Lambert: We've Got to Get a Result at Burton
Friday, 15th Jan 2021 15:22
Manager Paul Lambert knows the Blues have to get a result against bottom club Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday.
Town go into the match eighth in League One and two points off the play-offs, despite having won only two of their last eight and standing 16th in a form table from their last 13 matches.
The Blues lost 3-2 at home to Swindon last week, the Robins having gone into the game 23rd and moving up a place as a result of their win, adding to the pressure on the Blues boss.
A loss to the Brewers would further increase that pressure and Lambert agrees that Town can't afford to lose to the bottom two on successive Saturdays.
“No, we’ve got to get a result here, got to get a result,” he said. “Burton are a hard team, new manager, they got a good result last week.
“But you’ve got to put the hard work in. Put the hard work in and you’ll be fine.
“You’ve got to win a battle before you win the war, and that’s always the case with any game of football.”
Lambert seems likely to make a few changes from the team which he felt put in their worst 45 minutes in the first half last week with a number of senior players on the way back from injury.
Dai Cornell seems likely to continue in goal with the back four probably once again, from the right, skipper Luke Chambers, Luke Woolfenden, Mark McGuinness and Stephen Ward.
In midfield, Andre Dozzell seems set to line-up in his usual deeper role and Lambert will have to decide whether Flynn Downes is ready to start having made his return from his knee injury as a half-time sub against Swindon.
If so, then Emyr Huws seems most likely to drop out with Alan Judge continuing having been among Town’s better performers last weekend.
Lambert has said Jon Nolan is unlikely to be ready for inclusion after his calf problem, while Teddy Bishop is likely to be on the bench at best having been out since November with an ankle problem, the pair having returned to training this week.
Up front, Lambert will probably start James Norwood down the middle, the striker having scored his first league goal since February last year and made a significant impression last week after being introduced from the bench at half-time.
Gwion Edwards is back in training and could return on one flank with Freddie Sears having returned a couple of weeks prior to the Welshman perhaps in line for the other wide role.
The Brewers have signed midfielder Sean Clare on loan from Oxford United, while right-back Neal Eardley has joined Barrow on the same basis and midfielder Steven Lawless has re-signed for Scottish Premiership side Motherwell. They are reported to be close to finalising the addition of striker Josh Parker from Wycombe.
Burton reappointed Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as their manager on New Year’s Day following the sacking of Jake Buxton and the former Dutch international will be in charge of his first home game having previously been boss at the Pirelli Stadium between November 2014 and December 2015.
The Brewers won 1-0 at Gillingham last week courtesy of a Hayden Carter goal, a result which ended a run of five successive defeats and a streak of eight matches without a win.
Overall, Burton have won only three of their 23 league games this season, two of those at home. They have lost seven of their 11 matches at the Pirelli Stadium and have drawn two.
Town and Burton have only met seven times in competitive fixtures, all in the league in recent seasons, with Town unbeaten having won six and drawn one.
The teams most recently met at Portman Road last month - only one game ago due to their four Covid postponements - when the Blues ran out 2-1 victors. Huws’s first league goal in more than three years saw Town to the win.
Keanan Bennetts gave Town the lead in only the fourth minute but Joe Powell hit back for the Brewers on 22 with Huws heading in a scruffy rebound 10 minutes from time to hand the points to the Blues, who as a result climbed to fifth.
The last game between the sides at the Pirelli Stadium was on the opening day of last season when Luke Garbutt's deflected debut goal saw the Blues to a 1-0 victory in their first third tier game for 62 years.
Loanee Garbutt found the net in the 11th minute to see the Blues to the three points against the Brewers, who were reduced to 10 men late on when Stephen Quinn was red-carded for two bookable offences.
No member of the current Town squad has played for Burton, but former Blues striker Luke Varney rejoined them in August as player/fitness coach and has so far made three sub appearances.
Varney, 38, was at Portman Road between February 2015 to January 2017, initially on loan, and made 14 starts and 32 sub appearances, scoring five goals.
During his previous spell with the Brewers Varney, known as Reg while at Town, netted an own goal in the Blues’ 2-1 Championship win at the Pirelli Stadium in April 2017. Burton midfielder Stephen Quinn is the brother of ex-Blue Alan.
Saturday’s referee is Neil Hair from Cambridgeshire, who has shown 66 yellow cards and one red in 16 games last season.
Hair’s most recent Town match was the Papa John’s Trophy tie at home to Arsenal’s U21s in September in which he booked Nolan and one of the visitors.
He was also at Portman Road in August for the pre-season friendly against West Ham with his previous Town league match the 1-0 defeat to Fleetwood at Portman Road in March last year in which he booked Blues skipper Chambers and one opposition player.
Hair was also the man in the middle for the 1-1 home draw with Sunderland in August 2019 in which he yellow-carded Kayden Jackson and one Black Cat.
Squad from: Cornell, Holy, Chambers (c), Donacien, Ward, Kenlock, McGuinness, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Dozzell, Downes, Judge, Bishop, Huws, Lankester, Dobra, Sears, Edwards, Norwood, Hawkins, Jackson, Drinan.
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