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Lambert: Incredible to Be Two Points Off the Top
Tuesday, 15th Dec 2020 23:03

Blues boss Paul Lambert hailed his injury-ravaged squad being just two points off the top of the table as “incredible” following their 2-1 home victory over Burton Albion.

Emyr Huws netted an 80th minute winner against the Brewers to send the Blues up to fifth in the table, two points behind leaders Hull and level with Portsmouth, Peterborough and Lincoln in second, third and fourth, although with the three sides behind them all having at least two games in hand on them.

“To be two points off the top of the table considering the guys that we’ve got is incredible,” he said.

“It was important to get the three points, we have a team out, 10 lads out injured at the minute but we need them back as quick as we can. The guys are hanging in there which I think we have got to do at the minute.

“We got caught on the counter [for Burton’s equaliser] and after that they sat deep. I will take anything at the minute and I thought we deserved it on the amount of pressure we put on them but they are a hard team to break down.

“Considering what we have got here we have got a team out but sitting two points off the top, I’m really pleased.”

He added: “What’s happened here, it’s incredible, we’re two points off the top. It would be easy to think we were two points off the bottom. Two points off the top with the guys that we’ve got is incredible.

“Considering how the squad is, I’ve never known this in football, this number of people getting injured. I don’t know why it’s happening to us, but it’s happening, we’ve far too many out injured.

“The guys coming in have done great. Two points off the top, you’d think we were second bottom.”

Asked whether he was pleased with the reaction following the weekend 2-0 home defeat to Portsmouth, he added: “Yes, but as I said to you on Saturday, you could feel it when we had the chat [after the match].

“We fought and we started the game really well, we were on the front foot, they couldn’t get out apart from the odd counter-attack which you know is going to happen.

“But they sat and defended in their box, played really, really deep and again we tried to break through.

“Keanan scored a really good goal and then he wrong-footed the keeper with his later shot. If that’s on target, that’s in and it becomes a different game.

“We lost a poor goal with a counter-attack, I don’t think Mark [McGuinness] should have tried the diagonal from so deep, it was too far and we got caught.

“In the second half I thought we forced the issue, we forced it and forced it and forced it and I think got our just rewards.”

Opening goalscorer Bennetts was replaced at half-time with a groin problem and Lambert isn’t sure how significant that injury might be.

“I think it’s just his groin at the minute, I don’t know how bad it is, we’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “If that’s another one out, that’s another one out.

“If we can just keep hanging in there until all of them come back, then we’ll be a stronger squad.”

Lambert felt the winning goal could come with the way the game was progressing in the second half.

“Just the way was going,” he said. “The only thing we had to be really careful about was the counter-attack and the long ball and corners and set plays.

“Everything else, football-wise and getting on top of the ball and moving the ball, I was really pleased with.”

Quizzed on winning goalscorer Huws’s performance, he added: “I thought as the game went on, he was getting better and better. Emyr’s got to give more to us, I think he knows it himself, because he is a talent but he’s got to give more.

“Hopefully that little break there and that game [will benefit him], because I thought he did better as the game went on and on. He is a talent but hard work and effort and grit has got to become before the talent.”

When it was suggested that Huws would probably say he needs a run in the team, Lambert countered: “Well play well and you get in the team. It’s not rocket science that.

“Play well in the team. If you don’t play well in the team then when everybody’s fit then you find yourself out of it.

“You’ve got to play well in the team. It’s only the individual player who can do that for himself, you don’t look at the manager or the crowd, you look after your own corner.”

Regarding Kayden Jackson starting wide on the right, the Blues boss said: “We just threw it on him yesterday. He said he could play that role so we gave him a shot at it.

“I changed it to going through the middle with Oli Hawkins, two up and put Judgey wider. That seemed to work, but he did well on that right-hand side.”

Jackson limped off in the second half but the Town manager says it was nothing too significant: “I think he’s OK, I think it’s just a knock wuth him. But again we’ll have to see, hopefully he’s OK.”

After a run of three home defeats on the trot Lambert admitted his side needed to win tonight’s match.

“Yes, considering it was against the harder teams,” he reflected. “But again we’ve got a whole team out, guys that you’d probably think would start, a lot of them.

“So, big credit to them. Two points off the top with the squad that we’ve got at the minute is incredible.”

Lambert doubts if anyone will be fit enough to return for the trip to Peterborough: “No, we’ve probably lost one in Keanan. Freddie Sears just trained the other day so we’ll see how he is, but he’s been out for a few weeks so probably wouldn’t be ready to start.”

