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
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says right-back is an area of the squad he wants to strengthen.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
“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.”