'I'm just going to go for it' – Lambert's game plan for the East Anglian derby
PUBLISHED: 06:00 10 February 2019
Pagepix Ltd.07976 935738
Ipswich Town take on Norwich City, at Carrow Road, in the second East Anglian derby of the season this afternoon (12pm ko). STUART WATSON previews the action.
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert wants his team to play with ‘controlled aggression’ in tomorrow lunchtime’s East Anglian derby.
The Blues boss says he is relishing the prospect of a hostile reception on his return to the club he led from League One to a mid-table Premier League finish.
That is just one major sub-plot for what, going into the weekend, was a top-versus-bottom Championship clash.
There may be a 39-point chasm between the sides, but Lambert – whose team have lost 11 of their last 14 – scoffs at the thought he would be content with a draw or abandon his possession principles.
Asked if he and his players need to rise above the emotion of the occasion, Lambert said: “I don’t want us to be a soft touch. I don’t want us to sit back, let them have the ball and let things happen. No, we go there and we have to have aggression, controlled aggression, enthusiasm, tempo – everything you associate with football.
“If we don’t have that we’ll have a hard time. If we have that then we’ll be in the game. I won’t curtail anybody. To be a top, top player you have to have that devilment in you.”
Norwich leapfrogged Leeds at the top with a 3-1 victory at Elland Road last weekend, while Town conceded a last-minute goal to lose 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
Asked if he was surprised to see his former employers at the top, Lambert said: “I don’t know because I’ve not really followed them. I don’t know major, major things about them. I know they are where they are and they are playing well... but let’s see what happens.
“I respect Norwich as a team, I’ve got to trust in my own players. Let them worry about us. We will play the way we play.
“I don’t have a balancing act. I just go for it. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to go for it. That’s my balancing act.
“It’s going to be difficult. I know that. But I’d rather go and give it a go than not.
“Play my way, play the club’s way – my message to the players has been what it’s always been.”
He added: “We’ll go there with so much heart and so much enthusiasm. It’s a difficult game, but on any given day you can win.
“We’ll need a bit of luck, some good play and some fight. Nobody knows if it’s going to be good enough, but we’ll be ready for it.”
Manager: Daniel Farke (May 2017): P87 W37 D26 L24
Last five finishes: 14th, 8th (both Champ’), 19th (Prem Lg), 3rd (Champ’), 18th (Prem Lg)
Home form: W9 D2 L4 F31 A25
Last game: W 3-1 Leeds (a)
Last home game: D 2-2 Sheff Utd
Margins of victory: 1 (x11), 2 (x6), 3+ (x2)
Margins of defeat: 1 (x6), 3 (x1)
Most league starts: 30: Krul; 27: Pukki; 26: Lewis; 25: Aarons, Tettey
Top-scorers: Pukki (19), Rhodes (9), Vrancic (7), Hernandez (6)
2009 – Town’s last win against Norwich (D5 L6 F8 A11)
39 – Points between the sides
Town XI v Norwich last Sept: Gerken; Spence, Pennington, Chambers, Knudsen; Edwards, Skuse, Nolan, Graham; Walters, Jackson.
Ipswich Town 1 Norwich City 1
Date: Sunday, September 2, 2018
Town’s wait for an East Anglian derby win went on as Gwion Edwards’ deflected strike (57) was cancelled out as Moritz Leitner picked his spot (71).
Paul Hurst’s side were left to rue not scoring a killer second when on top, Edwards dragging a big chance wide.
Ipswich Town team news
• Paul Lambert will hand late fitness tests to experienced centre-back duo Luke Chambers (foot) and James Collins (hamstring). Both have barely trained for the last fortnight.
• Trevoh Chalobah and Will Keane are pushing for a start after impacts off the bench in last weekend’s 1-0 home loss to Sheffield Wednesday.
• Lambert says he has a decision to make regarding whether midfielder Teddy Bishop should start or ‘make an impact’.
• Emyr Huws, Grant Ward and Tom Adeyemi remain long-term absentees.
• Ben Morris has joined fellow youth team striker Ben Folami in suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Norwich City team news
• Defender Timm Klose (knee) and midfielder Moritz Leitner (ankle) – who scored the equalisers in the last two meetings between the sides – remain sidelined.
• Experienced midfielder Alex Tettey is available again after a groin problem. He returned to action as a late sub last weekend.
• Deadline day signing Philip Heise, a German left-back recruited from Dynamo Dresden, could be involved for the first time.
• Louis Thompson (knee) and Carlton Morris (ankle) remain long-term absentees.
Opposition key man
Finnish forward has scored 18 goals in 27 Championship starts. That’s just five fewer than the entire Town squad. What a free transfer the 28-year-old has been from Danish side Brondby.
Norwich City 2/5
Ipswich Town 9/1
Games: 19, Yellows: 96, Reds: 2
Norwich City 2 Ipswich Town 1
Blues to give it their all, but worry it will ultimately be comfortable for the Canaries.