‘We’re having a hard time, there’s no getting away from that’ – Lambert on 2-0 home loss to Charlton

Town manager Paul Lambert on the pitch after the game.
Picture: Steve Waller

Town manager Paul Lambert on the pitch after the game. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert admitted these were ‘hard times’ for the club following this afternoon’s 2-0 home loss to Charlton.

Albie Morgan and Omar Bogle scored in each half to condemn the Blues to their seventh defeat in 10 games across all competitions.

It was a familiar tale as the Blues conceded two soft goals and lacked composure in the final third, once again coming up short against a so-called League One ‘promotion rival’.

To make a bad day worse, both James Norwood and Toto Nsiala limped off with hamstring injuries to make it a staggering 11 senior players in the treatment room.

With Town slipping to sixth in the table ahead of trips to Oxford United (Tuesday) and Plymouth (next Saturday), Lambert said: “It’s the same as Tuesday. (3-0 home loss to Hull). Well, to be fair, I don’t think there was too much in the game. The first goal is vital in this league. They get it, they get a little break, and they’re a strong team.

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“We have so many injuries. The engine room of the team is lightweight at the minute. We’ve got three players in there (Liam Gibbs, Brett McGavin and Andre Dozzell) who are aged 17, 21 and 21.

“We’re having a hard time. I don’t think there’s any getting away from that. You’ve got to stick together. You have big moments. I always say to the guys that it doesn’t matter if you do good, bad or indifferent, you’ve got to stick together and keep level heads. Don’t get too high when you win and don’t get too low when you lose.”

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Asked how big a concern Town’s recent run of form was, the Blues boss replied: “When you lose any game it’s always a worry. Any game. It doesn’t matter if you lose one, two or three. You always feel it. That’s football. They’ve got a chance to go and get a chance on Tuesday now. But we have to get some players back.”

Lambert was then asked what he would say to any supporters who have lost the faith in him.

He replied: “The fans are the most important people at any club. That’s always the case and it always will be. We just have to keep going. We have yo keep going. There’s no point feeling sorry for yourselves or dwelling on things. It’s impossible. We’ve got a game on Tuesday.

“The lads are feeling hurt, no two ways about it. A few weeks ago we were playing really, really well and had a really strong team. When you’ve got this many injuries it makes it tough.”

It was then put to Lambert that many supporters are calling for him to be sacked.

“I can’t do anything about that,” he said. “That’s football. I’ve been in it long enough. That’s football. You asked me this question last time and I told you I don’t have any problems with that because the club is more important than me.”

Does he believe he can turn this around?

“We need a bit of help,” he said. “The squad needs to be stronger at the top end. If you look at the midfield today, they can’t have had any more than 20 appearances between them. Those kids did really well, I’m really pleased with them, but it’s tough.”

If the squad needs help, then there must be a fear that things could get a lot worse before the January transfer window opens?

“It’s not a fear, because football is never about fear,” said Lambert. “Football is about enjoyment and trying to win. It’s never about fear. You can never have fear. Ignore the outside influences. Win, lose or draw, never look at the praise, never look at the criticism and crack on with the next one. That’s got to be their mindset.”

Asked if he knew what owner Marcus Evans made of the current situation, Lambert relied: “I spoke to him before the game. I’ve not since because I’ve not had time. As I said before, the most important thing is the football club. That’s the most important thing. Whatever decision the club makes, or anything like that.

“I said this last season, when there was talk of me leaving, it’s not a problem because I can’t do anything about it. We try our best with the guys we’ve got to make them better. I think they are better players than they were before. We just need a bit of help.”

On the latest injuries, Lambert said: “I thought it was James’ knee, I thought he’d twisted it, but they’re saying it’s his hamstring. Toto was the same, hamstring. We’ll have to wait and see. Maybe Toto’s is not as bad. I don’t know. James’ doesn’t look as good.

“Emyr Huws hurt his back on Tuesday and it’s gone into his hamstring as well. We just found that out yesterday morning.

“I understand the injuries because of what’s happened over the last six months. It doesn’t help us, but you can’t make excuses. That’s football.”

Lambert was asked if Town’s injury record, which goes back several years now, needs to be looked at.

“I don’t know what happened before or anything like that,” he said. “You need luck as a footballer. You need luck to ride tackles and not get hurt. You get hurt and you hope it’s not a bad one. It’s part and parcel of the game I guess.”

Meanwhile, Lambert explained his decision to swap goalkeepers – David Cornell replacing Tomas Holy.

“We had to have a look at Dai, because he’s really good with his feet,” said Lambert. “Tomas has done really good, but we lose 3-0 on Tuesday and made a chnage. Dai had no chance with the goals today.”

On 17-year-old midfielder Gibbs, who made his league debut, Lambert said: “He’s going to be a good one. We need to give him time to develop, but he’s going to be a good one.

“He has to learn, he has to thrive on it. It’s a great moment for him to make his debut. Every player has to start somewhere. You need a manager brave enough to throw you in and give you the opportunity. I’ve done that with Gibbo.”

On his decision to bring on Aaron Drinan ahead of both Kayden Jackson and Oli Hawkins, he said: “Aaron needs some game time. To be fair to that lad he’s done great for us. Kayden is still getting up to speed. And do you know what? I don’t have many more players to pick from anyway. That’s it. That’s all we’ve got. The whole midfield is wiped out. We just don’t have many players to pick from.”

On the next two games, he said: “Two long trips, but there’s not time to dwell. You can’t dwell on it too long or it’s going to hurt you. I’ll stick up for the guys because they all gave me great effort. You can’t knock that. But they need a little bit of help.”

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