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Crawley Town 2 v 0 Ipswich Town
Papa John's Trophy
Tuesday, 10th November 2020 Kick-off 19:00
Lambert Proud of Young Team
Tuesday, 10th Nov 2020 22:33

Town boss Paul Lambert was proud of his young team’s performance despite the Blues having fallen to a 2-0 Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Crawley at the Broadfield Stadium.

Brian Galach netted a goal in each half for the League Two side to put Town out of the competition at the group stage.

Lambert gave debuts to Dylan Crowe and Levi Andoh from the start, while Tommy Smith, Allan Viral, Zanda Siziba and Ross Crane their full Blues bows and 16-year-old Jack Manly and Zak Brown also made their first senior appearances from the bench.

“I really enjoyed that, I really, really enjoyed the game,” Lambert said. “I enjoyed their movement, I enjoyed the way they played. We were so good with the ball, there were some really good performances. I’m really proud of them.

“I just said to them in there, I just asked them their ages, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. The way they played was fantastic.”

He says the performance bodes well for the future of the club: “That is the secret. I keep hearing a lot of things, people saying results, results, results. But you’ve got to see beyond that at times and the protection of the club and the longevity of it. Hopefully it saves the club some money.

“There are some really good players there, really good, it’s just developing them. We only worked with the kids yesterday and, honestly, I thought we were great.

“We took the ball every time, they played through the middle, they went up to the front, they made things happen, they had a lot of the ball.

“The thing that beat us was a bit of physicality, which is fine. But performance-wise, really good.”

He added: “The first goal was against the run of play. We’d all the game, we’d dominated the ball. Performance-wise, as I said before, we had kids in there, some of them can’t get a game with the U18s.

“Wee Jack Manly for example is 16, the young kid’s come in and done great. I thought he did really well when he came on.

“All the other guys, I could go through them all, Zanda Siziba in the middle of the pitch, dear oh dear, that was top class.

“Right from the off [he was top class], I think the first pass he gave away was right at the death, a first class performance.

“Really pleased with how we played. That’s not an easy way to play but they took to it, we worked with them yesterday and I’m really proud of them.”

Lambert felt his team presented more of a threat in the second half: “We did, we forced it but they were tiring. When you’ve moved the ball as quickly as that teams get tired and it’s hard for them to keep that up so I knew we’d start to get in behind, it was a matter of wearing them down and I’m pretty sure if you ask their lads that was a shift.”

The Blues boss says most of tonight’s team have done little training alongside the senior players.

“Jack’s in bed by five!” he joked. “He’s the second-youngest player you say? I first saw him train with the kids last year or the year before and I saw this little kid and I thought he looked a decent little footballer.

“I was actually going to play him at Colchester last year but he was injured or unwell and Tawanda Chirewa came in at that time. So I knew a bit about him because I’d seen him at night.

“It just having the bravery to play them. As I said before, I needed a manager myself to do that and throw me in at that time. And he was great.

“Zanda in the middle of the pitch, Gibbo [Liam Gibbs], really good, Allan Viral, really good. Honestly, I’m really, really happy with how we played.”

Asked whether he was disappointed to go out of the competition, he reflected: “Disappointed to lose but the bigger picture is that if I can see by everything, which I do, I’ve got to see by things that are happening. If I see kids playing like that, the future of the club could be really, really good.”

He is disappointed that the youngsters won’t get any more games in the tournament this season.

“Aye, that’s it,” he said. “And the other thing is, we’ve got so many injuries back home. An unbelievably small group trained this morning, a small group need to train tomorrow.

“We can’t take a risk with anybody. We’ve got three games in a week coming up. We’re playing really well and I need to try and get them back to full fitness.”

Town now have a rare weekend and midweek off before they face Shrewsbury at Portman Road a week on Saturday allowing the players a much needed rest.

“I think they need it,” he said. “Listen, I hear every manager on TV talking about the injuries they’re getting. They’re in the same boat. It’s a tough schedule. We’re the same, we’re getting knocks and injuries and things like that, so we have to be really careful.

“There were a lot of eyebrows raised when I named the team, but I knew in the back of my mind how they’d perform for me. Brilliant, it’s my responsibility and they’ve been great.”

Asked whether it was senior players who raised their eyebrows regarding the selection, he said: “No, no the first team guys were great, because they were carrying knocks. What I meant was people saying ‘Hang on, that team’s a bit young’, people getting frightened we were coming here and we’d get beaten by six, seven or eight.

“But I knew it wouldn’t happen because I had the feeling, the feeling was good, that the guys would give me everything.

“The way they played, the movement, the rotation, the passing the ball, the speed of the ball, 17-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 18, year-olds.”

