Lambert: Second half absolutely fantastic

Town boss Paul Lambert has praised his sides performance yesterday as Town won 4-1 against Tranmere Rovers to remain top of the league.

Town had to work hard in the first half but cruised through the second half and Lambert isn’t surprised by how Tranmere played.

“Every game’s hard, what do you think, do you think Tranmere will turn up and say, ‘Here you go Ipswich, we’re going to let you do what you want’? Lambert said. “It’s not going to happen, you’ve got to get that in your head.

“Football’s a really tough game, we don’t have a divine right to turn up, we don’t have a divine right to win games, we don’t have a divine right to play well.

“It’s impossible, you’re going to get games like this. Teams come here and see the stadium, see the atmosphere and you have to rise above it.

“I had that most of my career as a player, so I know exactly what it’s like. Nothing surprises me.

“We played really well, second half I thought we were absolutely fantastic. We’ll always look a threat, the goals were great, I was really, really happy with the team.”

He added: “If it was that easy, Notts Forest would have got out of the division, Sheffield Wednesday would have got out of the division, Sheffield United took six years, Norwich, OK, they did it, Leeds United. Teams don’t do it [easily], it’s a really tough division, that’s why I think you’ve got to be realistic about what you’re going up against here.

“Every game is hard, credit to Tranmere, they played a good game in the first half and made it difficult but they come here and maybe enjoy the atmosphere.

“As I said before, I had that in my own career as a player, I played with top clubs that every team wanted to come and beat, whether that was in Germany with Dortmund or at Celtic. Every team wants to come [to their ground and play].

“The important thing is you keep a cool head and you keep to your way of playing and hopefully that breaks teams down. In the second half I thought we were excellent.

“The team in the second half was relentless. The longer that game went on we looked really, really good.

“It’s just about patience and trying to keep things calm. The game wasn’t going our way in the first half but we still looked a threat, I always thought we had goals in us and the goals I thought just rounded everything off.”

The one bit of quality in the first half was provided by Luke Garbutt when the Everton loanee superbly dispatched his free kick to give Town the lead. Something what Lambert said he practices regularly in training.

“The other week, he must have hit I would say about 12 freekicks for practice and he must have scored about eight or nine of them, and every one was like the one he scored.

“Was it a surprise to see it go it in? Probably not because he’s that technically [good], from set plays he’s incredible.”

It was another Garbutt freekick which led to the second goal, Tranmere keeper Scott Davies spilling the left wing-back’s low strike and Kayden Jackson slamming in the rebound.

“Maybe their goalkeeper will probably look back on it, but Kayden, who I thought was fantastic all game, did what any good striker does and put it in the net,” Lambert added.

One disappointment from yesterday was that Town failed to keep a club record sixth consecutive clean sheet. Something Lambert isn’t critical of at all.

“As a team, we’ve been brilliant defending-wise, so after one goal you can’t be too critical of them, they’ve been absolutely great,” he said.

“I can’t praise them highly enough as a whole team defensively, the back lads, the midfield lads, the front two. They’ve worked ever so well. You can’t be critical of that, you go down that [road] it’s crazy.”

Regarding the fans, he added: “When you see the support after the game for the lads, absolutely brilliant. It’s been a long time since this stadium was like that, that’s for sure.”

Among those who missed out against Tranmere was striker Will Keane, who the Blues manager says has picked up a minor injury.

“He just hurt his groin a little bit, so we couldn’t take a chance,” he said. “We’ll just have to monitor him and see how he is but it’s not too bad.”

Rovers boss Micky Mellon said: “If you are going to be successful in League One you have got to take on the challenge of players darting across your penalty area. 

“We will go and look at the video and DVDs and we’ll get people to work on them and being a consistent force and doing the club proud. 

“We have got a lot of work to do and keep working on the things we do right and we will continue to do that. 

“We were causing problems and there were opportunities. We have got to improve and be as clinical as they were. 

“We need to keep our football simple. Individuals need to get better and there was a lot of players who had very good performances but as a team we have to be getting better.”

Subscribe to our TOTT newsletter to ensure you keep up to date on all things related to Ipswich Town