‘I love watching them play’ - Lambert on his trio of homegrown midfielders
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 November 2020
Paul Lambert is excited by the progress being made by a trio of homegrown midfielders but has warned they still have plenty to prove.
Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Jack Lankester are growing into important players for Lambert’s Blues, with Dozzell and Bishop regular starters and Lankester getting stronger and stronger as he strives to reach his best following more than 18 months out with back injuries.
Lambert’s delighted with how the three academy products are doing but believes they need more games to prove they are capable of maintaining their performances on a consistent basis.
“The scary thing is that those three kids hadn’t made 100 league starts between them before the game as Sunderland,” he said. “That’s incredible.
“I think Grant Leadbitter had something like 400 (403) himself, so that’s the difference.
“One (Lankester) has just come back from a broken back, Teddy Bishop’s not really played three or four games in a row. That’s not normal and that’s why I give them big compliments on the way they played because they were excellent.
“To have not played 100 games or sustain it game, after game, after game means there’s something totally wrong.
“It’s my choice to play them and it’s my choice to play them the way we do to try and make them better players. The way they’re playing is really good and I love watching them play.
“We might not always get results but football-wise we’ve dominated games.”
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On Lankester specifically, who scored at Sunderland and should have had a second after the break, Lambert said: “We won’t put too much pressure on him because of the injuries he’s had and we have to be really careful.
“He’s a terrific talent and a terrific young footballer but he has a lot to learn still. He should have scored two the other night at Sunderland but I’m very happy with how he’s come back.
“He’s a really humble kid and that’s important. I’m happy with how he plays the game, he’s got a good left foot on him and he reminds me of Dozzell in the way he takes risks.
“Jack’s certainly getting better.”
There’s also the prospect of adding a forth homegrown midfielder into the Town engine room, with Flynn Downes hopeful of a return in the coming weeks having missed the last 10 games with a knee injury.
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