Town were again unfortunate with a refereeing decision or two with Crawley appearing to have escaped what looked a penalty when a cross struck a player on the arm in the area.

Asked what he thought of the official, Sam Purkiss from London, Lambert laughed ruefully and moved on to the decisions which frustrated the Blues against Portsmouth on Saturday.

“I spoke to Mike Jones over the weekend and I didn’t even need to say anything,” he said. “Mike had seen the decision, the offside goal and he just apologised. That’s the way it goes.”

Town will be fined £5,000 for fielding the young team having transgressed the competition’s selection rules, as they did against Gillingham.

“But we also got the fine back when we beat Gillingham,” Lambert pointed out, the club having received £10,000 for that victory.

“And that’s not what it’s about, it’s about these kids developing into footballers for the football club because I was brave enough to throw them in and get them to play my way, which is great.

“The performance was great against a League Two side, kids that are fluctuating between their age groups, getting games in the U18s, not getting games. It was an incredible performance, the way they played. I’m really proud of them.”

He added: “The football club was built on homegrown guys, Terry Butcher, Russell Osman, Mick Mills, all those guys, the club had people coming through, the team in 2000 too.

“I’ll never know unless I’m brave enough to throw them in. And that’s why I throw them in because you’ve got to see whether they can do it. They looked so mature, the youngest was 16, others were 18, 17, Zanda is 17. Every one of them I’m proud of how they played.”

Quizzed on whether any particular player caught his eye, Lambert kept his counsel: “I know in my own head but the general performance, they were taking the ball, working their guys, they were looking dead on their feet at certain times. The way they played, they did themselves proud, they did their families proud.”

Will he lose any sleep about exiting the competition? “No, I will sleep well because of the future if these kids can keep progressing, keep a level head and their feet on the ground. That makes me proud. That’s what this competition does.

“They should have sacrificed it for one season because they’ve not played last year’s final yet. To ask players to go Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday is tough. We had a really small group training today, we had 10 or 11 guys on training.”

Lambert says he will be giving the squad some time off with the weekend being free of a fixture: “We train tomorrow and then I’ll decide tomorrow from there. They’ll be getting a few days off.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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Linkboy13 added 22:46 - Nov 10
Playing against Crawley Reserves I'd expect at least one player to stand out they didn't pretty poor if you ask me.

Pilgrimblue added 23:01 - Nov 10
He's deluded. Losing to a L2 reserves team takes some doing, he sent the wrong team to Coventry!
He's now given himself a tough task. Just one competition to focus on so no more excuses no more distractions to get 1st team winning. Maybe it's his best chance but I'm not sure as recent games have shown too many inconsistences so not expecting any improvements against top teams. it's all very well blaming bad officials but in the end of the day it's about winning. Not sure he knows how, so hoping he proves me wrong.

Carberry added 23:12 - Nov 10
Of course, it was all about him being brave.

ArnieM added 23:19 - Nov 10
Are we all missing something here ?? I mean PL seems to “ see” something us fans don’t . I’d love to be wrong and PL proved to be right but I’m just not convinced anymore.

Also, I get sick of hearing how good our young players are, yet rarely do we see them make it all the way through to the first team do we. Example. Dobra. El Mizoumi. All we do is get them so far then either farm them out on loan or they get nicked from under us by a PL club for sod all money.

dominiciawful added 23:40 - Nov 10
Such a sh!t manager.

liamlar76 added 23:56 - Nov 10
Why are we bothered about PL's ego here? If the kids had won and we were through its another game we don't need? Let's concentrate on the important things here, getting out of League 1.

I'm no PL fan but let's get a grip here folks. Playing the kids was the right thing to do in a competition which is pointless.

eddiespearitt03 added 00:25 - Nov 11
How can Lambert try and promote a good feeling for Ipswich supporters after losing very recently to Doncaster/Lincoln/Sunderland and early exit from two cup competitions. Lambert just can,t appreciate what a supporter has had to endure under Marcus Evans. The poor football and repetitive post match interviews over the last 10/11 years. The very fact that there is no interest in cup games anymore sends out a message it is ok to lose because it saves money and more workload. Supporters well used to defeats by lower league clubs which underpins the apathy at this club year after year. Little wonder we don,t hear much from Marcus Evans these days.

bomber21 added 00:47 - Nov 11
He has definitely lost the plot now,for the sake of his sanity someone please have a word in his ear,these interviews are bordering on the ridiculous,this is taking the supporters for absolute mugs.

