'We were the better team' - Lambert on Crewe draw and Bishop red card

Paul Lambert at Crewe Alexandra. Picture Pagepix Ltd

Paul Lambert at Crewe Alexandra. Picture Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Pagepix Limited

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert insisted his team were 'really good' in this afternoon's 1-1 draw at Crewe Alexandra.

After an even first half, the Blues fell behind in the 59th minute when Charlie Kirk produced a low finish inside the box. 

Lambert reacted by bringing on Teddy Bishop, James Norwood and Aaron Drinan, eventually switching to a 4-4-2 system, with Drinan seizing on a defensive error to scramble home an equaliser within seconds of being on the field (75).

Just eight minutes later though, Bishop was giving his marching orders for a second booking - both for fouls in non-dangerous areas - to take the wind out of any momentum the visitors had. 

The Blues have now claimed just 20 points from their last 17 games to slip to 11th in the League One table.

"I thought we were the better team," said Lambert. "We didn't deserve to go a goal down. We were the better team. I'm really happy with how we played. I thought it was really good. I thought the tempo was really good. We dominated the first half. I know the wind was strong, but even the second half we looked really lively. They scored against the run of play. 

"We change it a little bit and get the goal just after that.

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"The sending off obviously was a big one. Anybody who knows Bish will know he's not like that. If Bish puts the brakes on in the penalty box then he gets a penalty, because he got bundled over.

"I'm really happy with how we played. I couldn't ask for any more."

Town players appealed for a foul on Luke Woolfenden on the halfway line in the build-up to Crewe's opener. Lambert said: "It was a free-kick on Woolfenden without a doubt. How the referee has not seen that I don't know. For me it's a free-kick.

"I thought we were the better tam throughout the game. They had little spells, like they will being the whole game, but we played well today. I don't think anybody could argue with that."

On Bishop's red card - the first booking for grappling and the second for a late tackle as he tried to track back down the flank - Lambert said: "It's totally different from Jackson's (straight red card against Sunderland in midweek). Jackson's was horrific. That was an honest one there. As I say, if Bish puts the brakes on... He doesn't put the brakes on through honesty to try and retrieve the ball. If he's cute he takes the hit and I think we get a penalty. But he tries to work back hard to get the ball back, so I've got no problems with those kind of things that happen. But yeah, it's two yellows."

While Town did have some decent spells in this game, there was still a shortage of good chances created from open play. When that was put to Lambert, he replied: "I thought today we had some good moments. We had a good shot from Gwion (Edwards - whose long-range shot was saved), Freddie (Sears) had a shot which I thought he should have done better with (again, from outside the box), and we had (James) Norwood at the back post (a low cross cut out ahead of him in the six-yard box).

"So there were good moments there. Listen, we're trying everything we can. We're trying to get a striker in to help them as well. Today, I thought we were very good without the ball. And I thought with the ball we were more like ourselves."

Asked if a striker was likely to be signed before Monday's 11pm deadline, Lambert said: "I don't know. As I've said before, we don't have much to play with due to everything else that is going on in the world. We have to wait and see."

On Myles Kenlock, who played well in what was his first league start since October 20, Lambert said: "The secret is to keep that commitment now and not plateau off. He's got to keep that drive Myles. I thought he had a really good game for the first time he's played in a while."

It was then put to Lambert that, ultimately, it needs wins to breath some life back into this season.

"Especially with what you write," he replied. "I don't read your stuff because your opinion doesn't matter to me, but I hear about it. I couldn't give two damns about it. I've told you that before. My job is to protect those guys. It's not a problem. I've told you I'm not going to answer any questions that are not about the game."

Ipswich are next in action against Blackpool, at Portman Road, next Saturday.

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