Five subs now allowed... Here’s a look at the in-game changes Lambert has made so far this season

Keanan Bennetts has been Ipswich Town's most used substitute so far this season. Photo: Steve Waller

Keanan Bennetts has been Ipswich Town's most used substitute so far this season. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert will now be able to use five substitutes in games for the rest of the season.

James Norwood has been eased back into action post injuries with five sub outings so far. Photo: Ste

James Norwood has been eased back into action post injuries with five sub outings so far. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The EFL board has agreed to increase the number from three following consultation with the 72 teams.

Championship clubs can name up to nine substitutes in their matchday squads, while League One and League Two clubs will stick with seven.

During last season’s June/July restart, FIFA gave clubs ‘temporary dispensation’ to make five subs in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. The world governing body then extended the use of the rule – but said it was up to individual competitions whether it was implemented.

Premier League clubs voted to return to three changes per game before the 2020/21 campaign got underway, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola have led calls for a return to the five subs rule.

Flynn Downes was limited to the role of substitute, following his summer transfer request, in the ea

Flynn Downes says that Ipswich Town's players need to start performing for under-pressure manager Paul Lambert. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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Blues boss Paul Lambert said before this season started that he was in favour of managers being able to use five subs during the current circumstances.

“Five subs is definitely one to look at,” he said. “Players are in an incredible situation where they’ve been off for six months and are now trying to cram everything in and trying to get games in, and five subs would have been common sense.”

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Ipswich played the last 34 minutes of a 1-1 draw at MK Dons with 10 men back in October after Flynn Downes went off injured, Lambert having already used all three subs.

Lambert has used all of his permitted subs in 13 of the 17 games played across all competitions so far.

On average he’s made his first change in the 63rd minute, though a 22nd minute injury to Stephen Ward at MK Dons does bring that number down.

The average time of his second sub is the 73rd minute and the average time of his third sub (not including the extra-time changes made in the FA Cup) is the 76th minute.

Keanan Bennetts has been Town’s most used substitute so far this season, coming off the bench seven times (for a total of 59 minutes of league action). He’s followed by James Norwood (five sub appearances), then Gwion Edwards, Flynn Downes and Jack Lankester (all have made four sub outings).

The ability to make more changes going forwards could see greater opportunity for the likes of Kane Vincent-Young, Downes, Cole Skuse and Aaron Drinan to be eased back into action following medium to long injuries.


Bristol Rovers (h) W 3-0 (EFL Cup)

69 - Drinan for Hawkins

80 - Edwards for Bishop

81 - Ndaba for Chambers

Arsenal U21s (h) L 2-1 (EFL Trophy)

46 - Edwards for Sears

52 - Huws for Bishop

55 - Norwood for Drinan

Wigan (h) W 2-0

46 - Norwood for Drinan

73 - Edwards for Sears

76 - Huws for Bishop

Fulham (h) L 1-0 (EFL Cup)

58 - Downes for Dozzell

68 - Norwood for Hawkins

69 - Judge for Nolan

Bristol Rovers (a) W 2-0

63 - Lankester for Sears

68 - Downes for Bishop

68 - Hawkins for Norwood

Rochdale (h) W 2-0

67 - Downes for Bishop

75 - Lankester for Sears

75 - Norwood for Hawkins

MK Dons (a) D 1-1

22 - Kenlock for Ward

56 - Downes for Bishop

56 - Judge for Sears

Gillingham (h) W 2-0 (EFL Trophy)

82 - Crane for Dobra

89 - Siziba for Lankester

89 - Viral for Gibbs

Blackpool (a) W 4-1

57 - Jackson for Hawkins

69 - Bennetts for Bishop

Accrington Stanley (h) W 2-0

74 - Nolan for Huws

84 - Bennetts for Judge

89 - Simpson for Sears

Doncaster (a) L 4-1

60 - Bishop for Huws

69 - Hawkins for Sears

76 - Bennetts for Edwards

Lincoln (a) L 1-0

80 - Bennetts for Lankester

Gillingham (h) W 1-0

68 - Dobra for Sears

76 - Huws for Lankester

89 - Bennetts for Bishop

Crewe (h) W 1-0

69 - Jackson for Hawkins

80 - Lankester for Bishop

84 - Bennetts for Sears

Sunderland (a) L 2-1

76 - Hawkins for Jackson

89 - Bennetts for Lankester

Portsmouth (h) L 3-2

62 - Norwood for Hawkins

68 - Edwards for Bennetts

94 - Lankester for Sears

102 - Judge for Huws

Crawley (a) L 2-0

68 - Z Brown for Crane

68 - Manly for Viral

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