The Verdict: Lambert here to stay, now let’s kick on in 2020
We look at the talking points as Town draw 1-1 at Wycombe Wanderers on New Years Day.
Prior to the game at Adams Park, the news broke that Lambert had signed a new contract running until 2025. It is probably fair to say the reaction was mixed. However, what everyone could agree on is that Lambert is now here to stay. After his own comments made after the draw with Gillingham on Boxing Day, Lambert’s future had been cast into doubt.
That speculation resulted in the direct asking of Neil Warnock about the Town job on TalkSport, fair to say now can now be put to bed! The contract now offers stability, security and hopefully success. Lambert still had 18 months to run on his original deal, but admitted after the match that discussions with Evans, regarding the new deal, have been ongoing for a couple of months.
Lambert Lottery Ditched
After the horror show at Lincoln on Sunday, you could make little argument if Lambert made the usual amount of changes to the squad. Instead, Lambert opted to make only two changes, one of which was actually forced upon him with James Wilson replacing the injured Janoi Donacien. The other change saw Emyr Huws replace Andre Dozzell in the middle of the park.
The system was changed from a recently preferred 4-4-2 to the originally successful 3-5-2. The system suited players like Luke Garbutt, Alan Judge and Gwion Edwards. It allowed Town to have three centre-backs to deal with the aerial bombardment from the hosts. The performance was certainly an encouraging sign of progress after the Lincoln defeat. A system and personal which could prove to be successful if Lambert sticks with it!
The one change Town fans will want to see is the return of Tomas Holy in between the sticks. Leaving Adams Park yesterday, we left with a sense of what might have been after another Norris mistake. Although it was not the howler he made on the stroke of half-time at Lincoln, question marks were certainly made on the decision of Norris to rush out to claim a ball he was never going to win.
I am not saving that playing Tomas Holy would have meant we would have won at Wycombe, but with Holy now making less clear-cut mistakes than Norris and with Holy being an actual permanent Ipswich player, one thing nearly all Town fans want to see is the big man back in goal for the clash with Accrington Stanley Saturday week.
After the game at Lincoln on Sunday, skipper Luke Chambers bemoaned his teammates for failing to celebrate Luke Garbutt’s equaliser at Sincil Bank, the same certainly can’t be said for Norwood’s opener at Wycombe.
The quick thinking of Judge and Garbutt left Norwood with the relatively simple task of heading the ball into the net, which he did with ease. The scenes that followed were ones of complete joy and jubilation. The team and the travelling Blue Army united as one, celebrated as one, together, magical!
At the end of the day, the gap to league leaders Wycombe Wanderers remains at six, with Paul Lambert’s men having a game in hand. The gap between Town and now second placed Rotherham, is three, and the gap between Town and seventh placed Fleetwood is just two.
The one thing which was clear though, if Ipswich Town play with the same system, and largely personal, that took the field to Wycombe, we will be more than fine come the final call in May.