Reflecting further on the club’s injury problems, he said: “It’s mad, I’ve never known anything like this. It’s a mad situation, but all credit to them because two points off the top is absolutely brilliant for them.

“Hopefully whenever they come back it’s going to be a lot stronger but if we can keep hanging in here at the minute, they’ve done great with where they are with the amount of injuries and with the young guys playing.

“As I’ve said before, we’re the team in the division that’s had 26 per cent young players playing, everybody else has had two per cent. We’ve had to go down that road because we don’t have anything else.

“There’s a lot of good stuff here with the kids. The guys are giving everything and that’s all I can ask.”

“We are disappointed with the result as in the position we are in we are looking for points but overall the performance was good,” he told the Brewers official website.

“The lads were disappointed with the goals we conceded but we created opportunities, played some good football and the togetherness and attitude is correct.

“We conceded in the first passage of play for Ipswich, a long ball and we didn’t quite deal with it and it’s a classy finish. But there is no question about the character in the group and we responded well and scored a cracking goal ourselves after that.”

Regarding Town's winner, he added: “We talk about first contact and trying to stop crosses coming into your box especially when the opposition has a 6ft 4 [sic] centre forward [Oli Hawkins].

“We allowed a ball to come into the box, Sam Hughes did get first contact but we didn’t get the height and distance and then there was a little bit of a mix up, Kieran O’Hara makes a great save and we aren’t alive to the second ball.

“But overall in terms of the performance, what the lads are showing on a daily basis in training and going into the past five games I’m happy with that as we aren’t doing much wrong.

“I know the position we are in and the table doesn’t lie and we know we need points.”

Lucas Akins missed a big chance for the visitors in the closing minutes.

“Lucas is kicking himself and is a little bit down as he knows the position we are in and he has been at the club a long time,” Buxton continued.

“We had a lot of opportunities on Saturday to get three points. Tonight was a bit more against the run of play. It’s one of those things and we have to move onto the next game.

“We have a big game on Saturday [at home to Doncaster] and we are looking for three points.”

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dominiciawful added 23:07 - Dec 15
Lambert out.

unknown100 added 23:09 - Dec 15
Not being funny, we understand the injury’s is crazy, and the fact we are joint second shows how bad the league is!

What the fans are disappointed by is the manner we are playing, no forward passes, passing around the back with no intent, constant rotation, refusing to play 442 through being sheer stubborn (because the winner tonight came with 442 and same at Plymouth)

Jackson looked good tonight and Hawkins was a real threat in the air and linking the play, dream partnership in league one

Just Manage the players, they look defeated as they run out onto the pitch

iaintaylorx added 23:09 - Dec 15
Funny comment and definitely a "look how good I'm doing" shot at the fans. This is the thing... we would be many points clear had we have a different, attacking manager. It really goes to show how poor everyone else is the in the league that we are in this position considering how bad we have been.

MrTown added 23:09 - Dec 15
Everything is incredible ay, except the football of course.

Nae normal.

itfchorry added 23:11 - Dec 15
18 games - And our strikes have scored twice -

Mark added 23:17 - Dec 15
A very welcome 3 points, but another underwhelming performance. When was the last time Ipswich really played well? Yes we have lots of injuries but we have a big squad and can field a pretty experienced team. We need to find a way to put more pressure on opponents, two up front would seem sensible (we scored the winners tonight and at Plymouth when we switch to two up front).

Tony88 added 23:18 - Dec 15
Lambert 10 out of 10 swipe at some of our supporters.


TimmyH added 23:18 - Dec 15
We are where we are in the league just on the basis of scraping 3 points against the majority of mid-table and lower sides...so we're consistent there. Performances generally aren't very good though and will we be able to continue to take these 3 pointers when we enter the business end of the season?...last season we capitulated.

Historically we are worse in the New Year.

Bert added 23:19 - Dec 15
Fair enough post match comment in the context of our injuries but It remains a mystery why he thinks ponderous sideways football with one striker is going to get us goals. If people think Skuse was guilty when playing this type of football then there are quite a few a lot worse. Lambert may call it a system but it harks back to the bad old days under MM.

Countryboyblue added 23:19 - Dec 15
Spot on PL. if we can hang in there with this injury list, when and if our best players return, we might just do it. No other team is ripping it up, by sticking together, supporting each other, the manager and everyone involved, PL and his team could just surprise a few of us. COYBs

Kirbmeister added 23:23 - Dec 15
Let’s face it, whatever he says the guy can’t really win can he?

