Lambert hits out at his squad rotation critics after Ipswich Town's dramatic late win at Lincoln in FA Cup replay
PUBLISHED: 22:41 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 22:41 20 November 2019
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert hit out at his squad rotation critics following tonight's 1-0 win at Lincoln City in an FA Cup first round replay.
Alan Judge scored a dramatic winner deep into stoppage-time to prevent the Blues going a decade without a win in the world famous competition and set up a second round trip to Coventry on Sunday, December 1 (2pm ko).
Eight senior players were left behind in Suffolk in preparation for Saturday's League One visit of Blackpool, with many of them set to go 17 days without a game.
"I'm really, really happy," said Lambert. "I thought we deserved the clean sheet and we deserved to go through.
"I changed the whole team. As I've said before I don't have a strong team. I don't have a strong 11. I believe in everybody to perform.
"I talk with the medical team who are experts on fitness and muscle injuries and I pick a team of lads who I think can get around the pitch.
"Football has changed. It's not just about 18 guys. It's everybody. So all this crap that people turn around and say about 'strongest team'. It's a load of s***e, that's what it is. S***e.
"Last year this football club had some guys playing 3,000 minutes and some guys playing 300 minutes. That's unfair. People who don't know the game and don't have a clue about keeping people fit… That's what annoys me.
"Everybody's game time is really getting there. I trust everybody to perform. I don't have any favourites or guys who are think are more important than others. We're a team."
With this Ipswich's first FA Cup win in 16 attempts, Lambert said: "It's a good competition. We'll go (to Coventry) and try and win, but the league's the most important thing. Let's see what happens."
Judge's winner was his first goal in 46 games for club and country, the Irishman ramming the ball home in front of 607 jubilant away fans at Sincil Bank.
"It's long over-due and I think he knows that himself," said Lambert. "He's just come back from international duty and that's really, really tough. I'm delighted for him.
"First half I thought Lincoln were better, second half I thought we were better. I thought the whole team grew into it.
"The pleasing thing is that young Brett McGavin played again, Idris (El Mizouni) came on, Tommy Hughes came on, there were lads coming back from injuries and coming back from international teams.
"Doz (Andre Dozzell) never got back until two in the morning (having been in Wycombe with England U20s) and played brilliantly second half when he dropped deeper.
"There are so many good things there. It was another 90 minutes for Will (Keane), Toto (Nsiala) as well. I thought the back two lads were excellent, Janoi (Donacien) was excellent."
On McGavin, who followed up his impressive debut at Colchester with another assured display in midfield, Lambert added: "It's just a knock that forced him off. I thought he was excellent and got better and better second half. We pushed Emyr (Huws) and Dozzell a bit further forward second half.
"There are good kids here. They need a bit of time to progress, but if I don't try them then I'll never know. Players like Brett, Idris, Tommy Hughes, (Armando) Dobra… they might just save the club a few million pounds."