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Interviews

MANAGER'S PROGRAMME NOTES V WIGAN

14 December 2018

Paul Lambert on Chambo, making progress and January

Welcome to Portman Road for this afternoon’s game against Wigan, the first of two home matches for us before Christmas.

The foundations for any successful season are built on your home form so it’s clear we have to improve in that area.

I don’t know what when on before but what I do know is that if the players keep performing the way they have done since I’ve been here, things will turn for us. I’m certain of it.

I saw indications of that again at Stoke last weekend. We went there against a team that I expect to be in and around the top two and dominated the game.

Yes, of course we were disappointed to come away with nothing but performance wise, I was so proud of the players.

I always say you can judge a performance by the reaction of the supporters at the final whistle and they were clapping the players off. They can see we are heading in the right direction. We just need that win now that the players deserve but it will come.

The players know that as well. They know they are playing well. That’s why the training ground is upbeat. It’s not normal that. When you are at the bottom, things are normally low. There can be a flat feel about the place. I’ve seen it before but not here. The players are enjoying their work, there is a lot of positivity and we need to maintain that and harness it.

If you get the performance levels right, then the results will follow. I’m convinced they will and when this Club gets going, it will be a fun ride.

I’ve said before that we need a little help in January and we have identified players that we feel can provide that.

It can be a dangerous window, the January one. It can be difficult sometimes to get the right players in but we will be doing everything we can to make that happen.

We will keep our options open but the main focus is on players with experience of the Championship or higher.

They’ve got to want to come here of course. There is the hunger side of things and all the other aspects that go with trying to sign players. I have spoken to the owner though and things are moving forward. Ideally we’d like to get players in at the start of January but we will see.

Cole Skuse missed the game at Stoke last week and will be out for around two months with a knee injury which is obviously a big blow because he has been fantastic for us.

I have tried to get him on the ball more than maybe he was in the past. He’s technically very good and has shown a terrific range of passing.

He’s probably the only player in the squad that can play that ‘sitter’ role, so we might have to look at that in January.

Trevoh took on that job at Stoke and did great but we had 18 and 19 year-olds in our midfield last week and that’s a massive ask, to do that week in, week out in the Championship.

This is a very physically demanding league and ideally, you dip young players in and out of the team until they have adjusted to those demands. The likes of Flynn,

Andre and Jack Lankester have got big careers in front of them here but I have to protect them as well.

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Luke on passing 300 games for the Club.

Not many players make that number of appearances for one club in the modern game. That illustrates the level of consistency he has shown here. The biggest compliment I can give him is that you know what you are going to get from him week in, week out.

He has the respect of everyone at the Club and rightly so. He is a humble guy as well. His temperament is great and that is a major part of being a footballer.

Both Luke and Cole are great role models for the younger players here. They have been great for me as well. I just wish they were five years younger!

Finally, I’d like to welcome Paul Cook, his staff and the Wigan players to Portman Road today.  


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