Lambert: The best we’ve played

Paul Lambert was delighted with the win at Stadium MK and felt Town should have been in a stronger position at half-time. 

Jon Nolan’s early goal proved the difference after Blues had bossed the first-half.

“The first half was outstanding, the best we’ve played I think since the start of the season. The first half was brilliant, the way we played,” Lambert said.

“A lot of pluses there with Emyr [Huws] and Nolan and [Luke] Garbutt coming back. The only risk with those three was their fitness levels. But I thought they were excellent the three lads. It was brilliant goal.

“The second half was a brilliant performance due to the defending. We were resolute, really, really strong and we looked not bad on the counter. But in the first half I thought we should have been out of sight.”

Lambert agreed that the first half display deserved more than the single goal lead: “Yes, because we were playing well. We had so many good moments, we were dominant in the game.

“As I’ve said before, the lads have got a target on their backs and they’re going to have it to the end of the season because of the size of the club.

“Rightly or wrongly, people will portray that how they want. But just because we’re a big club in name doesn’t matter. If it was that easy Sunderland would have gone up last year.

“It doesn’t matter, we’ve got a young side there, lads who haven’t played in the league before, the first time for some of them. Guys who are just starting their careers. But the level we’ve been playing is extremely high.”

Lambert was pleased for goalscorer Jon Nolan: “The lad’s just back [from injury], I thought he was outstanding, I really did.

“He’s not played for a helluva long time and to play the way he did, I was really pleased with him.”

Lambert also said about the importance of the clean sheet, Town’s fourth in a row: “It’s tough, it’s a tough, tough division with the number of games we have. And the big thing we’ve got is that we’re every team’s cup final. It’s every team’s cup final against us. Look at our support, that support’s extraordinary.”

One worry for Town would be the withdrawal of James Norwood with a groin injury: “It’s his groin, he had a problem with it last season,” he said. “But knowing Nors, the way he is and the way he wants to keep playing, we’ll see how he is.”

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