'I have to see what he can do... he will definitely get his chance' - Lambert ready to give Ndaba an Ipswich debut
PUBLISHED: 17:02 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 17 April 2019
Paul Lambert will hand defender Corrie Ndaba his Ipswich Town debut during the next four games.
The teenage Irishman, who signed a professional deal in February, has been a stand-out performer in his role as captain of the Blues' table-topping Under 23s this season.
Ndaba, a left-footed, strong and vocal central defender, has trained regularly with the senior side and has been part of Lambert's matchday squads but has yet to make the bench.
He is now set for his debut.
“Corrie will play at some stage before we finish, whether it's Friday, Monday, Sheffield United or Leeds I don't know,” Lambert said.
“He'll definitely play though because I have to see what he can do.
“He's been doing well in his own age group but the jump to first-team level is a big one.
“You won't know until you throw them in but he will definitely get his chance.
“Left-footed centre-halves are pretty unique.
“The club let one or two go in the past but Corrie has done well enough.”
When asked if Idris El Mizouni, who has made three substitute appearances in recent weeks, could be handed his first start, Lambert said: “I don't know.
“He's doing well but I'll have a look at it.”
Lambert has a number of knocks to contend with ahead of Friday's visit to Preston, but Jon Nolan (Achilles/illness) and Will Keane (hamstring) have both trained and could be available.
“Jon (Nolan) trained this morning for the first time, which is great because he's been really good for us,” he said.
“He had an illness last week and is okay now.
“Will's trained over the last few days, whether he's fit enough to start I don't know.”
James Collins could miss out, though, after leaving the draw with Birmingham early, which in turn could open the door for Ndaba to feature at Deepdale.
“James might struggle but we'll see how he is,” Lambert said.
“He's done really well when he's played but that must be the frustration for him.
“I've not really thought about (his future) because we've been trying to get points on the board.
“He's been in the game long enough now (to know how it works) and I'm sure I will speak to him before the end of the season.”
Ellis Harrison is definitely out with a back problem but could still feature before the end of the season.
“He's got a problem with his back which means this one (Preston) is too early for him,” Lambert said.
“Whether he will be ok for Swansea or Sheffield United I don't know.”