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Ipswich Town 0 v 3 Hull City
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 24th November 2020 Kick-off 19:00
Lambert: We Need to Be Nastier in Both Boxes
Tuesday, 24th Nov 2020 23:04

Boss Paul Lambert believes his side need to be more nasty in both boxes, the Blues having been beaten 3-0 by leaders Hull City at Portman Road despite having most of the ball.

Mallik Wilks put the visitors in front in the second minute, Josh Magennis made it two in first-half injury time and sub Tom Eaves made it three with 13 minutes left to end Town’s home league 100 per cent record.

“You can’t lose another goal early doors after two minutes,” Lambert said when asked for his assessment of the game. “But then after that we were so dominant with the ball.

“We had some really good moments, balls getting sent across the face of the goal, they defended really strongly. But the big thing for us is that we have to be more ruthless in both boxes. A bit too nice.”

Town had got themselves on top and were beginning to look dangerous when Magennis added Hull’s second goal just before the break, which Lambert felt was harsh on his side.

“On the way we played, it was. But, as I said, you can’t be too nice, and that’s probably our problem.”

He says it’s something his players will have to learn quickly: “And some of them are young. It’s OK saying ‘I made a bad pass’, it’s your job, it’s not a hobby.

“I always say that, it’s not a hobby. A hobby is when you’re 12 and 13, it’s a job and you’ve got to come out of that young player mode.”

Reflecting on the three goals, all of which looked preventable, he said: “The first one, obviously he cuts inside, it looked too easy for him to cut across the face of the goal.

“After that we played some good football, we looked really good and I thought we were knocking on the door more than they were at that time.

“The second goal, the ball just comes into the box and that was poor. The third goal took the sting out of it. It was a bad pass by Jack Lankester. When you have that dominance with the ball, you have to find your target with the ball. The goals weren’t good.”

He added: “I said to the guys at half-time, ‘We’re in control of the game, keep doing what you’re doing, but take the risk with the ball’.

“Even in the second half we had a lot of the ball, we were probing and trying to get through them, but you can’t legislate for a bad pass which puts you on the back foot and then it’s a goal. A big error, an individual error.”

Asked whether there was anything to worry about in the performance, with the Blues yet again falling short against a team from the division’s upper echelons, he added: “We lost a game. I don’t know the results [elsewhere], but we’re still a really good side, we’ll still be up there and we just have to learn from that.

“As I said before, we have to be nasty and I’m pretty sure some of the guys in there have to realise that football isn’t just an easy game, you’ve got to be nasty.”

Is he referring to the younger players? “Everybody, we have to be nasty, everybody. The younger guys have to realise as well what they play for. It’s OK saying we’re developing them, but they have to realise you have to win games.”

Despite the margin of the defeat, Lambert believes Town aren’t too behind the Tigers in some aspects of the game: “Not football-wise, no. And we’ve got a helluva lot of injuries at the minute. But that’s football.

“Football-wise I’m happy with how we’re dominating with the ball, we just need to be nasty in both boxes.”

One positive was the display of James Norwood, making only his second league start of the season.

“Yes, very good,” Lambert continued. “We took him off because he’s not done much and I didn’t want him to have the same problem he had, like Freddie [Sears].

“That was the only thing. But I said to him in there that that was the best he’s played under me, without a doubt. I’m really happy with how he played.

“He’s played so little James, he’s trained so little just because of the situation. We can’t take that risk in case anything happened with him again. That 75 minutes will do him the world of good.”

Lambert dismissed the suggestion that he might have switched to two up front in the second half.

“No, because we’re hopeless with two up top,” he said. “In my opinion we’re not as strong as what we are [playing 4-3-3].

“We don’t dominate the ball. Even though last year we were doing well, I didn’t think we were playing well enough to merit where we were, so no. We did put Kayden and Oli up there, but the whole philosophy remained.”

Asked what his message to fans concerned that this season might be going the same way as the last campaign - Town have lost six of their last nine in all competitions - he said: “What can I say? We try our best. We’re trying everything to win games. We got beaten in a game of football. There’s a long, long way to go. We have to try and keep winning.”

Town went into the game without Gwion Edwards, Teddy Bishop, Cole Skuse, Flynn Downes and Jon Nolan and lost Freddie Sears to an injury in the first half.

“We’re without a whole midfield,” Lambert reflected ruefully. “And now Freddie as well. But that’s football. I’m not making excuses, it happens

“We’ve lost some really good players but in this situation what can we do? We have so many games and guys are playing so many games, we’ve had eight games in 28 days, which is incredible.”

The Blues manager says it’s too early to tell how significant Sears’s injury might be: “I don’t know, his hamstring I think. I don’t know the extent of how it is. We’ll see what happens.”

Town will have Andre Dozzell back from his three-match ban for Saturday’s game against Charlton at Portman Road but says Edwards won’t be back from his hamstring problem.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll see anybody coming back from injuries.”

