Lambert: Senior Players Are an Easy Target
Friday, 27th Nov 2020 11:58
Boss Paul Lambert believes senior players are easy targets for criticism with young players often protected when the going gets tough for a team.
Many fans have viewed Lambert’s comments regarding young players to have been too harsh this season.
Luke Woolfenden was told he needed to “start to get going and start to perform” in pre-season, a number of youngsters were left out of the first-team photo session and more recently the Blues boss was less than glowing when speaking about Brett McGavin’s performance against Shrewsbury, only the midfielder’s second league start.
Asked about those comments and whether the older players need to be held to similarly high standards, Lambert responded: “The senior lads are an easy target, they are an easy target for everybody. And that's the wrong thing to do.
“The senior lads need the young lads and the young lads need the senior lads, that's normal.
“We had a chat and we singled out a few of the older lads yesterday as well privately because it wasn't good enough with the goals, which is fine, but the older guys are an easy target.
“Young guys always get protected, always. I was a young guy myself and when I made horrendous errors, the guy next to me got the blame because he's older and that's wrong because you're in a team.
“It's very easy for younger players to hide behind older players and say ‘They’re older’, but no, that’s not the way it works.
“You have to take responsibility. If you're in a man’s world and you're playing professional football, you can’t be young. Young now is maybe 16 or 17, but when you hit your 18, 19 or 20s you start to become a little bit different, or you should be looked upon a little bit different.
“So I think that's an easy target to blame older guys and it's a team and anybody that knows me, I've never been an individual where I always think about myself or anything like that, it's the team that is the most important thing.”
Asked whether Armando Dobra, who was surprisingly left out of the 18 for Tuesday’s game and travelled with the U23s to Bristol City instead, despite the lack of central midfield players, is in with a shout of a some first team involvement soon, Lambert said: “He has to keep playing as well as he possibly can.
“I've watched the kids play and the younger kids really turn my eye when I go and watch them training. That's when it comes to me, ‘Okay this kid is really doing well’.
“Liam Gibbs is doing fantastically well, Elkan Baggott has been excellent, the kids have jumped to it.
“I watched the kids [U18s] on Monday night in the FA Youth Cup [when they won 5-0 at Chelmsford] and that level for some of them is too easy, so we have to say ‘Okay, too easy for them we need to move them up’, and those kids are doing great.
“Dobs is doing well and he's only young, he's only a baby in terms of football and he's going to go up and down, up and down, but you've got to really push for me to go ‘Okay let's have a look’.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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