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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Lambert on Spence mistakes, Donacien's role and desire to sign a right-back

PUBLISHED: 16:50 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 18:59 10 January 2019

Jordan Spence is the player Town fans most want to see depart, according to our poll. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Jordan Spence is the player Town fans most want to see depart, according to our poll. Photo: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says right-back is an area of the squad he wants to strengthen.

Janoi Donacien hasn't featured in a match day squad since the start of December. Photo: Ross HallsJanoi Donacien hasn't featured in a match day squad since the start of December. Photo: Ross Halls

Jordan Spence has come in for increasing levels of criticism after making mistakes which led to damaging goals in the defeats to Millwall and Accrington Stanley.

However, Lambert sees the 28-year-old – whose contract is due to expire in the summer – as his only right-back option at present.

MORE: ‘You can’t lay the blame at Marcus Evans’ door’ – Lambert responds to criticism of owner

That’s because he is clear in his view that Janoi Donacien, who played several games at right-back under predecessor Paul Hurst, is very much a centre-back.

“As soon as I came into the club I recognised the positions that needed strengthening and right-back was one of them,” said the Blues boss.

“Jordan is our only right-back and, to be fair to him, he’s kept putting himself forwards.

MORE: Woolfenden staying at Swindon... but Lambert admits he could still recall defender from loan

“Mistakes happen in games, but I’ll never, ever blame anybody for an honest mistake. It’s just one of those things. It just seems to be falling on him every time.

“I’ll give him his due. He kept coming out and coming out and kept on going. That’s a big compliment because sometimes it can make you really heavy if you get a lot of criticism, but he’s kept on going.”

MORE: ‘I’m hopeful something will be sorted by the end of the day’ - Lambert wants to sign Collins

Donacien’s loan deal from Acrington Stanley recently became a £700k permanent deal after his work permit issues were sorted.

The 25-year-old, who Lambert briefly managed at Aston Villa, hasn’t featured in a match day squad since the start of December.

MORE: Ian Milne to step down as Ipswich Town managing director

Asked if he simply saw Donacien as his fourth-choice centre-back behind Luke Chambers, Matthew Pennington and Toto Nsiala, Lambert said: “I don’t see anybody as first, second, third or fourth choice. I pick two lads to play together who I think are quite strong. And I want to play football.

MORE: ‘One or two will probably go out’ – new signings will lead to exits, says Lambert

“I do see Janoi as a centre-half, some people might beg to differ, but in my opinion he’s a centre-half.

“Chambers and Pennington are playing really well, Toto (Nsiala) has done well, there’s the possibility of (James) Collins coming in. It becomes difficult. But that’s the nature of the game.

“I have to pick a team that can win games, plus entertain supporters.”

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