Lambert Won't Compromise Beliefs
Friday, 15th Jan 2021 12:40
Town boss Paul Lambert says he’s not going to compromise the Blues’ footballing approach as he looks to put the season back on the right track as a number of senior players return from injury, admitting that his side have lost too many games in their absence.
As was the case in 2019/20, Town were quickly out of the blocks and were the early season pace-setters as they won five and drew one of their first six.
However, in a table based on the 13 matches since then they sit 16th and have lost four of their last five at home.
Despite that form, the Blues remain eighth, only a point off Accrington in the final play-off place, eight off Hull City in second and 10 behind leaders Lincoln.
“We’ve lost too many games,” Lambert said. “Hopefully the guys coming back will help us we’ve been really light on a lot of aspects of it, we’ve had too many injuries, far too many.
“But that’s the nature of the game, other guys have to step up and we’ve just lost too many games.
“If there’s a good thing about it, nobody’s running away with it. Everybody’s feeling the same sort of thing. It’s a different type of season than you’re normally going to have because there are no fans and the level of injuries that people are getting.
“But that’s football, as I said before, I never surround myself with negativity. I never surround myself with worrying or anything like that because I know how to handle it and I know how to deal with it.
“The players, we have to get them into a mindset of not worrying what happens on the outside, they just have to concentrate on what happens on the field, so that’s what we try and do with them.”
Quizzed on what he thought the crowd reaction would have been after Saturday’s loss to Swindon, he said: “They wouldn’t have accepted it, but not just that game, there are games where we’ve not performed and when you’re at a big club, you don’t expect to get a round of applause when you lose. That’s normal.
“As I say, I was fortunate enough to play for big clubs, so I know what it’s like and you’ve got to win more than not, that’s the nature of being at a big club in a division where everybody expects you to be out of it.
“It would be different if Ipswich were in the Championship and we were finding our feet again but when it’s in a division where people are expecting you to win, you have to cope with that criticism over it.
“You have to surround yourself and be really mentally strong and see it through because you will come through it and it will certainly make you mentally stronger.”
Many fans see this season going the same way as the last campaign, when Town started strongly before finishing 11th on points per game, and Lambert says that is something that he and the players have talked about.
“We spoke to the lads about that, we did exactly the same last year, got off to a whirlwind start and January time it tailed off,” he reflected.
“The same thing has happened now but the good thing is that nobody has run away with it, everybody’s quite nip and tuck at the minute.
“We’re hoping that the guys coming back from injury are going to give us something as well. As I said before, we’ve had too many injuries. There have been times when we’ve played without a frontline because we’ve not had any strikers. We’ve missed the wide guys, the midfield was decimated.
“But ultimately, you have to work hard. It doesn’t matter who comes in, you have to work hard, you can’t hide behind anything. Do the hard work and the hard yards, then you’ll not go too far wrong.”
Lambert has been steadfast in keeping to the same passing approach utilising 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 systems this season and he has no plans to take a more pragmatic approach in order to get results.
“I learned my lesson about five or six years ago, trying to change systems left, right and centre and it never got me anywhere,” he said.
“I’ll never do that again, I spoke to loads of managers and they asked me why I changed the system and I said I was trying to get a win.
“But [they told me] it just confused people. And they were 100 per cent right, and I’m talking about top managers, they were 100 per cent right and I’ll never make that same mistake again.
“We have our own beliefs on how we want to play and I’ll never make that mistake again of trying to win at all costs where it becomes horrible. Yes, you want to win, but also you’ve got a job to help players become better, so I won’t change.”
He added: “We’re hoping the guys coming back from injury will give us that help. I think it’s important that we get them back fit.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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