‘Take more risks, be more clinical’ - Lambert’s challenge to returning strikers
PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 November 2020
Paul Lambert is excited to have his four strikers fit at the same time and believes the returning forwards can give Ipswich added threat in front of goal.
Injuries to Kayden Jackson, James Norwood and Aaron Drinan have left Oli Hawkins to shoulder the bulk of the striking load during his first Town campaign, with the former Portsmouth man scoring just once in his 12 appearances to date.
Jackson, Norwood and Drinan have all returned to training in recent weeks, though the latter pair have had just two sessions prior to this weekend’s clash with Shrewsbury, meaning, for the first time this season, Lambert feels he has real options in attack.
“Kayden Jackson’s only really just come back in, he’s not played too much football since the Tottenham game in pre-season,” Lambert said.
“James has been out for a long time. Aaron has been out for the best part of 10 weeks or so.
“They’re still getting up to speed, they’re nowhere near match fit but the good thing is they’re back and training, that’s the good thing.
“They’re the last line of the golden egg, they’ve got to put on the finishing touch to everything.
“The front guys have to take more of a risk, be more clinical because all the good work when we’ve got the ball has to be finished off.
“They’re the strikers, they’re the ones that have to go and put it in, and the creative guys have to go and create for them.”
“I think we’re playing really well. I think we’re dominating a lot of the games and it’s just finishing off all the good work that they’re doing.
“And the good thing is that the guys recognise it themselves because we’ve had a chat about it and they know how well we’re playing and it’s just that finishing touch. If they keep doing the hard work you tend to find it’ll reward you.” Though Lambert has options in attack, the current 4-3-3 system only has room for one central striker. It doesn’t sound like that’s going to change any time soon.
Asked if more than one of his strikers could be accommodated, Lambert said: “Not in this system, the system we’re playing. Hopefully the system is going right through into the U23s, to the U18s, right down. I think it will bode well for the club’s future.”