'I might just give one or two a chance... but I'll pick a team to win' - Lambert's plan as life after relegation begins
PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 06:55 19 April 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert does not expect to have any issues lifting his players for this afternoon's visit to Preston, as life after relegation begins for the Blues.
The club's drop into the third tier was confirmed last Saturday, following the 1-1 draw at home Birmingham, meaning the Blues' battle to stay in the Championship is over with four games remaining.
The first of those is at Deepdale today, with Lambert considering changes to his side with an eye on next season. He doesn't expect to have any trouble lifting his side for the game, though, even if the battle is already lost.
“I might do,” Lambert said when asked if he might experiment during the final four games.
“I might just give one or two a chance to see how they do. I'll need to utilise everybody because we've got one or two little knocks.
“There are a lot of good things here and one or two might get a chance.
“I'll go and try and win games, whoever's in the team, and my main concern is for the club.
“I don't think it will be difficult (to lift the players) because they're young.
“You will still get everything out of them and the enthusiasm they generate.
“We're going to have a great support, that's the beauty of it. The supporters will come and get behind you.
“We'll do our best to try and win. It's not as if we've been playing bad football so we'll do what we can to try and win games.”
Even if he was to use the four remaining games to begin planning for next season, with Corrie Ndaba set to become the latest debutant from the academy, Lambert insisted it's not necessarily the end of the road for loan players such as Collin Quaner, Trevoh Chalobah and James Bree.
“I wouldn't say that,” the Town boss said, when asked if the loanees would be stood down.
“The biggest compliment I can give the loan lads is that they have fitted in well and given everything.
“There's not one of the loanees who I have thought didn't want to be here or anything like that.
“I have no problem with them still playing.
“I'll just look at it and pick a team I think can go out and win games.”
In focus - Preston North End
Last five finishes: 7th, 11th, 11th (all Championship), 3rd, 5th (both League One)
Manager: Alex Neil (Jul '17): P95 W37 D29 L29
Last game: L 4-1 West Brom (a)
Last 10 games: LLLLW WWDWD
Last home game: L 2-0 Leeds
Home form: W7 D9 L5 F34 L27
Winning margins: 1 (x9), 2 (x5), 3+ (x3)
Losing margins: 1 (x9), 2 (x4), 3+ (x3)
Average league attendance: 14,155
Top-scorers: 11: Browne, Robinson
Most league starts: 35: Davies; 34: Browne, Rudd; 31: Hughes; 30: Pearson
- Town haven't lost to Preston since Joe Garner's FA Cup hat-trick of 2014 (W4 D3)
42- Goals conceded by Town in 23 away games (scored 15)
38- Players used by Town this season (most in Championship)
Ipswich Town 1-1 Preston North End - Saturday, November 3, 2018
Paul Lambert's first game started so well, the Blues full value for Freddie Sears' penalty opener right on half-time. Sub Paul Gallagher then scored a free-kick with his first touch (71) and ended up in goal after Chris Maxwell was dismissed (75). He denied a Danny Rowe volley.
Andy's prediction: Injury-hit Preston's season fizzling out. Town love a 1-1.