Paul Lambert looks ahead to Hull visit
Welcome back to Portman Road for today’s game against Hull City.
We had five or six players away during the international break and they’ve all come back okay.
It’s good for the Club and obviously good for the players when they get called up. It’s a great honour to play for your country and it will give the players a boost. It also provides different surroundings; different team-mates; different voices.
We went into the international break on the back of another terrific performance against Nottingham Forest, without getting the rewards we should have done. That’s been a theme for us over the last six or seven games.
We played some really good football and created a lot of chances against a team that is three points off the Play-Offs. The second-half in particular, we were relentless but couldn’t get that second goal.
The players are playing with freedom, they are courageous in their play and they are giving it everything. It’s not for a lack of effort that they are not getting the rewards they deserve.
There are not many games when I have walked away disappointed with our performance and I think the supporters are recognising the level of play the team is at.
We have signed up a number of the younger lads over the last few weeks. Myles is the latest. He’s only 22 and still learning the game but he’s been terrific for us.
We have a few here like that. They have all got a real chance, but that’s what it is - a chance. They have to take it.
I have spoken before about attitude and that’s vital for young players in particular. I don’t care how talented you are, if you think the game owes you something, it doesn’t. The game owes you nothing.
You have to earn the right to play and when you are young, it’s important you never get too high, or you never get too low. If you can do, you have a great chance of making it.
The young ones here have some great role models to look at and learn from. Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Bart, Deano. We have to have that pathway for the kids to come through from the Academy into the first-team but you need that blend of experience around to help them.
Luke has just signed a new contract so that will keep him here until he’s 35 and he may see out his career at this football club.
He’s a fantastic captain and he’s carried a lot of weight on his shoulders here. I could see that when I first arrived and it was important to take some of that away from him and let him concentrate on his own game. I think he has benefited from that.
I think the contract was a pretty easy one for Luke and Marcus to sort out and we are working our way through the other players that are coming towards the end of their current deals.
There are not too many left to sort and it will get done in time. It’s hard to say how many changes there will be in the summer but there will be changes because of the size of the squad.
Finally, I’d like to welcome Nigel Adkins, his staff and the Hull players to Portman Road today.