‘Best performance of my time here... we could have had six or seven’ – Lambert on 4-1 win against Burton
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert hailed this afternoon’s 4-1 home win against Burton Albion as the best performance of his time at the club.
The Blues trailed to Jamie Murphy's sixth minute opener, but ended up comfortable victors as Alan Judge (29, 63) and Kayden Jackson (45+, 52) both ended the game with two goals and an assist to their names.
It was a much-needed positive result and display off the back of a four-game winless run which had seen Town slip from first to seventh in the League One table. The Blues remain a point outside the play-off zone after Portsmouth, Sunderland, Wycombe and Coventry all registered victories of their own this afternoon.
"In the 15 months I've been at this football that's the best performance for a number of reasons," said Lambert. "We could have won six or seven. We were really, really good.
"Will Keane misses a chance early on, then they go down the other end and score. I couldn't believe it. Then Judgey hits the bar, Kayden goes around the goalkeeper (and fires over) and the chances kept on coming. I thought 'not one of these days again'. Then we get a goal through Judgey which was probably more difficult then any of the previous chances.
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"After that we took charge. I thought we were excellent the whole game.
"I thought Jackson was unplayable. He was fantastic. We changed the system second half (to 4-4-2). Good players can play anywhere and Judgey is a really good player. He's an Irish international who has got a very good chance of qualifying (for Euro 2020. He was excellent with his touch in the conditions. That front three were linking up brilliantly - Judge, Keane and Jackson.
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"Luke (Garbutt) was excellent, Josh Earl played really well. As the game went on and on, and the goals started going in, you could see that everybody was wanting to take the ball. The front lads were excellent. There were a lot of good performances there.
"Freddie (Sears) looked sharp, Bish (Teddy Bishop) looked sharp (when both came on as subs). There are a lot of good things today. Momentum is a big thing. That's one game finished. We go to the next one."
Asked how big a boost this was off the back of a return of just one point from a possible 12, Lambert said: "We went to Wimbledon, dominated the ball so much, but just didn't take our chances. Sunderland we played a really good game and should have been or two up in the first half. The lads have been excellent.
"We're only five points off first place. It's incredible how tight it is. We've got eight home games now. That's one ticked off. We're well in the mix that's for sure."
He continued: "The crowd only want to see the team win. All I ask of the crowd is to come and enjoy themselves. As I said before, I wouldn't want to pay 20-odd quid and come to the ground and talk nonsense and criticise people. Why would you want to do that? That's no good for the kids. Come and enjoy yourself and we'll try and give everything we possibly can.
"You've a better chance when everybody relaxes and enjoys it."
The Blues boss added: "This football club has got pressure whether it's in the Premier League, Championship or League One with its history and the size of the fanbase behind it. Until the day the world ends this club is always going to have pressure on it because of what happened in the Butcher, Wark, Mills and Burley era. I blame all them for putting the pressure on!
"But you have to live up to it. You have to be ready for what's coming. I was fortunate to play for massive clubs under unbelievable pressure. I loved it, I needed it, it's a drug to me. If you want to be a top player you have to handle that.
"That's why I said today was our best performance. That proved to me that they are all winners. People were saying 'can they handle the crowd?'. Hopefully they've turned a corner with that."