'He's fine... we're looking forward to turning this blip around' - Gill steps in for Lambert

Town manager Paul Lambert and first team coach Matt Gill pictured after the match.
Picture: STEVE

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert and first team coach Matt Gill. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town first team coach Matt Gill stepped in for under-pressure manager Paul Lambert at this morning's pre-match press conference, insisting everyone at the club was 'looking forward to turning this blip around'.

There have been widespread calls for Lambert to be sacked in recent weeks, the Blues having slipped to 11th in the League One table after claiming just 14 points from their last 13 games.

At the halfway stage of the campaign, Town are four points adrift of the play-offs places with at least one game in hand on seven of the teams above them.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Blackpool, who are are one place and two points behind the Blues, Gill was asked how Lambert has been coping with the pressure.

“Fine," he replied. "There’s no change in the gaffer. I think we’re all really, really looking forward to trying to turn this blip around and moving forward get some positive results. 

“Nobody likes getting flak, do they? Obviously I came off Twitter when I made the move to this club (from a role as Norwich City U23s coach) because of the flak I was getting at the time. 

“It’s part and parcel of the industry, but everyone comes to work trying to do the best they possibly can."

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Town won 4-1 at Blackpool back on October 10, but have laboured to just seven victories - against Accrington Stanley, Gillingham, Crewe, Shrewsbury, 10-man Plymouth and rock-bottom Burton (twice) - in the 20 games since.

“That's probably the most ruthless we’ve been in the final third," said Gill, looking back on the trip to Bloomfield Road.

“I would say on that day we were very ruthless with our finishing and that’s obviously something we’re looking to be in the second half of the season. 

“We’re going to come across a Blackpool team that probably play a different style to what they did then. 

“They had a tricky start to the season. I know Neil (Critchley) the manager quite well, I was lucky enough to watch him work at Liverpool. They've changed style of play slightly. 

“So it will be a real challenge for us, but it’s one we’re looking forward to."

Ipswich have lost six of their last seven games at Portman Road, failing to score in five of them.

Gill said: “We go into the game off the back of poor results at home. We are definitely looking to change that and tomorrow is the next opportunity. 

“What I would say is that 23 games left is a real opportunity to get that first part of the season form back. I think that’s going to be vital. 

“Obviously momentum can go one way or another. It’s down to us to make sure the momentum is positive. We’ll look to put a run together."

Tomorrow's game could see debuts for three new January loan recruits; striker Troy Parrott, attacking midfielder Josh Harrop and right-back Luke Matheson.

Asked how the coaching staff were trying to address a lack of goals, Gill added: “Repetition. Working on stuff that we’re trying to impose on a  Saturday. This week, as always, we’ve had a little bit of out of possession work, a little bit of in possession work. There’s been a big emphasis on that final third type stuff this week. We know we need to be more ruthless in that final third and create more. I think we now have players and personnel that can now do that and provide that."

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