Lambert: Picking the team is ‘really easy’
Town boss Paul Lambert has described the process of picking his starting eleven ‘really easy’. The Town manager, who was crowned Manager of the Month this morning, has had to cope without several senior players in the opening month of the campaign but with several on the verge of returning Lambert insists picking the side is not a ‘tough decision’.
“It’s really easy to pick a team, really easy.
“As long as the guys give me everything they’ve got and the play the way they’re playing, there’s never a problem.
“I know exactly how it works, I know exactly who can do what. I value them all the same across the board and we’re in a lot stronger position than we were against Burton, as I’ve always said.”
With senior players such as Gwion Edwards and Alan Judge now seemingly back to 100 percent and with the bonus of Emyr Huws being fit and available each week, coupled with the return of Jon Nolan, Luke Garbutt, Toto Nsiala and Will Keane, Lambert still belives he doesn’t have a difficult decision regarding picking the team.
“You make no apology for it, [it’s up to the players to] get in the side. The guys make it easy for me, it’s not a tough decision, it’s easy,” Lambert insisted.
“Whoever plays well and I think I can really get the best out of, then great but it’s not a hard decision at all. People might think it is. You guys might think ‘How do you pick it?’ but it’s easy.”
He added: “There’s loads of aspects to how I decide who will play. It’s not something where I think, ‘Well, he’s going to be disappointed if I leave him out’.
“We need everybody and everybody is playing their part in the games but I don’t find it a difficult decision.”
Even though the Town boss appears to have a wide range of choices to pick from, Lambert doesn’t have a set eleven in his head: “In my mind they’re all strong, in my mind every player’s as strong as each other, everybody’s vital to each other.
“I don’t have a disparity – this one’s better than that one or that one – because they’re all performing well. Whoever I play on that given day is the strongest team, I don’t have a problem.”
Lambert did admit that he has a strong squad at his disposal: “We’re strong, even the younger kids come into that, [Armando] Dobra and Idris [El Mizouni], we’re strong. What we have got now is competition for most places if everybody’s fit.
“I think that’s the beauty of it, that we can do what we want and we can look at the bench and think, ‘Right, we can change that there or there’, whereas before I thought we were two lightweight in that area.”
Even though the sqaud is strong Lambert believes people get carried away: “I think everybody’s getting deluded with that because we’ve bought one player in Kane Vincent-Young,” he said. “We spent £500,000 on him. Everybody else has been free or an academy player coming through.
“So we’ve bought one player. [James] Norwood was free, the ones I brought in, [Alan] Judge, nothing. You go through, [Tomas] Holy was free, Will Norris is a loan, so there’s one player we’ve bought.
“We haven’t been the big spenders in the division, what you have got is that we’re the biggest club along with Sunderland in the division with the fanbase.
“That’s not going to win you a title, just because you’re a big club, it doesn’t win you anything. If that was the case Sunderland wouldn’t been out of the league long ago.
“We have to earn the right but we’ve got a good young side, who will make mistakes, that’s normal, and who are learning while doing their job.
“[Luke] Woolfenden, he’s a kid, Flynn Downes, they’re kids but what they are doing is doing really, really well and they’re belying their age and everybody’s thinking, ‘They’re experienced players’, but they’re not, they’re still learning.”
Town operated with three centre-backs against Spurs in the Leasing.com trophy, a tactic again chosen for the U23s against Forest on Monday night. However Lambert says you shouldn’t read into that: “No, you guys probably write in your columns, whatever you want to do, ‘He’s played three or four [at the back]’,” he laughed.
“It’s irrelevant. We have our own way of playing. They’re playing that well. Listen, systems don’t win you games, a system will never win you games, it’s players that win you games.
“If people hide behind the system, I don’t buy into that, whereas players win you games, and that’s what’s happening – the players are winning us games.”
He added: “I expect to do the job. It’s all about us, we analyse teams who we play against and look at it but ultimately it’s about us, how we play. We have to have our own way of playing and the lads know it, they know what I’m like now, they know what I expect of them and they have to live up to that.”