‘The place is bouncing... But there’s a long way to go’ – Lambert on 4-1 win against Tranmere

Kane Vincent-Young celebrates with James Norwood after scoring to give Town their fourth in the 4-1

Kane Vincent-Young celebrates with James Norwood after scoring to give Town their fourth in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert insists there’s ‘still a hell of a long way to go’ after his side strengthened their position at the top of the League One table with a 4-1 home win against Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.

Jon Nolan celebrates his goal in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers. Picture: Steve Waller w

Jon Nolan has scored 10 goals for Ipswich Town since arriving from Shrewsbury in 2018. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Luke Garbutt's breathtaking free-kick (35) and Kane Vincent-Young's superb solo goal (70) book-ended clinical rebound finishes from Kayden Jackson (48), and Jon Nolan (62) as Town extended their unbeaten start to 10 games.

Lambert's men remain two points clear of second-place Wycombe and four points clear of third-place Fleetwood ahead of the long trip to the latter next weekend.

"The league starts to settle down now, but 34 games is still a hell of a long way to go," said the Blues boss, who again sent his players over to celebrate in front of supporters at the final whistle.

"We've got one or two more guys to come back from injury and will hopefully get stronger.

Luke Garbutt wheels away after giving Town a 1-0 lead against Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller

Luke Garbutt wheels away after giving Town a 1-0 lead against Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

"At this moment, the club is moving forwards in a really good way. The whole place is absolutely bouncing at the minute. The support at the end was brilliant. It's been a long time since the stadium's been like that."

Town stepped things up after the restart having toiled in the first period. Garbutt's free-kick was their only real moment of quality in the opening 45 minutes, with a series of individual errors seeing their pursuit of a club record sixth successive league clean sheet come to an end when Stefen Payne equalised.

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"As a team we've been brilliant defensively so you can't be too critical of the goal today because they've been great," said Lambert.

"Do you think Tranmere are going to turn up and let us do what we want? That's not going to happen. Football's a hard, hard game. You don't have a divine right to win games or play well. It's impossible.

Kane Vincent-Young beats Kieron Morris to head the ball in the first half. Picture: Steve Waller

Kane Vincent-Young beats Kieron Morris to head the ball in the first half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

"You're going to get games like this. Teams come here, see the stadium, see the atmosphere and they are going to raise their game.

"I had that most of my career as a player so I know exactly what it's like. I played for top clubs - Dortmund and Celtic - where everybody wanted to come and beat us.

"The important thing is you keep a cool head and you stick to your way of playing. Hopefully that breaks teams down. It's about patience and keeping everything calm. The longer that game went on the stronger we looked.

"The game wasn't going our way first half, but second half I thought we were absolutely fantastic, we always looked a threat and the goals were great. I'm really, really happy with the team."

Tomas Holy rolls out the ball early in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match

Tomas Holy rolls out the ball early in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

On Garbutt's opener, he said: "The other week he must have hit 12 of those free-kicks in practice and scored eight or nine of them. So was it a surprise to see it go in like that? Probably not. Technically his set-plays are incredible."

On Jackson's goal, which came after Garbutt's low free-kick was spilt by keeper Scott Davies, Lambert said: "Maybe their goalkeeper will look back on that one, but I thought Kayden was fantastic all game. He did what any good striker does and put it in the back of the net."

On Nolan's goal, a headed finish after Jackson's shot had lopped up off a defender, the Blues boss said: "He's a goalscorer without a doubt. The longer that game went on he got stronger and looked like he could score a few more."

And on Vincent-Young's goal, the right wing-back controlling a long ball before tricking his way inside and rifling beyond the keeper with his weaker left foot, Lambert enthused: "It was a great goal from a lad who is playing at the top end of his game at the minute. He's playing ever so well.

Town manager Paul Lambert pictured ahead of the Tranmere match. Picture: Steve Waller www.step

Town manager Paul Lambert pictured ahead of the Tranmere match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

"I'm delighted with how he's settled (following a £500k switch from Colchester). His performances have been outstanding."

Asked if there was even more to come from this team, the Blues boss added: "If it was that easy Notts Forest would have got out of the division (straight away), Sheffield Wednesday would have, Leeds United... Norwich, okay they did it (under Lambert), but Sheffield United took five years.

"Teams don't generally do it. It's a tough division.

"That's why you've got to be realistic with what we're up against here. Every game is hard.

"Credit to Tranmere. They played a good first half and made it difficult. But we stuck to it."

Meanwhile, Lambert explained the absence of striker Will Keane from the squad.

"He just hurt his groin a little bit," said the Blues boss. "We couldn't take a chance, but it's not too bad. We just have to monitor him a bit."

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