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Ipswich Town 0 v 2 Portsmouth
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 12th December 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: You Can't Just Play Football With the Ball, You Have to Do the Other Side First
Saturday, 12th Dec 2020 18:44

Town boss Paul Lambert admitted his side never played well during their 2-0 home defeat to Portsmouth, Ryan Williams having netted both the visitors’ goals in the first half.

“We never deserved it, we never played well,“ Lambert said. “Maybe after 15 minutes or so when Dobs, who I thought had a good game, does well and made the goalkeeper make a save but other than that we never did the other side [of the game].

“You can’t play a game of football without doing the other side first. Once you do the other side first, everything else follows suit and if you don’t do that, ultimately you lose.”

How do the players change that, is it a case of improving aspects of the game like competing and winning more 50/50s?

“The guys know that, we spoke about it,” he said. “That was a good thing, you can’t just play football with the ball, you have to do the other side first.

“And if you do the other side first you tend to find things will fall into place. Today we never did the other side.”

Lambert didn’t emerge for his post-match press conference until 5.30pm, much later than usual. Asked if there had been harsh words in the dressing room, he said: “To an extent, to an extent. Listen, we need players back as well, that’s important. Yes, there were harsh words and also some common sense words but we never deserved to win.”

Given the quality of the opposition, Town couldn’t afford to put in a display as lacklustre as today’s.

“Any game, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against,” Lambert said when that was put to him. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing against, you have to earn the right to win any game of football.

“If you think you can just turn up and things are going to happen, without doing the other side of the game, and I mean being aggressive, intense, so hyped up in your own self, taking responsibility in your own self, you ain’t going to win many games.”

Town once again fell well short against a side towards the top of the table and are still to defeat anyone in the top nine in the division.

“We have to beat the top teams,” the Blues boss admitted. “We have to get our big players back. We’re going to need a magic wand to get those guys back because it’s important.

“We need them back, Teddy Bishop, Flynn Downes, Cole Skuse, you need that engine room back. And at the minute it’s not coming back any time soon.”

Town’s record when playing against sides in the top 10 in the last two seasons - in last year's final table and as the division stands at present - makes chastening reading, with only three wins from 25 fixtures.

“We need to be better but we need the guys back, without a doubt,” Lambert continued. “You’ve seen Portsmouth, they’re a team of men. We’ve got young lads in there as well. They’re doing everything [they can] and that will do them good for the future but at the moment it’s hard for them, they need a bit of help from the guys coming back. If Bishop and Downes come back, it’s a different animal.”

Is he worried the season might trail off with the Blues down to sixth but with three of the four teams directly below them having played fewer games?

“Well, we can’t [let it],” he said. “As I said, there have been harsh words in the dressing room on that side of it. You cannot let it trail [off], without a doubt.

“We’re still in the mix, there are so many games left to play. If we get the bigger ones back to crack on but you cannot turn up thinking you’re going to win a game of football playing like that.”

Quizzed on whether the players had their say in the dressing room afterwards, he added: “Yes, they know. Everybody knows, everybody says things, everybody hears it, everybody knows what’s going on and sometimes you need that.

“You definitely need that. Before you wake up and the horse has bolted, you need to realise what you’re involved in.”

There were boos at the end of both halves from the 2,000 fans returning to Portman Road after nine months away.

“Everybody pays a lot of money and during what’s happened, the pandemic, you can’t grumble because we lost, we didn’t play well, you can’t grumble, you just have to get on with it and move on to the next game,” Lambert said when asked about the booing.

“It’s not nice for anybody but that’s football. Can you imagine if it was a full house. It’s a little bit different, or you’re playing in front of 60 or 70,000 people then it’s who’s got the biggest cajones, as I call it.”

Town have a chance to get back to winning ways very quickly with Burton Albion at Portman Road on Tuesday.

“That’s it but if we play like that, we’ll lose again, that’s the reality of it,” Lambert admitted. “Hopefully Tuesday everybody regroups, maybe we will get one or two back, I don’t know if they’re ready.”

Jon Nolan rejoined the injured list having picked up a knock in the first half but Lambert isn’t sure how serious the problem is.

“I don’t know if it’s his calf or hip or anything like that, I don’t know how bad it is,” he said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Lambert had praise for Armando Dobra’s performance, the Albanian U21 international how having started the last three league games.

“He did well, I thought he did really well, energy, tenacity, all those sort of things. I thought he was one of the bright sparks,” he said.

Lambert’s double second-half substitution also drew boos with Kayden Jackson swapped for Aaron Drinan.

“Kayden, as I said to you before, we’ve got to really watch him, he’s missed a helluva lot of games and we can’t afford another injury,” he said. “We have to watch and protect him because we’re playing three games a week.

“Aaron hurt himself the other week so we’ve got to watch him. Oli Hawkins has not played many games and James Norwood is obviously out. There are that many games and nobody coming in to help at this moment.

“Young Tyreece Simpson is out injured at the moment, so out Aaron on. Dobs I thought was playing well anyway. I thought Aaron needed a bit of game time, Oli came on. It’s just what we think is the right thing to do.”

The booing fans wanted to see the Blues move to two up front, as they did during last week’s 2-1 win at Plymouth, but that isn’t the way Lambert wants his side to play.

