'They've been brilliant for us'.... Town boss Lambert heaps praise on young stars
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.
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.
"The expectations on them is something they have to deal with," he said.
"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.
"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."
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?
"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."