‘We never did the basics off the ball... This might be the little knock we needed’ – Lambert on 4-1 loss at Doncaster
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says tonight’s 4-1 defeat at Doncaster Rovers ‘might be the little knock we needed’.
The Blues’ unbeaten start to the League One season came to a shuddering halt as they threw away the lead by conceding four poor goals at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Good work by Luke Chambers forced Joe Wright into a 15th minute own goal, but Cameron John fired in off the bar to level things up (28) before Ben Whiteman’s deep cross crept in at the far post (37) to give the hosts a half-time lead.
“I thought for about 30 minutes we were brilliant,” said Lambert. “We played some incredible football and got a really good goal.
“Their first two goals were fortuitous. There was a bit of a ricochet for the first and the second one is a cross that’s just gone over everyone and in.
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“All credit to Doncaster, they were better than us second half. We never got going.
“Second half we did the basics wrong. We never worked hard enough to get the ball back, which normally we are bang on with all the time. It might just be that little knock that we needed.”
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Toto Nsiala gave away a penalty which Whiteman converted to make it 3-1 before Tomas Holy presented the ball straight to Josh Sims ahead of Fejiri Okenabirhie firing in the fourth.
“The guys are saying the penalty wasn’t inside the box,” said Lambert. “I don’t know because I haven’t seen it back myself yet. Doncaster should have had a penalty later, so maybe the referee never gives that one because he thought he’d got the first one wrong.
“The fourth one is a mistake, but that’s not a problem because Tomas tried to play the ball to Toto. I’m telling them to play that way and for so many games we’ve been excellent at it. So we won’t go away from it. We have the principles of how we want to play.
“Tomas has been really, really good. I don’t have a problem there. I won’t give the guys any blame. They play how I want them to play.
“We’ve got to be better without the ball though that’s for sure.”
He continued: “You get games like tonight. I’m not going to let one defeat blight what’s happened over the previous six games. We’ve lost, but I think it’s evident we’re a really good side. We regroup and we go again Saturday (at Lincoln).”
Meanwhile, Lambert explained how yesterday’s nervous wait for coronavirus test results affected the build-up.
The entire Blues squad and staff were tested first thing on Monday morning after news came through that striker Kayden Jackson had tested positive over the weekend.
“That was an incredible thing yesterday,” he said. “We couldn’t train properly – it was like a walking thing, with lads distanced and there was no tackling. It wasn’t the best preparations that’s for sure.
“We had about half a dozen of the kids on standby in case a load of positive tests came back.
“Then we got word late last night that everybody was okay. How no-one else has got it is incredible really. It was the right decision the club made to get everyone tested.”
On his decision to rest Teddy Bishop tonight, the Blues boss said: “If Bish had played season after season after season, and played 100/200 games, then it we might have said ‘ok, you go again’, but we’ve got to watch that lad because we’re down to bare bones in the middle of the pitch.”