‘We were the better side... That’s the first time a team has defended as deep as that’ – Lambert on 2-2 draw with Blackpool
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert insisted his team were the better side following this afternoon’s entertaining 2-2 draw with Blackpool at Portman Road.
The Blues took the lead through Gwion Edwards' eighth minute goal but were pegged back when Joe Nuttall converted at the end of a rapid counter-attack from a home corner (22). The visitors took the lead through Jay Spearing's penalty (53), but Luke Garbutt's spot-kick (59) levelled things up and Town had strong shouts for a scrambled effort crossing the line as they pressed for a winner.
"I think we were the better team and Blackpool will be happier with the point," said Lambert, whose team are now five points behind League One leaders Wycombe and three ahead of third-place Peterborough (both of whom scored stoppage-time winners today) heading into Tuesday night's top-of-the-table clash with the Chairboys at Portman Road.
"They set up to hit us on the counter-attack and we dominated the ball. That's probably the first time a team has come here and defended as deep as that.
"I was really happy with how we played. We dominated the ball, they defended with a lot of guys behind the ball and their front two guys were dropping behind the halfway line and tried to stop us from playing. That's their prerogative, I don't have a problem with that.
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"All credit to the team, we did everything we could to try and get the result. I was happy with the way we kept going."
Controversy surrounded both of Blackpool's goals, with Cole Skuse going down with a head injury during the build-up to the first and Town players insistent that Sullay Kaikai dived to win the penalty after Luke Chambers' rash challenge in the box. Then, at 2-2, there were strong shouts that Town had scrambled the ball over the line after Luke Woolfenden had headed towards goal.
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"Unless the rule has changed, I think a head injury is meant to stop the game isn't it?" said Lambert. "It happens. The referee calls it the way he sees it. That's the way it is.
"For their penalty, I think the linesman has said to the referee there's no contact, but the referee still gave it. That's what I've heard. So, yeah... But that's football.
"I haven't seen that one (goalline incident) back yet. One thing is for sure though, we make it exciting and always keep going."
Having recently come back into the team for three straight cup ties, Janoi Donacien enjoyed another impressive game at right-back. Lambert said: "He found himself out of the team because of Kane's (Vincent-Young) form, I played Gwion (Edwards) at Rochdale because I thought it was the right thing to do, but he's come back in Janoi and done great. That's what competition does."
On the absence of striker James Norwood from the squad, Lambert explained: "Him and Kane, roughly, had the same kind of little (groin) operation. The two of them are doing really well, but I just thought this one came a little early. James hasn't done a lot of training so I didn't want to take a chance, risk it and then he comes out for three or four games. It was just precautionary. I'll see how they both are for Tuesday."