|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.”
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