|Hull City 0 v 1 Ipswich Town|
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Tuesday, 23rd February 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Lambert: Encouraging, a Step in the Right Direction
Tuesday, 23rd Feb 2021 22:23
Town boss Paul Lambert felt his side’s display as they beat Hull City 1-0 at the KCOM Stadium was “encouraging”, reiterating his post-match comment from Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Oxford United.
“It’s encouraging, as I said Saturday, it’s a step forward,” Lambert said when asked his thoughts on what was the Blues’ most impressive result of the season so far.
Was it as good a performance as at any time in the campaign? “I don’t really know. It’s just encouraging, it’s a step in the right direction.
“I said we can try and build on Saturday so it’s encouraging, we beat a really good side in my opinion, who have got Championship quality players in their team and have just got relegated, so it’s a step in the right way.”
Might it have been more than 1-0? “Yes, we got in some good positions and had some good moments, that was the pleasing thing. A little bit of care and maybe pulling the trigger a little bit earlier, but there were some good moments in the game.”
Lambert felt Troy Parrott and Keanan Bennetts not taking their opportunities was more down to their youth than confidence.
“No, it’s not a confidence thing, the two of them were really good, 19 years old and 21 years old, really, really good,” he said.
“It’s not confidence, it’s just decision-making, they’ll get that when they get more experienced, they’ll make the right decisions.”
Reflecting on goalscorer James Norwood, who was outstanding as the out and out striker, he said: “As I said before, he’s missed a big chunk of the season with injury, backwards and forwards, and we’ve missed him, I’ve always said that.
“But his goal was a really top goal, his general game was very, very good and he and Troy Parrott linked up very well.”
He added: “He’s been out for a long time. We lost him and then he came back in and then we lost him again for a long period of time.
“If James can stay fit and keep doing what he’s doing, then we’ve got a really good number nine. It’s just keeping him fit.
“His goal was excellent and I’m pleased for him because he’s had a hard time with injuries.”
Asked about Parrott and his work-rate, he said: “It’s part of the game, part of the game, tracking back. I’ll keep my own thoughts on Parrott, I know exactly what he brings, I know exactly what type of lad he is and what player he is. I’ll keep my own thoughts on him because I’ve got my own idea where I think he’ll end up playing.”
Lambert was pleased with his side’s work-rate, not just Parrott’s: “I said on Saturday, I’ve never once questioned their commitment, their fight, anything like that. Did I expect anything less tonight? No, that’s what they give me.”
Defensively the Blues have now kept three clean sheets in a row: “Yes, really good, really pleased with the clean sheet, gives you a solid base to build from.
“But I think you defend from the front and I think that’s what happened. From the front to the middle guys to the defending guys to Tomas [Holy], every one of them deserves a lot of credit for what they did.”
Perhaps the standout man in that back four was Myles Kenlock, with the left-back also picking up an assist.
“He’s doing well,” Lambert said. “He’s only been in the team for a few games but he’s doing really well at this moment. He’s playing defensively really good, offensively really good, so I’m pleased for him.”
A week ago Town were dismal as the drew 0-0 at home with Northampton. Asked what’s changed, Lambert said: “The Northampton point might be a good one, I don’t think anyone should think it wasn’t anything OK.
“We never won the game, we never deserved to win the game but we didn’t get beaten, and we got a point. We took it, it wasn’t ideal, but we take it.
“That was a different team, that was same team that beat Blackpool a week earlier. There’s no magic formula, there’s no magic wand, as I said before, when we started to get a lot of experienced guys back to give them a hand, it would be better. And hopefully we can keep winning.”
Lambert played down the significance of beating one of the division’s better teams for the first time.
“I don’t think you should ever class yourself as not being able to beat a top six or can’t beat a bottom six side. Every team is tough in the league, you always try to win whatever league position they’re in. Wherever teams are, you have to try and win, that’s the nature of football.
“This top six thing and bottom six, middle six, you have to win games, it doesn’t matter where teams sit in the table.”
Does he believe the same XI can play again on Saturday with a number of them not having played a lot of football until the last few days? “I’ll see how they are. We’ve got a long drive home and we’ll see how they are Thursday and Friday. But they’re happy how they played, so we’ll just see how everybody is.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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