Lambert hails subs after two late goals sink Bristol Rovers
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert hailed the impact his three substitutes made following this afternoon’s 2-0 victory at Bristol Rovers.
The Blues deservedly made it two wins from two at the start of the new League One season, though had to be patient to seal all three points at the Memorial Stadium – Max Ehmer’s own goal (80) and Jon Nolan’s cool finish (89) coming late in the game.
Jack Lankester, Flynn Downes and Oli Hawkins all came on midway through the second period to provide an injection of energy and quality, with Lankester – making his first competitive appearance since January 2019 – providing two classy assists.
“First half we were just a little bit slow with the speed of the ball,” said Lambert. “We were in control of the ball, but we just had to raise the intensity a little bit. We got in so many good areas but we just never picked people out when I thought we should have.
“For all the dominance we had, they had a 10 minute spell after half-time which they knew they would. They’ve spent a little bit of money Bristol Rovers.
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“But then we raised it and some of the football was great.
“Flynn came on and was a huge presence, Jack’s contribution was huge and big Oli was a handful. They all made a difference.
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“I’m really pleased for Jack because it’s been horrendous for that kid, coming back after such a long time out and getting another back injury. Mentally that takes its toll.
“His fitness will come the more and more he trains. The contribution he made today was huge. If it is only 15/20 minutes like that then great.”
Lambert was delighted with all his players though, running through virtually the entire team in his post-match assessment.
“They tried putting somebody on (Andre) Dozzell, which I thought would have happened after the first game. I had a chat with him during the week and said if somebody tries to man mark you, number one it’s a compliment, number two you have to find an answer to the problem.
“I tried to help him with certain little things, but he’s got to go and do it. And he did. He’s got a great left foot, can find a pass, can play around corners, can play one and two touch really easily. I think he’s revelling in that deep role.
“Jon Nolan has been superb. That’s another goal, but just his general game, his touch, his one-twos, is very, very good. All the midfield guys are complementing each other really well. It doesn’t matter who I play, they seem to adapt.
“Stephen Ward has come in and been fantastic. Chambo (Luke Chambers) has stepped up as well. And the two centre-backs (Toto Nsiala and James Wilson) have been excellent.
“I think the back four are playing ever so well. Even Myles Kenlock and Janoi (Donacien) on Wednesday night done great. I just went with the guys who got us the result against Wigan today.
“It’s not just their defending that’s been good either, I think they’ve looked really good with the ball.
“If we can keep getting clean sheets that will breed confidence.
“Oli is a handful and gives us a different dimension, but James (Norwood) worked really hard up there and that’s another 60 minutes under his belt, so I’m happy with him.
“Teddy Bishop, I don’t know when the last time was he’d played a succession of games. Jack (Lankester), Dozzell, Emyr Huws, they’ll all the same. I just find it really pleasing the way we are playing.”
Explaining Alan Judge’s absence from the squad, Lambert said: “It’s a hamstring injury. He picked it up on Wednesday night. That was a blow because he’s been playing really, really well. Hopefully he’ll be back next week.”