|Ipswich Town 0 v 1 Peterborough United|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 23rd January 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Lambert: I Thought We Were Really Good, I Couldn't Ask For Any More
Saturday, 23rd Jan 2021 18:43
Boss Paul Lambert said he couldn’t fault his players for their performance, despite Mark McGuinness’s second-half own goal consigning the Blues to a 1-0 home loss to Peterborough, their fifth home defeat in their last six games.
“It was a really good game, I thought we were really good,” Lambert said afterwards. “I’m really proud of them for the way they worked, I couldn’t ask for any more.
“We were on the front foot, I couldn’t ask any more. I’ve just said to them there that we has so many nice opportunities to score.
“I don’t know if it was a penalty and then there was the unfortunate own goal, but the effort and commitment was really good.”
Until McGuinness diverted a cross past Tomas Holy in the 69th minute the game looked destined to end 0-0 with neither side having managed a shot on target by that stage. Lambert felt that would have been a just outcome.
“I think so, I don’t think anybody would have gone away from the stadium if it had been a draw thinking it had been unfair,” he said.
“But they got a little break and that’s what it is. But effort, commitment, everything you need, the basics of the game were there. I can’t fault them for their performance.”
He added: “From the Swindon game when I sat up there [in a box], there’s a way to get beat and if you get beat and you go down fighting, then you can’t ask any more.”
Lambert believes the Blues will get better as the previously injured players get games under their belts and the new signings settle in.
“Without a doubt, we’ve missed those guys incredibly and that’s another game under their belts, especially the two younger ones [Flynn Downes and Teddy Bishop],” he said
“Gwion Edwards came back and I thought he did well. So there are a lot of good things there and once Josh Harrop comes back from his scenario, then we’ll be stronger as well. But I’m really happy with how we played.”
Town ultimately managed two shots on target, a powerful strike from distance from Jon Nolan which was saved and a late looping header from Downes.
Does the lack of chances and shots on goal concern Lambert? “Aye, but we’ve got a young kid, Aaron [Drinan], up there. He does some good things and some things which are lacking in experience, but that will come.
“I thought we got into good positions, I thought we got some good balls in the box, it’s just his movement, where we think he should be, but that will come. I guess that’s football.”
Asked whether he is confident that the young Irishman can score at this level, he added: “I hope so. A lot will depend on him. His work ethic is great, you can’t argue with that. He probably brings people into the game as well, I think he’s going to be one of those strikers who is going to have to work hard for his goals.
“There was nothing in the game, did we deserve something? Yes, but I guess that’s football.”
He added: “We just have to keep going. You don’t dwell on anything, you don’t be negative with them, you’re always positive with them. The worrying thing is when they don’t take the shot, they don’t take the risk.
“The guys are playing really good, Gwion had a great shot there as well that I thought was a corner, but it wasn’t.
“There was a lot of good stuff there, they’ve just got to turn that play into goals because they’re definitely getting into good positions.”
With Oli Hawkins set for a knee operation and James Norwood and Kayden Jackson both missing games due to minor niggles, Lambert says he’ll look at the loan market for an additional striker.
“Aye, but the salary cap is a nightmare,” he said. “I don’t know if you understand how it works, but it would be a young one [a player under 21] if anyone came in because we can’t do anything with the funds that are available.
“I guess that’s how it works at the minute with this world that we’re in. If we can, then we’ll have to look at that.”
Norwood was out having felt some fatigue in his hamstring at Burton last week, while Lambert confirmed that Jackson was absent from the 18 having suffered with thigh and hip problems earlier in the week: “Yes, he’s still feeling the effects from Monday.”
The Blues boss was pleased with the impact his substitutes, Nolan, Luke Thomas and Freddie Sears, made after they'd been introduced: “I said to them after the Swindon game, if you’re a sub and you’re coming on, you have to do the basics of the game.
“And the basics of the game at Burton and the basics of the game today were really good. I think that was the catalyst, we looked really strong, it’s just that little bit of luck that wasn’t with us.”
Regarding debutant sub Luke Thomas, he added: “I was happy with him coming on, I think he looked lively, he’s got a really good left foot.
“The lad’s only been here a few days, I’m not even sure he knows everybody’s name, but he’ll get to know them. He, Freddie and Nolan certainly gave us that kick on when they came on.”
Town’s other signing Josh Harrop missed out having tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday, which he hopes won’t affect other players in the squad ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Sunderland.
“That was incredible that yesterday,” he reflected. “He got tested on Monday, he got tested on Tuesday, he got tested on Friday. That’s just incredible that. That’s the world we’re in. I’ve had it.
“Did I see it coming? You don’t know what’s going to happen, nobody knows. We have to hope these guys are OK for Tuesday because Josh has obviously been around about us. It was just incredible how that materialised.”
Accrington are still the only side the Blues have beaten while in the top 10 this season, having defeated just two of the 10 teams who finished above them last year.
However, Lambert felt there were positive signs that the Blues will be able to get that monkey off their back in today’s game and in previous matches.
“Without a doubt, without a doubt [we will],” he said. “The fight, the basics of the game, that’s a catalyst to win, when you do the hard work first. It’s not ability, that comes in when you put the hard work in.
“I think any manager will tell you the same - if you get hard work in, ability comes. I don’t think anybody could really point the finger at us in terms of effort.
“We try to get a big win against the top six guys. We try, we’ve been in so many games, even up at Sunderland we played really well and got done there by a penalty which went against us.
“You’ve had little breaks where you’ve not got anything, the own goal. You just keep going, you can’t dwell on anything.
“But the negativity, as long as the guys don’t get involved in negativity on social media or with you guys [the media], be strong, be strong.”
He admitted it was frustrating to lose a game which was so tight: “I know, I’ve seen loads of games like that, it can happen like that. But when I look at the performance, I’m really proud of them, they way they did. Another day we’d maybe have got one or two there.
“I can’t ask any more of them for the way they played, they gave me everything that they had, that’s a testament. That’s what you have to do.”
Regarding the own goalscorer, he said: “McGuinness has been brilliant since he came here, he’s only 20 years old from Arsenal, he’s got a big future.
“As I said to him in there, last week he was as high as a kite [having scored the winner at Burton], this week low. But it’s an honest [mistake], he’s tried it honestly.
“His commitment’s brilliant, he’s a proper old school defender and I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. And that’s a dying breed, but he’s got it in abundance and it’ll stand him in good stead.”
Lambert says he’s still feeling the effects of having had Covid over Christmas and the New Year.
“I have good days, I have bad days,” he said. “I get tired at certain times of the day and still have the coughing thing that’s still there and headaches sometimes come and go.
“It’s the worst I’ve felt. I can’t remember feeling as bad as I did feel. I probably just have to take every day as it comes.”
He says he’s no idea how long before he’ll be fully over it: “That’s the thing, I don’t know. I just hope [it’s not too long] because one thing about it is energy and I need energy because that’s how I live my life, just full of energy. But I understand the way the world is at the minute, it’s a dangerous thing.”
Posh boss Darren Ferguson was pleased with his team's display, feeling his team grew into the match.
“I was delighted with my players for what they have put in today and the rest of the week," he said.
“A clean sheet is the starting point and I felt we were solid all over the pitch. It was a very disciplined away performance.
“We didn’t start the game well if I am honest, but we grew into it and in the second period of the first half, we played really well. It was a poor penalty from Jonson Clarke-Harris at the time when we were on top in the game.
“We started the second half well and we got a slice of luck with the goal, but that is what the wing-backs are about, getting up and down the pitch, I still felt we could have put more crosses in from that position but we got the goal we were after.”
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