“I don’t want to go to route one because you’ve got Oli up there and just launch it from back to front,” he said. “That was one of the arguments when I first came in - we play 4-4-2, we bang it up front, it’s boring, it’s not good football.

“We try to play a different way and that’s the philosophy we try and play. When you change your shape to 4-4-2 it can become really, really ragged. That’s why Aaron came on and as I say, Kayden I’ve got to watch.”

Photo: TWTD

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BlueandTruesince82 added 18:45 - Dec 12
Lambert out

Dear_oh_Dear added 18:45 - Dec 12
Lambert out

martin587 added 18:47 - Dec 12
Your the manager so they follow your instructions I presume so if that’s the case you’ve lost the plot.Just go now.

Pencilpete added 18:48 - Dec 12
At least he actually admitted we were cr@p today.

I'll take that as the only positive today .....

Oh .... good luck to the 2000 poor sods who have got tickets for Burton, I didn't apply and wont be - at least I can turn the laptop off !!!

TractorCam added 18:49 - Dec 12

ArnieM added 18:51 - Dec 12
Cheerio Lambo 👋

Bert added 18:53 - Dec 12
You don’t have to play hoof ball playing with two up front ! Ask the players.

airliner added 18:54 - Dec 12
I didn’t think I would say this but Lambert needs to go, his playing out from the back is not working it’s a joke. Play 4/4/2

itfc1108 added 18:55 - Dec 12
I think to do the other side of the game, the tracking back, and things without the ball, you do need your own motivation to an extent, but you need a manager who you're prepared to run through brick walls for, and we don't have that.

billlm added 18:56 - Dec 12
Il give him that press conference at least he's had a go at them also not sugar coated, we were great brilliant, if we had the personal I like 433, we don't so to keep on track it's 442 mr lambert,

blue_enough added 18:57 - Dec 12
The fact is, having Edwards and Bishop back scoring a few goals just papers over Lambert's complete inability to manage a football team.

The problems are deep rooted - but so many managers would be competing at a much higher standards with our team, injuries or not


Pezzer added 18:57 - Dec 12
If Lambert thinks playing one up front at home is acceptable then he doesn't understand what the club and supporters expect from our team, it would even appear to fail to meet one of the requirements of Evans 5 Point Plan. He doesn't appear to know how to get things going, is afraid of playing two up, and still doesn't seem able to get a settled team, an attractive style of play and a pleasing formation. He came into the club espousing how he understood what was needed, the legacy of Bobby Robson and the style of play and now he is playing one up.....

Mark added 19:00 - Dec 12
Bitterly disappointing to fail again against one of our rivals, and to be so far short of their standard. Not good enough.

We know Jackson on his own up front doesn't work, so why do we keep doing it? We can surely play Drinan or Hawkins with him without going long ball.

After the other clubs play their games in hand we will probably be the lowest placed club our size in England, besides Bolton.

BettyBlue added 19:00 - Dec 12
100 games and nothing to show for it.

you are the weakest link .........

prebbs007 added 19:01 - Dec 12
Are you still here ? FFS !!!

midastouch added 19:04 - Dec 12
He's a lean mean losing machine.

Chris_Knights added 19:18 - Dec 12
Same rationale for defeat for the last two seasons.... poor goals to concede ..... well sort it out muppet.

Mid table at best but fear not lambert you’ll still get your Christmas bonus as the owner thinks you’re taking the club in the right direction

It’s a genuine disgrace that you manage my football team and an even bigger one that you’ll still be managing it in a years time ....

TimmyH added 19:28 - Dec 12
“If you think you can just turn up and things are going to happen, without doing the other side of the game, and I mean being aggressive, intense, so hyped up in your own self, taking responsibility in your own self, you ain’t going to win many games.” - So what you saying Lambert, blaming the players rather than yourself?...I think the buck stops with you, I wish you would go to the other side!

SickParrot added 19:28 - Dec 12
To suggest that playing 4-4-2 means you have to play long ball just proves that he mustgo

Letchworth_Blue added 19:30 - Dec 12
It is really amazing that he talks utter drivel every single week. Nothing he says inspires me whatsoever. It's totally depressing bullsh1t.

SickParrot added 19:31 - Dec 12
I think it's clear that the players have no confidence in Lambert and no wonder!

ringwoodblue added 19:32 - Dec 12
Probably one of his better post-match interviews of the season but that’s like comparing turds to see which one is less smelly.

Lambert is probably secretly hoping the injuries continue for the rest of the season cos at least he can use that as an excuse every week for losing matches.

Evans says he gave Lambert a 5-year contract to provide stability for the club but who wants stable sh1t every week? Not me!


Spanishblueblood added 19:36 - Dec 12
Poor owner, poor manager, managing a poor team with poor tactics and poor team selection....pour me a drink!!!!

Nobbysnuts added 19:50 - Dec 12
Just bore off shambo....I've had a gut full of your bullsh#t....same verbal diarrhoea week in week out....just go 🖕🖕🖕

Texastom added 19:57 - Dec 12
Lambert old School, old thinking, old tactics, cannot lead, cannot motivate, can’t get the best out of ANY players, cannot change, cannot interview, cannot put the right team on the pitch. Players aren’t performing, no confidence, no plan, no leadership, no fight, no one is communicating with each other, no one is happy or good at their job at ITFC. It’s going to get worse as our supporters are too nice and won’t protest.

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