‘He’s chosen that road so let’s see how he does’ – Lambert on Dobra rejecting loan exit

Armando Dobra celebrates his stunning goal against Gillingham in the EFL Trophy. Photo: Steve Waller

Armando Dobra celebrates his stunning goal against Gillingham in the EFL Trophy. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has revealed that Armando Dobra has rejected the chance to go out on loan.

The Blues boss was keen for the talented 19-year-old attacker to go and get some game time away from Portman Road over the coming months, with League Two side Crawley Town and a Scottish second-tier side understood to have shown strong interest.

However, Dobra – who shone in an EFL Trophy win against Gillingham recently – has made it clear he would rather stay and fight for a place in the first team.

The Albanian youth international’s six senior starts have all come in cup competitions so far, with his league action limited to three substitute outings.

With the likes of Gwion Edwards, Alan Judge, Jack Lankester, Teddy Bishop, Freddie Sears and Keanan Bennetts all seemingly ahead of him in the wingers/No.10 pecking order, he hasn’t made the bench for a league game at the start of the new League One season.

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“We had one or two in for Dobs, but he wasn’t so keen to go and do it,” revealed Lambert.

Asked if he understood Dobra’s desire to stay and compete for a place, the Blues boss said: “Yeah, but there also has be that realism of where you are.

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“I think going out on loan would sustain game after game for him whereas it might be a little stop-start for him here.

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“I can see both sides of it but I think longer term it might have been better for him to play game after game where it’s always pressure, pressure, pressure, rather than pressure once every three or four weeks.

“One thing with Dobs is that he doesn’t lack confidence, that’s for sure. And that’s a good thing. He wants to fight to get in the team.

“Playing every week is an important part of the development of a young player though. It’s about playing every week, not just once every three or four weeks.

“He’s chosen that road so let’s see how he does.”

Lambert had initially been keen to get several young players out on loan before today’s 5pm deadline. There was League Two interest in Corrie Ndaba and Brett McGavin, but injuries in defence and midfield means those two will be kept at the club as cover.

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“We would have liked to have got a few of the young guys out but at this moment we can’t because of the injury situation,” said Lambert.

“So unless anything jumps out at me then they will be staying.”

One player who will be leaving on loan is striker Ben Folami, the 21-year-old set to join Australian side Melbourne Victory.

“That’s more or less done,” said Lambert.

“It’s a great opportunity for him. I think he knows the coach there (Grant Brebner), I think it’s good for him that he’ll play competitive football week in, week out, I think that’s important for any kid’s development.

“We’ll be able to keep an eye on him on video.”

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