Lambert: Confidence is No Problem
Friday, 27th Nov 2020 12:46
Town manager Paul Lambert says there’s no problem with confidence in his squad, despite the fifth-placed Blues having lost six of their last nine matches in all competitions, the latest Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat to League One leaders Hull City.
Lambert has said throughout the season that he is keen for his players to take risks, something which can adversely be affected by a lack of confidence.
However, despite recent results, Lambert insists that’s not an issue for his players at the present time.
“Confidence is no problem,” he said. “No problem whatsoever. Even the game the other night, we lost a goal early and after that, we dominated the game.
“Then we lost a crazy goal just before half-time but taking the ball and passing it, absolutely no problem.
“That’s one thing I’ll never tell them to stop doing because for their own careers, regardless of what happens, you have to take the ball and you have to pass it.
“If you want to get to the top level, you have to take it and pass it. And they’re all the better for it without a doubt, and they’re better players for it.”
He says if something doesn’t come off, players have to keep their heads up and try something again.
“Keep going, keep doing it and don’t turn away from it,” he said. “Don’t just go to a long ball team or anything like that, don’t do that.
“Because, as I said before, they’ll be better players for it. And you’ll take the ball in areas where maybe before you were quite reluctant to take it. And I always think taking the ball like that is bravery.
“So it doesn’t matter, you keep doing it and you keep doing it you don’t turn away from it.”
One of the criticisms levelled at Town is that while they dominate possession, they largely do so in unthreatening areas of the pitch with the Blues creating few real chances. Town are currently 13th in a League One Expected goals table and have scored more than once in only one of their last seven league games.
“I think we get into really good areas and that becomes individual decision-making,” Lambert said.
“Whether they play one-twos or get good crosses into the box or have shots at the goal. That's decision-making which we've spoken to the guys about regarding that risk factor.
“We work it really well in great areas, the other night against Hull we had really great areas to deliver really good balls, but that comes as individual decision-making.
“So they've got to recognise that themselves. But as I said before the great thing is the guys recognise it, they recognise what's been missing.”
He added: “What we do know is that we’re dominating games, that’s where the ruthlessness comes into it in both boxes.
“When you get the chances you have to take them because they’re getting balls across the box, we’re getting good play around about the box but you have to be a risk-taker or take the chances.
“And when the ball comes into your box you have to defend it because when you’re having that much dominance of the ball, you have to be ready for a team to hit you on the counter or trying something different. It’s both boxes and the lads recognise that.”
After Tuesday’s defeat to the Tigers he said his team needs to be nastier in both boxes.
“Yes, because we’re really nice on the eye and we play some really good football, but you’ve got to be ruthless in box boxes. That’s the game," he explained.
“Football-wise I’m really happy with how they play football, but the guys recognise that themselves because we ask them and their opinion is the same, which is good.
“So if everybody is singing off the same hymn sheet then you know they’re not too far away from clicking really.
“But, as I said before, they’re three points off second place with a game in hand, and there’s a helluva long to go so we’re in a really good position at the minute, no stress really.”
Lambert used a 4-3-3 system this season, does he see times within games when he might switch to another formation?
“So, good observation there. So I flip it between the two of them and the great thing is I can do that, and I can rotate, they all move around the guys in the middle of the pitch. The problem we've got is the midfield has been wiped out basically.
“The forward guys are all back, we've got four centre forwards, wide guys are out, Gwion [Edwards] and Freddie [Sears], so we don't have too many wide guys.
“Young Jack [Lankester] has done great to get back just playing, but he's played again on Saturday for the best part of 70 minutes and he's done it again the other night.
“We've got to watch him as I said before because he's not quite up to real speed of where we want to get him, but he's done great to get back.
“We have to keep on improving and keep trying and when the younger guys come into the team because of the injury situation that has to happen.”
Asked whether there would come a point where he might start with two up front, having said after Tuesday’s defeat “we’re hopeless with two up top”, he added: “Well, we did that the other night when Kayden [Jackson] came on and Oli [Hawkins] was on so we did it the other night.”
Meanwhile, the Blues are still training within the pandemic-imposed restrictions with the dressing rooms and canteen out of bounds.
“We don’t change in the building, we don’t shower, we’re in the dome [at the back of the training ground].
“It’s freezing cold. We don’t have breakfast where we’d normally have it, we don’t have lunch where we normally have it, we’re in a dome where it’s freezing, it’s not normal.
“We have to come in our training clothes and go home soaking wet or whatever it is in the cars. Things like that.
“But that’s football I guess at this moment in time, we’re still one of the clubs that’s in a dome, it’s a really strange situation for us.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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