|Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Shrewsbury Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 21st November 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: We Kept Knocking and Got the Rewards
Saturday, 21st Nov 2020 18:53
Town boss Paul Lambert felt his side got the rewards for keeping going as they came from behind to beat Shrewsbury 2-1 at Portman Road with Jack Lankester netting the winner in the seventh minute of injury time.
The Blues had gone behind to Oliver Norburn’s fourth-minute penalty before Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s own goal levelled prior to Lankester’s late, late header.
“A hard game, it becomes even harder when a team just sits everybody behind the ball,” Lambert said when asked his assessment of the match.
“But all credit to the guys, we kept on knocking and knocking and knocking and got the rewards.
“There was a lot of time-wasting out there, but all credit to them, they kept going, kept going. Shrewsbury gave us a lot of respect, put everybody behind the ball, they got a goal which gave them something to hang on to.
“But all credit to the guys, they kept on going. They had a lot of the ball and sometimes, I can remember playing in games like that myself, and when you have so much of the ball it becomes tough, but you just keep working on it and keep grinding them down, and that’s what they did.”
Asked whether he believed his team weren’t at their best, Lambert said: “Aye but I spoke at Sunderland, we were excellent. At Lincoln, we were really good, but we won today and we lost those two games when we played really well, so you take it.”
But he conceded that the team weren’t up to the levels of previous matches: “Because of the standard we’ve set, absolutely, because we’ve played that well.
“But a sign of a really good side is when you win and you’ve got to overcome obstacles. Shrewsbury came and sat everybody behind the ball, made it difficult. It was five at the back at times, then they went to four, they got the goal, it gave them something to hang on to.
“Credit to the guys, they kept on going and going and going. I’ve been involved in a million games where that happens, the thing is you have to come out with a win.”
The Blues boss agreed that a sign of a decent side is winning even when not playing particularly well.
“That’s exactly it, but we still deserved to win the game in my opinion,” he insisted. “We didn’t deserve to lose that game because we had so much of the ball.
“They tried to hurt us on the counter a little bit and we should have scored a couple at least anyway. I’m happy how the guys are doing.”
Regarding Lankester’s winning goal, he added: “Really good, a kid that’s not played much football in the last couple of years due to his back injury.
“He scored against Sunderland in the last league game we had and should have scored another one up there.
“But it was a good goal. All credit to them because it’s never easy when a team comes and parks everybody behind the ball.”
Quizzed on whether he felt Town had to win today against the third-bottom Shrews with the games against new leaders Hull City and fifth-placed Charlton up next, Lambert responded: “No, I didn’t wake up this morning and think to myself ‘I need to win a game of football’.
“It’s not one game of football that’s going to decide anything, it’s over the course of the 46 games. I enjoy my life.”
Prior to the game Lambert had said two players had picked up knocks in training and those turned out to be Gwion Edwards and Oli Hawkins, while James Wilson has also suffered an injury.
“Gwion won’t be ready [for Tuesday’s game agains Hull]. Oli, we’ll see how he is, he’s doing OK. James Wilson won’t be available. But that’s due to everything that’s going on.
“James hurt his knee in training on Tuesday, Gwion as well, he hurt his hamstring on Tuesday. Those two will be out definitely.
“Gwion’s done really well but you have to get your head round it that if somebody gets injured, you can’t dwell on it, that’s the way things are working at the minute.
“Oli’s had a little bit of a problem with his knee, but he’s OK. His groin was a little bit of a problem, but that’s cleared up. He’s a lot better, so hopefully he’ll be available for Tuesday.”
And during the game Town lost two more midfielders, Jon Nolan and Teddy Bishop to injuries with both seemingly out of Tuesday’s match.
“That’s football, that’s what happens, we’ll have to wait and see how they are tomorrow,” Lambert said.
“It’s Jon’s groin. As I’ve said before, you’re going to get all this stuff. They’re playing game after game in a short space of time, that’s what’s going happen.
“Bish’s problem is his ankle, it looked like somebody stood on the back of his foot. It looks a bad one. We'll wait and see on him too.”
Better news was that Aaron Drinan, who has been out since the Wigan game in September with a thigh problem, was involved in a workout on the pitch prior to the match. However, Lambert says no one should get too carried away about the Irish U21 international’s return.
“He’s only trained twice, Thursday and Friday and then trained a bit today,” he said. “He’s been out for a number of weeks, so we can’t say to Aaron ‘Come back in’. Aaron’s come from nowhere at the start of the season, no one expected him.
“I don’t want everybody to think that’s going to be the answer. It’s not. The kid’s come in and done really well but people shouldn’t get too carried away, he’s still a kid.”
Asked whether his team need to step up their level from today’s display against the high-flying Tigers on Tuesday, Lambert said: “Aye, great observation that. I wish you were more positive when we do well.
“If you want to go down that road, where are we in the league? We won the game, it’s difficult when a team parks everybody behind the ball. Maybe Hull will come and give us a game, which will be good but tough game.
“They’ve just been relegated, they’re a good side, a tough side, strong side. Charlton’s the same, tough games. But we won a game of football.”
Does he expect other teams to learn a lesson from Shrewsbury and stick everybody behind the ball?
“They might do, but I can’t prepare anyone’s team for them,” he said. “I have to concentrate on one team. The guys have been absolutely brilliant for me since they’ve come back, really good.
“I’m really pleased with how they’re playing with the ball, really happy with how they’re having a lot of the ball, a lot of probing, a lot of endeavour, everything I’m asking them to do.
“At times we won’t play well, at times we’ll lose, but as long as we keep doing those same things I’m happy.”
Questioned on whether he was happy with Brett McGavin’s performance, the 20-year-old having come in for his second league start for the suspended Andre Dozzell, Lambert said: “He must be a favourite of yours because you wax lyrical about him all the time! My standard is maybe a little bit different to yours.
“I think there are good things there, I think there are some things he’s got to get 100 times better with.
“But the kid came in and played a good game. He’s got big shoes to fill to come in, but he’s got a really good range of passing, I think he’s better than he showed today. But that’s what we’ve got in that position behind Dozzell, apart from Cole Skuse who isn’t going to be available for another couple of months. I need a passer in there and, as I said yesterday, Brett’s as close to Dozzell as we’ve got.”
Town have gone from having so many midfielders that half of them are watching games from the stands to the point where it seems likely McGavin, Emyr Huws, Alan Judge and Jack Lankester are the only senior players available for Tuesday. But Lambert says that’s not entirely a surprise to him.
”I said at the time that in this situation where games are coming thick and fast, you need [plenty of] players,” he said.
“The number of injuries that people are getting are more than you’ve seen before. That’s football, that’s part and parcel of the game.”
Shrews manager Sam Ricketts felt his team should have been awarded more penalties than just the early one converned by Norburn.
“We had stonewall penalties dismissed and we were only awarded one," he told his club's official website.
“Ninety-eight per cent of the game was very good but the goals we gave away were very, very poor.
“You can’t give goals away like that, they were poor. I’d also like to see their winning goal to check for offside because I think it was.
“I don’t think an away team has scored a goal here in the league. We got that goal and should have scored more.
“We had some very good opportunities to score and I think Ipswich were very lucky to win the game today.
“The goals came from individual errors today and you can’t legislate for that. No player means to make mistakes but both goals are easily avoidable.
“The performances deserved more. We looked solid and looked dangerous on the break. There was so much good but we’ve undone ourselves with two mistakes.”
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