Regarding Bishop (ankle) and Nolan (groin), who suffered their injuries in the Shrewsbury game, Lambert says the former’s problem is the more significant of the two.

“Bish is out for a while,” he said. “Nolo, I don’t know how long. But Bish is out for a while.”

Saturday sees another top of the table clash at Portman Road with Charlton sixth following their 4-2 defeat at Burton and Town now fifth.

“Yes, that’s the thing, we’re up there,” Lambert said. “Charlton are up there.

“The two teams that got relegated, Hull are a strong team, kept most of their players from the Championship, that was a good team. Charlton will be a good team.”

Meanwhile, Lambert welcomed yesterday’s news that up to 4,000 fans will be able to attend games from the start of December.

“Like everybody else in the world, any sporting event you need fans to watch it, you need to feed off them, you need that adrenaline from them,” he said.

“With 4,000 in here, I don’t know how it’s going to look or how it’s going to be or where people go, but at least people will hopefully will start to come back because everybody needs it, every sporting event needs it.”

Hull City manager Grant McCann was delighted with his side's display.

“We had to be disciplined,” he told the Tigers' official site. “We came to a team that hadn’t lost here all season. They’d only conceded one goal, which was a penalty, in their last game against Shrewsbury.

“We knew we had to be good in terms of our defensive structure of the team.

“I thought we were excellent right from the start of the game to the last minute.

“The shape, the aggression in terms of our press, distances in the team were very good – that’s got us the result tonight.

“We’ve got players at the top end of the pitch who are in good form at this moment in time and can score goals and they’ve done it again for us tonight.”

Photo: TWTD

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Letchworth_Blue added 23:11 - Nov 24

BettyBlue added 23:13 - Nov 24

Lightningboy added 23:18 - Nov 24
Unfortunately lots of managers these days (ours included) seem to be obsessed with percentage stats rather than the important stat of putting the ball in the net more than the opposition.

Having more possession doesn’t mean you’ve controlled or dominated the play - especially when most of that possession is taken up by knocking the ball around from side to side in your own half & backwards to the keeper at almost every opportunity.

I hate this current “fad” in our beloved sport - it’s not just us that does it - it’s killing off the excitement of attacking play & I think a lot of clubs are only getting away with this style at the moment because there are no fans in the grounds to give them stick about it.

BettyBlue added 23:24 - Nov 24
All it does is give a very fit opposition more time to recover and be more dynamic when they've got the ball

Pezzer added 23:26 - Nov 24
Portsmouth had 29% possession against Crewe and won 4-0

MickMillsTash added 23:28 - Nov 24
We are without some key players - So set us up hard to beat - organise the defence - make sure the midfield know their defensive roles. Its not happening-The first time we come under pressure every week we concede- that's not bad luck its someone fault
There is little sign of coaching or organisation, there are gaps and mistakes everywhere, does the way we play suit the players we have or the league ?, I have no idea how we score goals when everyone is fit in this 451 set up let alone with who is available now ! Limited hope! - we were not good enough last season under Lambert when we had more players fit and nothing has changed.
The fans and I think the players know Lambert is Sh1te and for this reason - Lambert Out.

MattinLondon added 23:29 - Nov 24
F**k off Lambert. Thanks for the beer and bull s**t.

dominiciawful added 23:30 - Nov 24
Fück off, Lambert.

TimmyH added 23:50 - Nov 24
I wish Evans would be nastier and sack Lambert...we've gone nowhere under him for 2 years!

Bert added 00:47 - Nov 25
“We are hopeless with two up top”. Well, that’s it then. No plan B, just stick to playing it out from the back, lose the ball, pick the ball out of the net and then what ?

wkj added 00:56 - Nov 25
And we need you to sod off, as well as Evans' denial in needing to actually run the club.

hyperbrit added 00:57 - Nov 25
...when the ship runs aground don't blame the engine room (players) but the capt (Evans) and first officer (Lambert),but most of all Evans who is using Town as a tax write off and doesn't give a damn about Ipswich and never did.

Len_Brennan added 02:34 - Nov 25
He doesn't know what to do now; he has one idea, which isn't working & can't fathom how to respond now that he has been exposed. Even if we didn't have all our injuries, I have little confidence in our ability to win these crucial games, because the philosophy is wrong & we have no adaptability.
That he just rules out playing 2 up front in any circumstance, even when we are chasing a game & are toothless, is the most grievous comment of all. We should be able to switch from the 4-3-3 (which is a 4-5-1) to 4-4-2, or 3-5-2, or even 4-2-3-1, when required, depending on the circumstances of a game or strengths/weaknesses of certain opposition. To just rule it out & have only one way is playing, no matter what, is incompetence. Just like last season, teams have found us out & know how to play against us. We may get points against the poorer ones because we do have better quality players, but as our opposition continues to improve, we're going to get less & less competitive, just like last season.
It has never been more important to get out of this league, with the impact of the salary cap to be even harsher on us next season & so many of our good players likely to leave. With a good manager in now, certainly this side of Christmas, we will definitely make the playoffs at least & have a very strong chance of promotion - this is not a very strong league - but if Lambert is to remain, we have no chance of promotion & will face into a whole new world of pain next season.

