‘We’ll just go for it’ – Lambert on Town’s tactics for basement battle at Bolton
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town take on Bolton Wanderers in Lancashire this afternoon. STUART WATSON previews the meeting between the Championship’s bottom two sides.
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says his team will ‘just go for it’ in today’s basement battle at Bolton Wanderers.
With the cut-adrift Blues almost certainly destined for League One, the secondary goal now has to be avoiding finishing bottom of the table – something that’s happened just twice in the club’s history.
Today’s result against the second-bottom Trotters – who are eight points ahead – could go a long way to determining that.
“We’ll do everything we can not to finish bottom,” said Lambert, with more then 1,300 away tickets having been sold for this afternoon’s clash in Lancashire.
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“We’ll just go for it, it’s the only way I know. The support don’t want to go all that way just to watch us play 4-4-2 and sit behind the ball or 4-5-1 or only play on the counter-attack.
“That’s alright if we’re playing Man City because you’re doing all you can to keep it down to 10, but I don’t want to go there and sit and wait.
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“We’re playing well and we’re young, we’ve got energy and we’ll just go and do what we’ve always been doing.”
It’s been a turbulent week for Bolton.
On Monday, their players announced they were going on a 48-hour strike over the second case of late pay.
On Tuesday, the threat of matchday staff also going on strike over late pay meant no safety certificate was awarded for today’s game and raised concerns over a postponement.
On Wednesday, the Lancashire club were given a stay of execution over an unpaid tax bill of £1.2m as the High Court case was adjourned for a second time.
Players and staff were paid on Thursday, with the game subsequently confirmed as being on, but the threat of administration, even liquidation, still hangs over the club as a takeover continues to drag.
“We’ve prepared as normal,” said Lambert. “The pleasing thing for me is that we’re playing well.
“Even on Saturday (in the 2-0 home defeat to Hull City) we had two cleared off the line. We had so much of the ball.
“I’m not one really into stats but you can’t have 600-odd passes in a game, 15 shots, six on target and no goals. They had three and scored two.
“It just doesn’t add up but that’s been the story more or less the whole time. We shouldn’t have drawn some games, let alone lost.”
Last five finishes: 21st (Champ), 2nd (Lg One), 24th, 18th, 14th (all Champ)
Last game: W 2-1 QPR (a)
Last 10 games: WLLWL LLWLL
Last home game: L 2-0 Sheff Weds
Home form: W4 D4 L11 F12 A28
Last home attendance: 13,624
Margins of victory: 1 (x8), 3+ (x1)
Margins of defeat: 1 (x13), 2 (x7), 3+ (x5)
Most league starts: 35: Lowe; 32: Olkowski; 28: Wheater; 27: Beevers; 26: Magennis
Top-scorers: 4: Ameobi, Buckley, Magennis; 3: O’Neil
11 – Game undefeated run against Bolton (W6 D5)
8 – Only Leeds have fewer draws then Bolton
• Bolton are looking to win consecutive league matches for the first time since August
Ipswich Town 0 Bolton Wdrs 0
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Bolton played with 10 men for the entire second half after Marc Wilson was dismissed just before the break. Town failed to muster a single shot on target from open play. Sub Jon Walters lasted just seven minutes. This was a fifth successive home draw.
Ipswich Town team news
• Will Keane and James Collins both trained this week and could potentially make their returns from hamstring and calf injuries respectively.
• Jon Nolan is a real doubt for the Blues, with the midfielder leaving Saturday’s game with Hull with an Achilles problem.
• Teddy Bishop missed that game with an ankle problem but has returned to training and could return to the squad.
• Ellis Harrison has missed training with a back problem.
• Callum Elder is back with Ipswich after undergoing surgery on a hernia. Myles Kenlock is likely to continue at left-back, though.
• Tom Adeyemi trained with Ipswich for the first time under Lambert earlier this week but is still some way from a return. Emyr Huws has missed training since playing for the Blues’ Under-23s last week.
Bolton Wanderers team news
• Bolton have doubts over defender Jack Hobbs (back), midfielder Luke Murphy (calf) and winger Yanic Wildschut (ankle).
• Midfielder Jason Lowe has been ruled out for the season with an ankle injury.
• Bolton boss Phil Parkinson will need to chose between Josh Magennis and Clayton Donaldson for the central striker role.
Opposition key man
You never quite know what you’re going to get with the tall wide player but, when he’s on song, his long legs and silky touch can test any full-back in the division. He has four goals to his name so far this season.
Bolton win - 17/10
Draw - 21/20
Ipswich win - 2/1
Peter Bankes (Merseyside)
Games: 34, Yellows: 148, Reds: 4
Bolton 2 Ipswich Town 1
Bolton still scrapping for lives. That might just give them edge.