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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

‘I don’t want to go long’ – Lambert will stick to his passing principles in attempt to entertain

PUBLISHED: 11:17 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:17 28 November 2018

Paul Lambert gives Jonas Knudsen instructions. Photo: Steve Waller

Paul Lambert gives Jonas Knudsen instructions. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town host Bristol City in a Championship clash this evening. STUART WATSON previews the action.

Jack Lankester could make his full Ipswich Town debut after impressing off the bench against West Brom. Photo: Steve WallerJack Lankester could make his full Ipswich Town debut after impressing off the bench against West Brom. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he’ll continue to demand that his team play front foot, passing football in an attempt to entertain their long-suffering fans.

The Blues may have claimed just two points from the experienced Scot’s first three games in charge, but the atmosphere at Portman Road throughout Friday night’s 2-1 defeat to West Brom was proof that supporters are buying into Lambert’s methods.

MORE: ‘I will always give everything for this club’ - Knudsen on his future, speaking to Evans and commitment

Recent Blues loanee Jon Walters was on television punditry duty that evening and questioned Town’s tactic of keeper Bartosz Bialkowski repeatedly trying to play the ball short to centre-backs down the sides of the box or to deep midfielder Cole Skuse – all of whom were well-marked.

Kayden Jackson is another option for change after his goal as a substitute against West Brom. Photo: Steve WallerKayden Jackson is another option for change after his goal as a substitute against West Brom. Photo: Steve Waller

“We don’t have a massive physical presence to go back to front. And I don’t want to play that way anyway,” said Lambert.

“I think the passing count was 455 to us to West Brom’s high 290s/300-odd. We were brilliant on the ball.

MORE: Lambert to consider loan recalls in January

“If we go back-to-front it’s going to keep coming back. I’d rather play football on the ground.

Adam Webster has started every league game for Bristol City since his £3.5m switch from Ipswich Town in the summer. Photo: PAAdam Webster has started every league game for Bristol City since his £3.5m switch from Ipswich Town in the summer. Photo: PA

“I’m the one responsible for us playing that way. If I wanted to go long and back and long and back then I’d bring in guys who are about 6ft 9in.

“I don’t want to play that way. I’ll play my way. I’ll take responsibility for it. The lads have taken it all in really quickly and are getting better at it.

“They are having the courage to want the ball. If you want to be a top team you have to play with no fear. You do find if you dominate the ball you do have better chances to win the game.

MORE: ‘We can’t just throw him into the lions’ den’ - Lambert on starting Lankester and Bishop

“I played with clubs who were always on the front foot. I won’t play any other way.

“I want us to entertain because we’re in an entertainment business. I think people sometimes forget that.”

Bristol City arrive in Suffolk tonight on a four-game losing streak.

“We’ve given everybody an ignition of fire with how we want to play,” said Lambert.

“Before there was a real lowness where people could give or take coming to the games.

“This football club has taken some hard knocks, but I think it’s been galvanised.

MORE: Why Ipswich Town fans should be cheering on rivals Norwich over the next 12 days

“This isn’t a normal situation where a team is at the bottom of the table and the atmosphere is like it was on Friday night.

“We need everybody together. Without the fans there is no game. We need to reconnect with supporters – not just for now but for the future.

“There’s only one team in the town. Use it; that will be powerful. If you get the fans in and they enjoy it for those 90 minutes then they’ll return.

“I want people to forget about their lives when they come to the stadium and pay their money – be it five pounds, 10 pounds or 30 pounds. I know if it was me I’d just look to have a right good time.

“We will try and entertain them. I’m pretty sure if we keep doing what we’re doing then we will fill the stadium again.”

MORE: ‘It’s going to be a long time until they have success unless something changes’ - Hurst reflects on Town job

Stat attack

233 – Days since Town won at home (D7 L4)

4 – Straight defeats for Bristol City

37 – Town have produced 37 shots in Lambert’s first three games compared to a combined eight in the previous three

MORE: ‘I think they will stay with us now’ - Chambers hopes Town have done enough to enthuse fans

Opposition lowdown

Last five finishes: 11th, 17th, 18th (all Championship), 1st, 12th (League One)

Manager: Lee Johnson (Feb ‘16: P142 W54 D33 L55)

Last game: L 2-0 Leeds (a)

Away league record: W3 D2 L4 F11 A12

Form: LLLLW WLDDL

Margins of victory: 1 (x4), 3 (x2)

Margins of defeat: 1 (x6), 2 (x3)

Top-scorers: Weimann (5), Diedhiou, Brownhill (3)

League ever-presents: Hunt, Webster, Brownhill, Pack (18)

Last meeting

Bristol City 1 Ipswich Town 0

Date: Saturday, March 17, 2018

Milan Djuric’s second-half header condemned Town to their first away defeat in six. It followed hot on the heels of a 3-0 midweek home loss to Hull.

Town had lost 3-1 at Ashton Gate – Josh Brownhill, Famara Diedhiou and Bobby Reid with the Robins’ goals.

Stuart’s prediction

Ipswich Town 1 Bristol City 0

Town playing much better. Robins rocking. This could be lift-off.

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