‘We were very professional, it could have been more’ – Lambert on Town’s 5-0 thrashing of Bolton
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert praised his side for doing a ‘professional job’ in winning 5-0 at crisis club Bolton Wanderers this afternoon.
James Norwood and Kayden Jackson both scored twice, Gwion Edwards getting the other, as an experienced Blues side eased to victory against a Trotters team packed with teenagers following a summer mass exodus.
Norwood's 19th minute penalty was the difference at the break, as the young home side did themselves proud in front of a crowd of just 5,454, before the Blues went up a gear after the restart.
Town are top of League One after starting the season with three wins and two draws, while Bolton are 23rd - still in administration and on minus 11 points - after shipping 15 goals in their last three games.
"Coventry came here and it was nil-nil - this was a dangerous game," said Lambert. "The grass was long, the weather was absolutely roasting, the atmosphere in the stadium was good, not the boos and protests of before, because fans are never going to criticise kids.
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"We train with the younger ones back home and they make it difficult for you. You never know what you're going to get with kids - they are fearless.
"I gave them a bit of a hard time after the first half. Even though we had a lot of the ball and a lot of chances, it just wasn't the standard I expect. Second half we were very, very good. That was the way to play the game.
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"We had to overcome a few obstacles and thankfully we played a professional game and did really well.
"All credit to my own team. We did everything right. We had to do the job. I thought we were very professional, very thorough and it could have been more."
Norwood has now scored four goals in three games. The summer signing had a hand in the three he didn't score today and could have had even more himself - keeper Remi Matthews denying him three times one-on-one, while a snap volley went over the bar.
The 28-year-old appeared to share a joke with Lambert when withdrawn from the action in the 78th minute. Asked if the front man was frustrated not be able to stay on and get a hat-trick, Lambert replied: "Yeah, but I pick the team and make the subs so he has to go with it! He made a comment just going by me saying he was just getting his eye in.
"The team is more important than any individual. He did his job, he got his goals and we've got another hard game next week."
Asked if he had any sympathy for the Trotters, Lambert said: "Listen, if the boot was on the other foot someone would do that to you. You can't feel sorry for them. The kids at Bolton will learn. It's a great learning curve for them.
"As I said to you yesterday, what they are going through now we had to go through last year when playing our kids. The difference is we've got a huge football club."
Lambert made five changes to the team which beat AFC Wimbledon 2-1 at Portman Road in midweek. Kane Vincent-Young had an impressive debut at right-back, Alan Judge started his first league game following a wrist injury, while Emyr Huws came off the bench to get some more minutes under his belt.
On Vincent-Young, Lambert said: "I thought he was excellent given he missed a few weeks playing time. You can see his attributes, I think he's going to be a right plus for us.
"I'm really pleased with everybody. Whether we make changes or not, we look a really strong side.
"I changed the team to give some lads game time. Judgey got 90 minutes under his belt, Gwion (Edwards) another 70, we got Emyr (Huws) some more minutes.
"Woolfy (Luke Woolfenden) was excellent the other day, but I've only got three centre-halfs so I'll keep changing them (James Wilson having replaced Woolfenden today). I need everybody up to speed. It will be different when Toto (Nsiala) is back in hopefully another couple of weeks.
"(Jon) Nolan and (Will) Keane (who both played for the U23s yesterday) are doing really well. It's hotting up."
Lambert added: "I'm really happy with the way everything is going at the minute. The atmosphere around the club is really good, the town is going with the club and we're all going one way.
"I think we've started the season really well, we're playing with a lot of confidence and the fans are really behind us.
"The game next Saturday (home to Shrewsbury) will be jumping. We're playing really well.
"Hopefully we can gain some momentum. We will have sticky patches, that's normal, but at the moment it's all really, really good. The start has been very, very good, but there is still a long way to go."