New boss Lambert will have seen what is ‘blatantly obvious’ – Klug reflects on 3-0 defeat at Millwall
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Ipswich Town caretaker manager Bryan Klug says newly appointed boss Paul Lambert will have seen some problems that are ‘blatantly obvious’ when watching this afternoon’s 3-0 defeat at Millwall from the stands.
Town started the game well enough, but their confidence drained as Lee Gregory twice profited from some poor defending at set-pieces either side of the break – the first from a corner (26) and the second following a long throw (51).
Ryan Leonard added a third in the 70th minute, chipping home from the edge of the box after Bartosz Bialkowski and Luke Chambers had collided, to leave Town bottom of the table and five points adrift of safety.
“Well I think the game probably sums up... how can I put this? It would show all our problems and shortcomings probably,” said Klug.
“I thought we were in the game, I don’t think either team had full control, though Millwall always carried a much bigger threat than us.
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“Everyone knows they score a lot of goals off set plays and we didn’t defend well enough on those occasions really.
“When you’re in a bad run and things go against you, and you’re kind of thinking you’re not going to score too many goals, then it gets difficult.”
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Of the 25 league goals conceded by Town in the league so far, 12 of them have come from set-pieces (not including penalties).
“They’ve got some big old lumps and it’s very difficult to win the first header,” said Klug. “Obviously we have an organisation that should deal with it. Sometimes you win the first ball, sometimes you have to win the second ball. “They took their chances though. They’ve got a goalscorer.”
On the issue of fragile confidence, Klug said: “If you’ve ever played football you’ll know that if you’re not too sure you’re going to score too many goals then that confidence does tend to drain away. I saw that, yeah.
“But I have no complaints with any of the players. I thought we kept going. There was no throwing in the towel and that has got to be a good sign for a new manager coming in.
“The game is alright between the boxes, but it’s in the boxes that matters. That’s what we’ve got to get better at and that can be achieved if you work hard at it. Then you get a bit more confidence.
“It also helps if you can buy somebody who can score 30 goals a season as well...”
Asked if Lambert had spoken to the players at any stage yet, Klug replied: “No. Paul Lambert was at the game. I’ve not spoken to him yet, though he might want to speak to me now after watching that!
“We’re training tomorrow (under him), everybody is in, and the work starts.
“What did he make of that? You’ll have to ask him. I don’t know. He’s obviously got a very experienced eye. He’ll see things that he can grow. He’ll see things that he needs to eradicate.
“It will be interesting to find out. There might be things there that he thinks are good, but he’ll certainly, like all of us, see what is blatantly obvious.”
The Championship table does not make for good reading, especially as Hull won 1-0 at Bolton this afternoon to leave Town three points adrift of everybody else. Town’s form needs to pick up quick with games against Preston (h) and Reading (a) coming up.
“Of course it does. It’s urgent,” admitted Klug. “When Mick (McCarthy) joined on the first of November (2012) we only had seven points. We’ve got nine now. Back then we went on a fantastic run. We realise that’s needed again.
“It’s not all doom and gloom. The players have got to stick together. We’ve got to fight. We know we’re in a fight.”
He continued: “I was asking the players to be a little bit braver on the ball today and they found that difficult to do. I think some players found that more difficult than others. We’ll get back on the training field and find a way.
“I think from the players’ point of view they see this as a clean slate, which is what they wanted. They realise that the new manager has got an experienced eye so they’ve got to impress him.
“I’m guessing that’s part of the plan to have a bounce, though there wasn’t too much a bounce today unfortunately. Although, like I say, had we defended set-pieces we might be talking differently. But we’re not.”
On his decision to go with a 3-5-2 system, he explained: “That was based on the way that Millwall play. I felt the shape of the team was okay because we weren’t getting ripped apart in open play. We conceded at set plays.
“Keeping two up top I was hoping we’d get some opportunities, but we didn’t get too many. We thought today that was the best way to try and get something but it didn’t work out.”