Woodbridgian added 05:30 - Nov 25
The only place this club needs to be nastier Mr Lambert is in the boardroom and get rid you.

Suffolkboy added 06:24 - Nov 25
I’m afraid Mr L is not very convincing publicly,and one wonders how he manages other situations .
His remarks are sadly often rather off key, difficult to comprehend and turning from the vague to the vacuous : does he regard supporters as a mere adjunct ,useful but a hindrance ,or can he not find the time and words to explain,justify and help understand some highly compromised team and individual performances.
PL is certainly looking compromised and needs better results from his team : and soon !!

raycrawfordswig added 06:38 - Nov 25
You’re the Manager sort it out or Feck off.

Oldozblue added 06:42 - Nov 25
Norwich fans will tell you the football brain in the Lambert era there was Ian Culverhouse who is now performing minor miracles with Kings Lynn Town - a part time team in a mainly full time National League. They also got further than ITFC in this year's FA Cup. Lambert brought in Matt Gill from the Canaries academy. If he is first team coach, based on current shape and formation, another reason why we got the wrong man again from up the road.

SpiritOfJohn added 06:51 - Nov 25
Mr Lambert, it's not good enough for you to blame young Lankester for a misplaced pass, as the game was already lost at 2-0. If there is any fault with the players it looks like the senior pros are coming up short. At least Lankester and McGavin try to play the ball forwards occasionally. The main failure is with the formation, team selection and tactics and that is down to the manager. So if you want someone to blame it is time to start looking in the mirror.

BettyBlue added 07:15 - Nov 25
It's a NO from me.

norfolkbluey added 07:34 - Nov 25
The way PL is managing this club mirrors all the clubs he's been at recently. Basically since he left Norwich he's generally failed. Fact. I do think he works hard but repeating 'losing tactics' over and over is an indication of belligerence rather than effort. Basically he is has a one track mind. Under his management I can see us remaining in League one until he is gone. I think even Paul Hurst would have done better, who knows? ME made the biggest error of his life when he gave PL such a long contract. Really odd. ME must be having a really bad time in COVID like many and I cannot see him putting any more money into the club at present. In short we are stuffed with a one track manager, loads of injuries and slowly losing a grip on promotion. Depressing but this is a fact unless ME says enough is enough and before its too late and employs a new manager with new ideas. Eddie Howe is out of contract but would he be interested? You can only hope!

martin587 added 07:37 - Nov 25
Paul lambert this is all down to you and your staff.You get it wrong week after week then when it goes pear shaped you say it’s up to the players.WRONG it’s up to YOU.For a start you must play two strikers one is just so negative.At present due to injuries our midfield is so powder puff you need to play four across the middle and settle on a back four.Other than that leave and give this once great club a chance to breath again and give us supporters something to be proud of.PLEASE.

PortmanTerrorist added 08:18 - Nov 25
I don't dislike PL and appreciate some pride he has brought to the Club more generally, but on the field it is too poor to ignore.

My teenage son who has been dragged through the last 15 years of dross made a very rational, unemotive case, as to why we maybe got rid of Hurst too quickly. Is it possible that with more time and shipping out of a few of the players who refused to buy into his approach we would be better off? Given we have made literally Zero progress, the answer is yes.

PS: Understand the latest clamour to give Kieran Dyer a go, but we have begun to rebuild the Club behind the scenes and now we need to do so on the pitch. I hate looking back or returning to the past, but we now have an ethos without a playing style......George Burley would fix that in a month. George is likely not the long term answer but am very certain we would be playing football again rather than whatever that was last night.

boltzak added 08:19 - Nov 25
Any team can pass the ball around in there own half and pass it back. We didn’t create anything, negative football.

grow_our_own added 08:30 - Nov 25
"we’re hopeless with two up top" - Jesus. Football is about players more than formations, and your assessment of them is abysmal. Judge and Sears would fail to get into any other top side in this league, yet they are your stalwarts. Lankester should have started, and Dobra is on form, yet criminally ignored. Ultimately, you are in charge of sports science and training, so our atrocious injury record is also on you. I've a bad feeling about the next month because it appears this team has been carried by Edwards and Bishop. There's a good enough team in this 42(!) man squad to be promoted when fit and selected. But Lambert continually picks his crap favourites from among the legion of dross.

BettyBlue added 08:37 - Nov 25
How can you assemble a squad that can not go two up top?

That's your squad of 65 players, Paul.

Can't yo do anything with Norwood or Jackson? Is that how poor a coach you are.

And its not if you didn't know our limitations.

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