‘There were some home truths... the boys have got to step up to the plate’ – Lambert on 5-3 defeat at Lincoln

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Luke Garbutt scores Town's first equaliser with a free-kick at Lincoln City Picture Pagepix

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says some ‘home truths’ were told following his side’s 5-3 defeat at Lincoln City this afternoon.

The Blues boss kept his players in the dressing room for an hour after the final whistle at Sincil Bank. A six-game winless run has seen Town slip to fourth in the League One table ahead of Wednesday's trip to league-leaders Wycombe.

"There were no raised voices, maybe some home truths," explained Lambert. "The guys are good. I can't fault their effort. There were some harsh words, but nothing over the top.

"You have a relationship with guys. If you go in there in a crazed frenzy then people can be frightened or switch off. There are some young guys in there, 18/19/20 year olds. This is part of their upbringing. If you go in there and rant and rave I'm not so sure they will take it in. As a meeting it will hopefully be beneficial.

"The boys have got to step up to the plate now. Some of them are young, some are older. There are different personalities. You can be a quiet personality but also pretty nasty on the pitch though.

"It doesn't matter if you are 19/20 or if you've played 100-odd games, you've got to have that desire, hunger, the eye of the tiger. I was never six foot three or built massively myself, but if you beat me you had to go some. That's what I need to install in the guys. We have to get that back."

With Town having now gone 10 games without a win in all competitions, Lambert said: "Any run is worrying. Do you know the crazy thing? We're still in a good position. We're still up there and there is so far to go. We're having a run that nobody wants, but we're still in that mix. Everybody has to accept that you're going to lose games. It's about putting it right as quickly as you can.

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"You have to concentrate on the good things that got you in that position. It can't just be negative, negative, negative, negative. That's no good for anybody at the club or anybody who supports the club. We need everybody to group together and become really watertight."

With a section of the travelling fans reacting angrily at the end, Lambert said: "They've come in their thousands to watch. I'll never criticise supporters because they pay their money. I played at world renowned clubs and I know what it's like when you're only as good as your last pass. Come the end of the season we'll hopefully give them something to enjoy. For now we take the uppercut that's coming in our direction.

"People think the game is about managers. It's not about managers, it's about players and supporters."

Reflecting on the game, Lambert said: "They started better than us, they got a good goal, but that was from our throw-in, which was the disappointing thing. Then we started to play and got a grip of the game. (Luke) Garbutt scored a really good free-kick and that's what we deserved.

"Then we lose a really poor goal towards the end. It's one long ball and Will (Norris) gets caught. By his own admission he should maybe stay on his line, but I'll never criticise Will Norris because he's been excellent for us. Those things happen.

"We get the equaliser and that point you think it's going to go either way. Again we had a throw-in on the left side, we never got hold of the ball and they score. Then it goes to 4-2, we get one back for 4-3 and the fifth one is just because we've thrown everybody forward looking for an equaliser.

"We have been pretty solid over the most part of the season, but you can't score three goals away from home and lose five. That's too much."

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