Taylor: Still to hit second gear but winning games the priority
Assistant manager Stuart Taylor believes that even though Town sit top of league going into tomorrow’s matches Town still haven’t found top form.
“A lot of games we’ve done very well in and I think most importantly we’ve got the results, we’ve been winning games,” he said at last nights ‘Meet the Club’ event.
“I think we’re still to hit second gear, I totally agree with you but I think that will come in time. But most importantly we’ve been getting the wins and that’s what we’ve been looking for.
“I think we’ve not really been playing as fluent football as we did last season, I agree with you on that, but it is a different league, a totally different league altogether and as the gaffer has said, we’re a big scalp and it’s important that we go and take the game to teams and sometimes that means being a little bit more ruthless, being a little bit more direct, being a little bit more aggressive about our player.
“And if that means not playing as silky soccer playing out from the back and stuff like that, then so be it.”
Lambert was dubbed ‘the tinkerman’ by a supporter last night, something Lambert laughed at before reaffirming his believe in the whole squad.
“Every time we pick a team, the day before when we train or we practise, we sit as a staff and the lads say to me ‘What do you think?’.
“And I say I’m going to go with that person there, there might be one or two changes at that time. If somebody’s coming back from injury I’ll say to Jim, ‘What do you think? Do you think he’s got an hour in him or can he play 20 minutes,’ or whatever.
“They give me their opinion and then I’ll say ‘Right, I’m going to go with that’, and that’s what we’ll go with that.
“Then I’ll say ‘I’m going to go with that system because I’ve analysed the team that we’re playing against and the way they play. We’ll play this way’.
“Then I’ll say ‘We can hurt them here or we have to do this or that better, we make that happen’. So there are a load of factors which go into it.
“The reason I change the team is because if I don’t have lads that can play a number of games over a long period of time, it’s unfair to ask a player who has only played three games to do exactly the same as somebody who has played 30. It’s unfair on the player and it’s not right.
“And that’s why I’ve tried to change, to keep their game time pretty high because if you do get injuries, it’s so unfair to ask a player to do the job of somebody that’s already played a number of games. And that’s the reason we’ve done it.
“I made a conscious decision to do it. I had a chat with Stuart at the end of the season, I said ‘This is what we’re going to be doing next year’ and so far it’s gone OK.”
Another supporter quizzed Lambert why the Blues defend with eleven when defending a corner and is there a particular reason behind the tactic.
“You saw when we tried to play out from the back last year, we got relegated! So that’s number one,” Lambert said.
“Number two, in this league, Stuart touched on it earlier on, in this league, in my view we’re one of the biggest clubs in the division, without a shadow of a doubt.
“If I play slow football here, really slow and methodical, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be as calm as what you are, you would say ‘Lambert, get the ball forward as quick as you can’.
“I have to get you off your seat thinking this could be exciting. We have to go on the front foot, we have to play really aggressively and be on the front foot because you won’t thank me for playing 15 passes at the back, saying ‘Where are we going?’. It’s not going to work.
“The higher level you go up then it’s a little bit different. But my view is that we have to be a front foot team here because of the size of the club it is.
“Your point about the corners, if we don’t bring everybody back and they take a gamble and keep everybody up forward and we lose a goal, again the fans are going to go, ‘Why did we keep one up top?’.
“I tell you a funny story and Jim was at the game. Celtic played Barcelona in the Champions League and every Celtic player more or less went up the pitch when we had a corner and Barcelona kept three up front. Three, Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Giuly.
“Jesus! We went ‘We need to take five back here!’. It’s a game of bluff, a total game of bluff. If you’re quite strong and you think you’re confident enough to go and mark a corner, but we’re not good enough to turn around and say we’ll keep one up, we’re not good enough. We’re nowhere near there, we’re still developing and learning. That’s why we say safety first.
“There’s not many teams, unless you’re the top ones, the real top ones, that might say ‘OK, we can keep one or two up’. It’s a Catch-22 that, it’s a difficult one.”