Lambert wants a striker in January, but knows goal problem needs to be fixed before then

PUBLISHED: 06:00 06 November 2018

Freddie Sears sends Preston keeper Chris Maxwell the wrong way from the penalty spot. Photo: Steve Waller

Freddie Sears sends Preston keeper Chris Maxwell the wrong way from the penalty spot. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert believes the team can find a way to score goals before the January transfer window comes around.

Freddie Sears wheels away after scoring from the  penalty spot. Photo: Steve WallerFreddie Sears wheels away after scoring from the penalty spot. Photo: Steve Waller

The Blues, five points adrift of everyone else at the foot of the Championship table, have drawn a blank in half of their 16 league games so far and have the second worst goals for tally in the division (12).

With Freddie Sears’ goal in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw against Preston having come from the penalty spot, it means Town have now gone more than six hours without finding the net from open play.

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Speaking at the Supporters’ Club AGM last week, Lambert was asked if national newspaper reports of a £10m warchest to spend in the January window were true and whether he planned on signing a striker.

“Where did you hear that, in a newspaper?” he replied. “I always think if the media said it then it must be totally wrong!”

The experienced Scot then continued: “I know you lost one or two lads in the summer that scored a few goals. I think strikers are important. I think a little bit more help is needed in the January transfer window. The owner knows that.

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“We’ll try and get ones in who can give us a hand. You’ve lost a lot of goals from your side. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t win games. You have to get the best out of the guys that are here at the minute.

Freddie Sears celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Preston. Photo: Steve WallerFreddie Sears celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Preston. Photo: Steve Waller

“I think January will take care of itself when it comes around. It’s not January when we need to fix the problem though, it’s now.”

Town scored 57 league goals in 2017/18 and seven players who accounted for 45 of those goals all departed in the summer – most notably Martyn Waghorn, Joe Garner, David McGoldrick and Bersant Celina.

This season, Jon Walters suffered a season-ending Achilles injury after making just two starts on loan from Burnley, while Ellis Harrison has been sidelined for six weeks with an ankle problem.

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Jordan Roberts played as a makeshift striker for Paul Lambert's first game in charge. Photo: Steve WallerJordan Roberts played as a makeshift striker for Paul Lambert's first game in charge. Photo: Steve Waller

On Saturday, Lambert called upon winger Jordan Roberts as a makeshift lone forward for his first game in charge. Sears played on the left, with Kayden Jackson coming on as an impact sub.

There are still nine games to play until the January transfer window opens – starting at 22nd place Reading on Saturday.

“We’re not a big team,” explained Lambert. “We can’t just lump it forwards and hope something is going to happen, certainly not to people like Freddie Sears because he’s a footballer.

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Paul Lambert plans on signing a striker in January. Photo: Steve WallerPaul Lambert plans on signing a striker in January. Photo: Steve Waller

“We have to find a way of playing that suits the personnel that is here.

“Sometimes it’s needs must. Freddie has probably been a victim of his own success because he’s played in a lot of positions and actually done well in a lot of them. It’s a difficult one for a manager because you try and get your best players in the side.”

TOWN GOALS IN 2017/18

Martyn Waghorn (16) – Sold to Derby

Joe Garner (10) – Sold to Wigan

Bersant Celina (7) – Man City loan expired

David McGoldrick (6) – Contract expired

Jordan Spence (4)

Callum Connolly (4) – Everton loan expired

Grant Ward (2)

Freddie Sears (2)

Cole Skuse (1)

Mustapha Carayol (1) – Contract expired

Dominic Iorfa (1) – Wolves loan expired

Jonas Knudsen (1)

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