Lankester Thankful to Former Boss Lambert
Thursday, 11th Mar 2021 12:57
Jack Lankester has welcomed new Town boss Paul Cook but also taken time to thank predecessor Paul Lambert for the part he played in the midfielder’s career.
Lankester, 21, played the majority of his senior football under Lambert and said: “I’m thankful for what he did for me. He gave me a chance at 18 in the Championship and I played a lot of games under him before I got injured, which no one wanted.
“I’ll always be grateful for the fact that he considered me good enough and gave me my chance.”
The target for Lankester is to establish himself as a first-team regular under the new man at the helm and he was given a huge vote of confidence on Tuesday by Cook, who named the academy product in his starting line-up for his first home game in charge, the 1-1 draw with Lincoln.
Cook breezed into Portman Road last week and launched the latest chapter of his managerial career with what he quickly acknowledged was a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Gillingham. He was in a far better mood after Tuesday’s display and Lankester was delighted to receive the call to start.
He added: “As a footballer you just want to play in every game and when you’re not in the team it is frustrating. But I try not to show my frustration and go out every day to train properly because I know that what I am doing will help others involved in the session. I like to play in the U23 games to keep myself going.”
While the club’s softly-softly approach made sense based on Lankester’s lengthy absence with a persistent back problem, he was asked if the club had perhaps been over cautious and he might have been able to play more games than he did.
He said: “I’m not really sure on that one. I just play when called upon and go out to do what I want to do, which is express myself. Of course, I’d love to have played more often but now it’s a fresh start and I hope that going forward I will be able to get a run of games under my belt. I missed it so much when I wasn’t able to play.
“My policy is that when I’m asked to play in the U23s I always say yes. If I’m not asked I ask the question, whether it’s an option to play if I want to. It depends on what the experts think and whether there are midweek games, things like that, but if I’m not playing in the first team at any given time I’m always one who is eager to play in the U23 fixtures.
“You have to remember I was out for a very long time and the way I see it is that I need games. It’s very important to me so there have been times when I’ve asked to play and the manager was happy to let me.
“Now that I’m back in the first team it’s important that I earn myself a run of games and when I’m playing I want to be involved in creating and scoring goals. It’s been mentioned before that we’re probably lacking in that area but we’re all doing our best to work on different ways to do that. It’s very important going forward.
“The manager is keen that we carry more of a goal threat. We’ve got to create more chances and I think it comes from the likes of me and others to express ourselves and be brave, which is what he has been drilling into us.”
Asked if it meant he was carrying less defensive responsibility now than previously, he replied: “I think it’s more about the transition and being in the right areas when we haven’t got the ball, and then in terms of when you win it back you’re still in an area to help going forward. I think that’s definitely something we’ll be working on.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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