Lambert: Huws and Nolan huge attributes for us
Town boss Paul Lambert has been impressed by the flexibility of his table toppers. Town this season have blown teams away, rode out tricky away games, out thought and fought opposition and even turned into Barcelona at times this year.
Town’s winner at Gillingham was the product of a 25 passing move which was finished off by Kane Vincent-Young, something which pleased the boss.
“Delighted for them and everybody else at the club. But I don’t get caught up in the euphoria or self-praise or anything like that.
“I’m delighted for everybody else, that’s where I get the joy from, not for myself. I get it from the support or the players and them getting the rewards, and the football club itself.
“I know that’s what they’re capable of because I see it every day in training that they can be really, really good.
“There’ll be times when they’ll need to do the ugly side, which they have done in the last couple of games, when we’ve needed to defend, we’ve had to defend.
“We also know when we have the ball teams are under pressure against us, because it’s relentless at certain times.
Lambert has favoured the 3-5-2 system in recent away wins at MK Dons and Gillingham, but the Town boss insists his squad is capable of playing a number of ways.
“On Saturday I thought that was the right way to go because of the way the game could have gone,” he reflected.
“Against the MK Dons, we saw their team and thought if that happened [they played one up front] we could do that [switch from 3-5-2 to a diamond], so the adaptability in the team is really good in the team.
“As I said before, it doesn’t matter who I play, they seem to be taking to everything I’m asking them to do. I think their confidence is so high they carry it out.
“As I said before, it’s the principles, it’s not the system, it’s the principles. Everybody knows how I want to play, everybody knows what I expect of them, but that’s where the principles come to fruition – that’s is what I expect to happen.”
He added: “As long as the principles are still there, and they know the principles because I’ve told them what they are, they know exactly what I expect of them.
“Don’t go away from that, regardless of what system we play because the football club at this minute in time, it’s got a massive wave of positivity behind it, the support it’s got behind it.
“Every game we go to we’re a target. Every game, the atmosphere in the stadium, the size of the club, the name of the club, every team wants to beat us. If we play the way I think we can, it will be hard for another team to match us.”
Part of seeing Town return to three central midfielders has been the welcomed returns of key midfield duo Jon Nolan and Emyr Huws, both players who Lambert rates highly.
“Nolan has been terrific since I came to the club, he’s been great. A great goalscorer from midfield,” Lambert said.
“Emyr, I’m delighted for him to get back to what he was because it’s been a horrendous time for him, stop-start, stop-start over nearly a two-year period.
“For the mind it’s not great, for him it’s not great. The way he played at the MK Dons for that hour, I was really pleased.
“He had another half hour on Saturday [at Gillingham]. I was delighted when he came on again. It’s just about building him up every game and he and Nolan are huge attributes for us.”