ll take it but we know we can’t turn up and set a precedent that that’s going to happen for us.
“Ten games gone, we’ve played really good football and it’s more or less one game where we didn’t deserve to get anything.”
The Blues have won all five of their home matches without conceding and Lambert is delighted with all of his defenders.
“The clean sheets have been great, it doesn’t matter who has played, Chambers, Woolfenden, McGuinness, Wilson, Nsiala, Kenlock, Ward, they’ve been really strong,” he said.
“Listen, I’m really happy, I can’t be happier, it’s been really good, really good form, a long, long way to go.”
With prime minister Boris Johnson set to announce another lockdown following his press conference, Lambert wasn’t sure where that leaves Town and football more widely.
However, Johnson confirmed in his address that elite sport would continue during the new restrictions.
“We’ve got to travel unless the PM says otherwise,” he said looking ahead to Tuesday’s game at Sunderland. “You’re asking guys to perform Saturday-Tuesday, that’s not right.”
Is he concerned about the fate of the season? Might it be curtailed? “I really don’t know, like everybody else, if they are going to another national lockdown.
“How can we travel? We hardly get tested here. How do you travel? How do you go to the North East or the North West? Jump in your car and travel? I really don’t know. I think it’s in a really precarious season.”
Asked whether it is difficult to see the season being played to its conclusion if there is a break, he added: “Either that or you’re playing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
“And, do you know what, the way it is, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did something stupid like that - you have to get the season finished so you play Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… This is crazy, this is absolutely crazy.”
The 10-game mark is often said to be the point when a division starts to take shape and despite being happy with seven wins and one draw from those matches, Lambert isn’t getting carried away with matches continuing to come thick and fast.
“Ten games is nothing,” he said. “We have Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, then to Crawley in the cup [on the next Tuesday] and then we have a free week because we were meant to play Blackpool and there are a couple of international things. I really don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s a tough schedule.”
Crewe manager David Artell felt his side were unfortunate having played very well but paid for not taking their opportunities.
“It was a terrific performance from us and we were outstanding at times, but if you don’t put the ball in the net then it can turn into a cruel afternoon and that is how it turned out," he said.
“There were a couple of great chances in the first half and we got ourselves in some great positions and it was just that final decision or execution. Tommy doesn’t need telling that he should have scored. He knows and he has to keep getting into those positions.
“There were loads and loads of those little moments when we just selected the wrong option which has resulted in zero points and zero goals for us.
“That’s the most disappointing thing because it is the first time we have been in League One for a while and have come to another huge club for this league and played them off the park really.
“But putting the ball in the back of the net is the name of the game. The only consolation is that if we play like that every week then we will win more games but we have to take those chances more often.
“That’s football, isn’t it? You sometimes win football matches when you don’t deserve to and lose them when you don’t deserve to and today was one those. The performance is one element of it but we know that we have to put the ball in the net.
“It’s about scoring goals and as much as I can wax lyrical about the performance but we have lost the game.”
He added: "We were flat on Tuesday [as they lost 1-0 at home to Lincoln] but we were much better today and if we had scored three or four goals then I don’t think there would have been many complaints, but we haven’t and we have to pick ourselves up and go again on Tuesday.”
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