Lambert challenges fringe players to fight for places... with Donacien set to follow Rowe out on loan
PUBLISHED: 15:29 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:57 17 January 2019
Paul Lambert has challenged the players on the fringes of his Ipswich Town first-team to fight for their places.
The Blues boss has added six new players to his squad this January and has admitted some players will have to leave on temporary deals if they want to play between now and the end of the season.
Danny Rowe has joined Lincoln City while Janoi Donacien, only signed from Accrington in the summer, is available. While there has been interest in Jordan Roberts from a string of clubs in League One and League Two.
But Lambert has challenged the likes of Gwion Edwards, Jon Nolan and Andre Dozzell, who missed out on the matchday squad for the Saturday’s win over Rotherham, to fight for their places.
“Janoi (Donacien) looks like he could go and Danny Rowe too, they can go out,” Lambert said.
“We’re taking a look at it and waiting for it to go through.
“The lads have to play and that’s important. My job is to get this football club to be as strong as it can be, but those two lads definitely need games because they haven’t featured as much under myself.
“Jordan (Roberts) was one and there were teams who wanted him but things have broken down, been back on and then broken down again.
“I don’t know what’s happened with it but probably Jordan’s agent has been talking to clubs to see what’s going on. For whatever reason it seems to keep breaking down.”
When asked about Edwards and Nolan, Lambert said: “I know what those lads can do but we needed to get a different way as well because we couldn’t always rely on the lads. It was really tough for them and we needed help.
“I won’t just let anyone go out on loan unless I think it’s right for the club. Gwion’s been great, Jon’s done really well as well so there’s no way I can just send people out on loan because they’ve dropped out of the 18.
“It’s a squad game and you need the 22, 23 man squad to play all these games.
“You just have to work hard to get back in the side. They should do if they are up for taking that challenge on and that’s what you need, people who take that on.
“I had it in my own career and if it was good enough for myself then it’s good enough for others to have that competition.
“As soon as you stop looking over your shoulder as a footballer then you won’t progress. You need that fear-factor to perform.”
Lambert also admitted he would only consider a loan exit for Dozzell if it was to a club which suited his way of playing.
“Not at the minute because he’s doing really well in training and is a very big talent,” Lambert said.
“For Andre (to go out on loan) it would have to be the right club who suits the way he plays and I’m not sure on that one.”
Tristan Nydam returned to Suffolk earlier this month following a fruitless loan at St Johnstone, where he struggled for gametime, with Lambert only willing to send him and other young players out again if they would get the opportunity to play.
“I won’t send him out if I don’t think it’s right for him and that he won’t get games, which is what happened,” he said.
“I don’t want lads just to go out and training because they would be better off training with us.”