'I thought we were really good' - Lambert's assessment of dire 1-0 home loss to Peterborough
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert insists his team were 'really good' in this afternoon's 1-0 home defeat to Peterborough United.
Jonson Clarke-Harris blazed a penalty over the bar for the visitors in the first half before Mark McGuinness sliced into his own net in the 69th minute to settle a game of dire quality and very few chances.
Ipswich had spells of energy and intent, but posed very little goal threat. Substitute Jon Nolan produced their first shot on target in the 75th minute as the Blues, once again, looked toothless in attack.
Town's dreadful record against League One's top 10 sides continues, while it's now five defeats from the last six home games.
“It was a really good game, I thought we were really good," said Lambert, whose team have dropped to ninth in the table ahead of Tuesday night's visit of Sunderland.
"I’m really proud of them for the way they worked. I couldn’t ask any more. We were on the front foot. I couldn’t ask anymore.
“I just said to them there, we had so many nice opportunities to score.
“I don’t know if it was a penalty. Maybe it was. I don’t know. Then it’s an unfortunate own goal.
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“But the effort and commitment was really, really good.
“I don’t think anybody would have walked away from this stadium thinking a draw would have been unfair.
“We just need a little break at the minute. That’s what it is. But the effort, the commitment, everything you need, the basics of the game was there. I can’t fault them for the performance.
"There’s a way to get beat. If you get beat you go down fighting. As I said, I couldn’t ask for any more."
With the likes of Gwion Edwards, Teddy Bishop and Flynn Downes continuing their comebacks from injuries, Lambert continued: "I think we’ve missed those guys incredibly. That’s another game under their belt. There’s a lot of good things there.
“Once Josh (Harrop) comes back from his scenario (Covid-19) we’ll be stronger too.
“I’m really happy with how we played."
With Oli Hawkins, James Norwood and Kayden Jackson all injured, Aaron Drinan led the line for Town before being replaced by Freddie Sears midway through the second half.
When it was out to Lambert that his team didn't actually create that many chances, he replied: “Aye, but we’ve got a young kid up there in Aaron (Drinan). He does some good things and sometimes he just lacks a bit of experience, but that will come.
“I thought we got into good positions and got some good balls into the box. It’s just his movement where we think he should be, but that will come. I guess that’s just football.
“I hope so. His work ethic is great, you can’t argue with that. He brings people into the game. I think he’s going to be one of those strikers who has to work hard for his goals.
“There was nothing in the game. Did we deserve something? Yeah. But I guess that’s football.
“They just have to keep going. You don’t dwell on anything, you don’t be negative with them. You always be positive.
“The worrying thing comes when they don’t take the shot or they don’t take the risk.
“They played really good. Gwion (Edwards) had a good shot there which I thought was a corner.
“There’s a lot of good stuff there. They just need to turn that play into goals really because they are certainly getting into good positions."
Will he look to bring in a striker before the January transfer window closes?
“The salary cap is a nightmare," he said. "I don’t know if you understand how it works, but it would have to be a young one if anyone came in because we can’t do anything with the funds which are available.
“I guess that’s how it works at the minute with this world we are in. But if we can then we have to look at that."
Pressed on what made him think this was a good performance, Lambert said: “As I said to them after the Swindon game (3-2 home loss), it doesn’t matter if you are starting or coming on, you have to do the basics of the game. And the basics of the game at Burton and the basics of the game today were excellent. I think that was the catalyst.
“I thought we looked strong, really strong. It’s just that little bit of luck that we didn’t get.
“I’ve seen loads of games like that. It can happen. On another day we might have got one or two more. I can’t ask for any more from them. I’m really proud. They gave me everything they had. That’s what they have to do."
New Barnsley loanee Luke Thomas made his debut off the bench, providing some direct running down the right.
“I was happy with him coming on, I think he looked lively. He’s got a really good left foot," said Lambert.
“The lad’s only been here a few days, I'm not sure he even knows everybody’s names yet, but him, Freddie (Sears) and (Jon) Nolan gave us that kick on when they came on.
On McGuinness' own goal, which came a week after his winner against Burton, Lambert said: “Listen, McGuinness has been brilliant since he came here. He’s only 19 from Arsenal and he’s got a big future.
“I just said to him in there, last week he was high as kite, this week he’s low. But it’s an honest type of clearance. He’s tried it honestly.
“His commitment is brilliant. I don’t mean this derogatory at all, but he’s a proper old school defender. That’s a dying breed, but he’s got it in abundance and that will stand him in good stead."
Town's other new signing, Josh Harrop, was unavailable after testing positive for Covid-19 yesterday.
“Do you know what, that was incredible that yesterday," said Lambert. "He got tested Monday, he got tested Tuesday (both of those coming back negative) and he got tested on Friday. That’s just incredible that. That’s the world we’re in.
“Nobody knows what’s going to happen. We just hope everyone is okay for Tuesday (visit of Sunderland) because Josh has obviously been around about us. It was just incredible how that materialised."
Asked if he believed Ipswich are playing well enough to beat Sunderland, Lambert said: “Without a doubt. If we keep doing that, keep doing what we’re doing, show the fight and the basics of the game... that’s a catalyst to win. It’s not about ability. Ability comes when you out the hard work in. Any manager will tell you the same. I don’t think anybody could really point the finger at us for effort."
When it was out to Lambert that supporters are frustrated, angry and disillusioned, he said: “We try to get a big win with top six guys. We try. We’ve been in so many games, even up at Sunderland last time we played really well and got done with a penalty. It’s an own goal today. We’ve not got the little breaks. You just keep going. You can’t dwell on anything.
"The negativity... As long as the guys don’t get involved with negativity on social media or with you guys... Be strong. Be strong."