'You can't take them in and out because you don't get any consistency' - Lambert to stick with below-par Bialkowski
PUBLISHED: 11:12 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 30 November 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he is prepared to let goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski play through a dip in form.
The Blues’ three-times Supporters’ Player of the Year scored an unfortunate own goal in Wednesday night’s 3-2 home defeat to Bristol City. In his pomp he’d have probably kept out the second too.
Town’s Poland international, by his own self-set high standards, has been below-par since returning from the World Cup and signing a bumper new deal at Portman Road.
He was controversially dropped six games into the campaign by former manager Paul Hurst, Dean Gerken replacing him for eight matches, and has been back in the side for another six games.
Asked if he would stick with his keeper, Lambert said: “I think goalkeeper is a really hard position because you have two lads competing for it. Deano and Bart have both been in the team.
“You can’t keep beating somebody with a stick and take them in and out because you don’t get any consistency with it.
“The biggest compliment I can give the lads is that I love working with them.”
He continued: “I’ve spoken to Bart yesterday and that (own goal) is an honest mistake from a really top goalkeeper.
“There’s no blame attached, he tried, but just lost his bearings a little bit. But he also had a really good save in the first half.
“I know the nature of the game – goalkeepers’ mistakes are magnified and they get praise when they make great saves, but I have no blame attached to him at all.”
He added: “They have to learn and Bart’s in his 30s so he’s not a young kid. He’s an international goalkeeper and has been one of the best goalkeepers in this league for a long time so I’m not going to chastise people for a mistake.
“What happened here before, I can’t control, but the level he’s been at since I’ve been here is great.
“I’ve got two really good goalkeepers here and they are neck-and-neck with each other, but Bart’s level has been really good.”
Meanwhile, Lambert insists some of the sloppy goals being conceded are not down to tactics.
The Blues boss repeatedly voiced frustration at his team’s inability to stop crosses after Wednesday night’s defeat, but says that’s not down to him asking full-back Jordan Spence and Jonas Knudsen to play high or narrow.
“That’s nothing to do with it,” he said. “It was about shutting somebody down in a one v one situation. Nothing to do with positioning, that was stopping a cross coming into the box and that’s all that is.
“Stop the source and if the ball doesn’t come into the box then they can’t score.
“It comes from individuals. That’s not coaching, that has to come from within and the lads know that’s just a basic error. The lads know and that’s from an individual, it’s from within.
“That’s half the battle and it’s the basics of the games. If you can master that it will all fall into place, but if you don’t it’s all a bit tough.”