Town4me added 23:28 - Dec 15
Sorry, didn't quite catch that. We've got a whole team out but we're 2 point off the top?

Suffolkboy added 23:33 - Dec 15
Keep up the front foot attitude PL ; it’ll be rewarding for everyone !
The perspective is correct , some players can and should be giving more,and demonstrating more character ,but the Stat about % younger players is not only interesting but very telling !
Let’s all keep supporting , wanting our side to win but being prepared to give just a little slack !
At the same time it’s difficult not to be looking at certain individuals and not thinking too of a certain DA of Spurs — how many actually underperform ,and are under present in whatever capacity and for whatever reason ?
COYB we all want to help you succeed !

WhoisJimmyJuan added 23:35 - Dec 15
Yes itbus incredible we are 5th in the league with your tactics sir.

Pencilpete added 00:10 - Dec 16
I was asked what I thought we would really do this season and hand on heart I think we will make the Play Offs but we wont win them.

I think we have enough about us to beat these teams down the lower end of the table and that should be enough to keep us in and around 5th or 6th place.

The problem is the better teams in this division brush us off without too much effort and to win the play offs you have to beat 2 of those teams and we are simply not capable.

My biggest concern is that 5th or 6th followed by play off disappointment will be enough to convince ME that progress has been made and Lambert will get a 3rd crack at it next season

timkatieadamitfc added 00:45 - Dec 16
Town4me 😂😂😂😂
Getting rather tedious as this is nothing more than an excuse for his -
Stubbornness for not playing different system in games(teams know how we going to play)
Failure in last half season of championship, last season in which we were if we are all being honest SH1TE and we had a pretty much full squad to choose from.
I don’t think people would mind so much if we played good football but the reality is we don’t, we knock it round the back and go nowhere, so slow going forward and rarely look like scoring.
not GIVE them away like us, and they play football the way it should be played so good to watch
unfortunately total opposite of us -really really sad 😢

madmouse1959 added 03:38 - Dec 16
Little glimpses of good football. That is promising. It is when we play a top 8 team we struggle and that has to change. Especially if we do go up. Then Evans will have to think about signing some quality. The defensive howlers are still a big concern.

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 06:09 - Dec 16

Ah yes, "the bad old days of MM"...when we were consistently in the top half of the Championship and we wished things were different. Now they are. Evans finally listened to the fans, and look where we are now.

jabberjackson added 06:15 - Dec 16

Saxonblue74 added 06:34 - Dec 16
I'm not in full support of PL, but have to have a balanced view on things. Can't argue with the facts, we are 2 points off top spot playing our u23's for the most part. Yes, we'll probably get found out on Saturday, but we're hanging in there!

therein61 added 07:05 - Dec 16
He can have his little dig at the fans when he gets promotion otherwise try doing the job you're paid very well to do

SouperJim added 07:12 - Dec 16
5th in the table, 20th in the form table. Wouldn't matter if we had everyone fit, Lambert would still be tactically inept. Clinging on to a top 6 spot in a league as weak as this is not an achievement.

Dolphinblue added 07:32 - Dec 16
#thenegcrew and Blue Action. Soryy but respect your view but this is embarassing for you. Its will be hilarious when we beat Posh to go top and you go ahead with yr little failed protest. JOIN ME IN MY 'DOLPHINACTION' GROUP #KEEPLAMBERTIN. Well done mastermind Lambert for steering us to 2nd place! Tactical genius COYB

Dissboyitfc added 07:33 - Dec 16
Very true lambert and if he was able to get the best from his players we would be walking this very poor league!

Getting sick of his pathetic excuses over injuries! we are not stupid look at last nights team:-

Town: Cornell, Chambers, Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Huws, Judge, Bennetts, Jackson, Hawkins. Subs: Holy, Nsiala, Kenlock, McGavin, Dobra, Lankester, Drinan.

Hardly the under 18 squad, most of those would be starting anyway! We really miss KVY and Flynn, Listening to Lambert you would think he has had to raid the under 18's. His comments, suggesting that the 10 out injured are better than the 10 replacing them is insulting to the players and treats us fans as idiots!

He cant go quick enough!

Oh and we wont be second when the others have played their games in hand!

Dolphinblue added 07:33 - Dec 16
Bluearmy1981....always advises to ignore 🐬 but never can 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😎😎😎😎🐬🐬

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