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‘They’ve been brilliant for us’.... Town boss Lambert heaps praise on young stars

19 December, 2019 - 13:00
Paul Lambert and Flynn Downes who, along with other young players, is praised by the Town boss. Picture: ARCHANT

Paul Lambert and Flynn Downes who, along with other young players, is praised by the Town boss. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has heaped praise on his young stars as the team head into the hectic Festive period, starting at Portsmouth on Saturday.

Luke Woolfenden on the ball during Ipswich Town's 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers at Portman Road Photo: ROSS HALLSLuke Woolfenden on the ball during Ipswich Town's 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers at Portman Road Photo: ROSS HALLS

Lambert has helped nurture the emergence of youngsters Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden into first-team regulars, while Andre Dozzell is making strides back into the starting XI.

Idris El Mizouni and Armando Dobra have all seen plenty of first-team minutes too, as Lambert puts faith in his young players.

He has nothing but praise for them, but knows it is tough.

MORE: 'We'd have taken where we are now back in August'... Town boss

"The expectations on them is something they have to deal with," he said.

Andre Dozzell calling for the ball during Town's 1-1 draw with Coventry City in the second round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLSAndre Dozzell calling for the ball during Town's 1-1 draw with Coventry City in the second round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLS

"It's how to deal with it psychologically as well. We have big club syndrome being in League One and being near the top - the young players are having to cope with that.

"If you look at the team, Luke Woolfenden, Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes are 20/21 years old. We are asking these three especially to keep carrying it. They've been brilliant for us.

"Idris El Mizouni and Armando Dobra are younger. There aren't many 18/19-year olds starting their careers in this division.

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"Give them a few years to develop and they will be the cornerstone of this club. Unless someone comes in for x amount of money of course, you can't stop that.

Armando Dobra in action during Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at Portman Road in the first round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLSArmando Dobra in action during Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at Portman Road in the first round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLS

"But they deserve a lot of credit and they could all be very good - already young players are a large chunk of our team, our squad."

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Lambert and Town head south to Pompey in a League One clash not in especially good form, with just one win in 10 in all competitions.

They sit seven points behind Wycombe at the top - who they play on New Year's Day - and five ahead of sixth-placed Rotherham, although with a game in hand.

Lambert has a decent squad, but with the January transfer window just around the corner, will he look to add players?

Idris El Mizouni avoids a challenge at Peterborough Picture Pagepix LtdIdris El Mizouni avoids a challenge at Peterborough Picture Pagepix Ltd

"You're always wanting to add, you always do," he said.

"If one or two guys go, you maybe need to try and replace them. Whether the money is there I'm not so sure.

"As I said the other day, I wouldn't expect to be able to say we're going to spend x amount of money. We don't have it.

"If we sell one of the guys would that help? Probably. The club only has one investor, where does it stop? It's impossible to have that investment year in and year out. It's got to stop somewhere.

"And that's why the kids are really important to the club because you have to give them time to develop if you're not going to go and spend money."


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