Saxonblue74 added 07:04 - Nov 11
Not an important game, and not an important result. For so long we've been calling for fewer "quick fix" loan moves in order to promote some longevity in the squad, maybe even a future! We cannot afford to give these kids game time in the league as promotion is too important, so tin pot cup games are the only option. Of course Lambert is going to publicly praise their performance, confidence at 16, 17 18yrs old is important. As much as they didn't set the world alight they also didn't have any disasters. The only thing I take issue with is that they may "save the club some money"? If these kids make it and become more successful than the club then they will leave/be sold.

norfolkbluey added 07:27 - Nov 11
The boys did well last night and I mean boys. I don't necessarily agree with PlL all the time but it was an opportunity for him to see players of the future coming through. However the club needs to start getting back to winning games convincingly and I don't see it at present. Goals are the end product of a successful teams play. We just haven't seen that recently. Too much sideways and back passing and getting caught in possession. We are not a premiership team and it is not the way out of this division unfortunately. We have some really good players but something is lacking up front from our forwards. Perhaps it will come but unless it does soon slipping down the table is inevitable. A good rest and tactical planning is a must in the coming ten days.

slade1 added 07:31 - Nov 11
Some people on here are so deluded, its embarrassing.
I agree with everything Lambert has said about the boys, everyone put in a good shift and can be proud of themselves.
Our team was mainly teenagers, and we were playing Crawley reserves. Credit where credits due. Well done lads for stepping up and getting more experience.

BettyBlue added 07:33 - Nov 11
Why didn'r we play a team good enough to beat Crawlwy reserves.

Paul, you have the biggest squad in Lg 1 . Have you fogotten how to win?
What are the youngster going to do for the rest of the seasoin? Benchwaem or loan?

Paul Lambert you are a disgrace. Lost 5 games on the trot.

Zack him now.

slade1 added 07:35 - Nov 11
Which 5 games are they Betty?

delias_cheesy_flaps added 07:45 - Nov 11
You have to be deluded to think we will get promoted with Lambert.....the worst long serving manager in ITFC history by a country mile.

keighleyblue added 07:55 - Nov 11
Some dumb comments on here, as per. ah well.

Len_Brennan added 08:01 - Nov 11
"I keep hearing a lot of things, people saying results, results, results. But you’ve got to see beyond that at times"
- I think I'm almost at the point of seeing the flaw in PL's plan for success.

MonkeyAlan added 08:28 - Nov 11
Just go Lambert. Clueless. They may have been young, but that was Crawley reserves. Our youngsters should have been too good for them. Evans you are a muppet.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 08:40 - Nov 11
And you just added one Keighleyblue

coolhand added 08:48 - Nov 11
PL. The best thing for the development of young talent, the supporters, M E. The football club as a whole is to win matches like last night. I’m sure that at least 3/4 first team players are fit enough to play 2 games a week and that might have turned defeat into a much needed boost by winning last night

ChrisFelix added 10:28 - Nov 11
Must be grateful that the Blackpool game planned for this weekend was played early. However i remain positive because the league games at Lincoln & Sunderland were decided by very poor officials. Should have drawn both. But needs to play his best team & ensure the ball is more in the opponents box then ours

BlueandTruesince82 added 10:37 - Nov 11
It was our under 18s vs their reserves cut them all somw slack.

I think getting them out was a good idea. Need to blood these kids ready for next year cox there will be a fire sale after we miss promotion

OldClactonBlue added 11:10 - Nov 11
It's fine to give young players experience, I regularly quote George Burley et al starting out. But they didn't play with boys, they played alongside experienced players who helped them establish themselves. The only time they played together was in the Youth side.
It seems crazy to me that with no games this weekend that a number of squad players didn't have play in this game.

Orraman added 11:26 - Nov 11
We played really really well. The boys were top class. Dear oh dear. So predictable. Yes the young lads did the best they could and congratulations to them for getting a senior game. However apart from under 21 games that is the last we will hear from them until next season's Papa John cup when they will be rolled out again. There were a few senior players like Wilson or Dozzel who could have played tonight as not required for league action and they could have passed on their experience during match play to the youngsters

BettyBlue added 11:31 - Nov 11
Lamberty for Manager of the Month

Razor added 11:33 - Nov 11
I dont care how old you are the style of football and the way you play comes from the manager and last night was a horror show.

Two points illuminate this perfectly:

For their second goal their won the ball (easily) in mid-field went straight ahead and put a lovely FORWARD pass through that split our defence and the guy smashed the ballin from an angle.

We are looking for a goal and get a free kick on the half way line and the ball goes back yo our keeper-----nuff said.

Evans it is obvious you know nothing about football but replace this man now as we are going nowhere with him-----give EDDIE HOWE a call, he plays the game in the right way and must now be fresh and raring to go.

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