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‘My God, we were fantastic’ – Lambert convinced wins will come after 2-2 draw at Reading

PUBLISHED: 18:56 10 November 2018

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert gives the thumbs up on the touchline at Reading. Photo: Pagepix

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert gives the thumbs up on the touchline at Reading. Photo: Pagepix

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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert hailed his side’s first half display in this afternoon’s 2-2 draw at Reading and insists the wins will come to lift the Blues out of the Championship relegation zone.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert is very animated on the touchline at Reading. Photo: PagepixIpswich Town manager Paul Lambert is very animated on the touchline at Reading. Photo: Pagepix

Town dominated the opening period at the Madejski Stadium and should have extended their lead after early goals from Gwion Edwards (5) and Freddie Sears (11) came either side of Yakou Meite’s quickfire leveller (7).

The momentum shifted after the break though and, after Meite headed home an 84th minute equaliser, Town were left holding on for a draw.

It means, following on from a 1-1 home draw against Preston, the Blues have produced two vastly-improved displays since the experienced Scot took charge, but have only got two points to show for their efforts.

As a result, they remain five points adrift of everyone else at the foot of the Championship table.

Gwion Edwards watches his shot hitting the back of the net giving Ipswich the lead at Reading Picture PagepixGwion Edwards watches his shot hitting the back of the net giving Ipswich the lead at Reading Picture Pagepix

MORE: Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town’s 2-2 draw at Reading

Lambert, however, was focusing on the positives. He reflected: “I’ve managed some really good teams and players in my time and that’s as good a first half as I’ve seen. My God, we were fantastic. We looked great and I think we should have been three or four goals to the good.

“It never materialised, but the strides we’ve made as a football team has been huge. I’m proud of them for the way they have performed. They’ve given me everything in the time I’ve been here.

“I think everybody can see we’ve got a good side that just needs a little bit of help.

“You can judge it by the support (more than 1,800 away fans in fine voice throughout). It shows we’re moving in the right direction.”

MORE: READING 2-2 IPSWICH TOWN: Blues made to pay for not taking their chances as Reading fight back to draw

Asked for his thoughts on the second half display, the Blues boss said: “I thought we looked dangerous on the counter. You expect Reading to have a bit of the ball, they’re the home team and you’re not gong to dominate a game for 90 minutes. They had little moments, but I don’t think too many really threatening moments.

“It was a poor goal. I think we were sloppy on that. The ball should never have travelled 60 yards. Jonas (Knudsen) maybe should have tucked in, but Jonas’ performance level was incredibly high.

“We maybe just lacked that domination of the first half, but were dangerous on the counter. Overall, I can’t ask for anymore.”

Town fans celebrate Gwion Edwards goal at Reading Picture PagepixTown fans celebrate Gwion Edwards goal at Reading Picture Pagepix

Was it a case of the team lacking the confidence to get over the line given the situation?

“I really don’t know,” replied Lambert. “I’ve not seen that. Maybe because they’ve been beaten from pillar to post before, but that’s a different team from what I saw a few weeks ago. I think everybody recognises that.

“The level I’m asking them to play at has been incredible, fantastic.”

MORE: Matchday Recap: Reading 2 Ipswich Town 2 – How the action unfolded.”

Gwion Edwards celebrates giving Ipswich the lead at Reading Picture PagepixGwion Edwards celebrates giving Ipswich the lead at Reading Picture Pagepix

He continued: “I wasn’t here 15, 16 games ago. The damage was there. What we’ve got now is a team fighting and fans massively with it. I always look at the positives. The table is what it is.

“We’re playing at a really, really high level at the minute and you can see the crowd are going with it.

“I can’t judge what’s happened before and where the club was going. But what I do see is a group of guys in the football club going the right way.

“We’ll win games if we keep playing like that, 100% we’ll win games – that’s for sure.

Yakou Meite scores Reading's equaliser with a free header with his marker Jonas Knudsen off to the right of the frame Picture PagepixYakou Meite scores Reading's equaliser with a free header with his marker Jonas Knudsen off to the right of the frame Picture Pagepix

“Everyone is commenting to me that the level of performances have been really high and improved.

“In the short time I’ve been here I’ve seen a good group of guys giving everything. If they make mistakes it’s absolutely no problem. If they play my way it’s my fault, not theirs. They’ve done everything to try and get us wins.”

There is now an international break with Town returning to action with evening home games against West Brom (Friday, November 23) and Bristol City (Wednesday, November 28).

“Do you now what, we’ve trained incredibly hard over the 11, 12 days I’ve been here,” said Lambert. “As a wise manager once said to me, a rest is as good as training sometimes. They’ll get a break and have some time with their families, which I think is important. We’ll come back and be ready for the West Brom game.

Reading keeper Anssi Jaakkola reclaims the ball from under Jordan Roberts during the second half Picture PagepixReading keeper Anssi Jaakkola reclaims the ball from under Jordan Roberts during the second half Picture Pagepix

“But the level of performances have been fantastic. Honestly, I’m really, really proud of them. We did everything to try and win the game today.”

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