Even after their hard working endeavours at home to Preston, new Town manager Paul Lambert could still spring a surprise or two, as the Blues travel to Reading, knowing that a win would do them the power of good, before another infuriating international break.
In his press conference today, Lambert was clever enough to reveal only the very obvious and this largely related to the health of the squad and the condition of some of his ‘sick notes’. It seems that both Myles Kenlock and Ellis Harrison are on the mend but not yet in contention for the trip to Reading when the Tractor Boys will be expecting to see a large proportion of the Blue and White Army in attendance once more, as was the case at Millwall.
Once again today, I was very impressed with the way our new manager handled the press. Some of the questions were clearly inquisitorial in nature but whatever was thrown at him Lambert responded with the humour or frankness of someone who knows their lines, and entirely on his terms.
Now he insists that his favourite formation is 4-4-3 and pointed out to Phil Ham from the T.W.T.D website that this is what he played at Portman Road last Saturday and NOT the 4-1-4-1 formation that Ham had alluded to. Lambert also insisted that he was not one to change formations at the drop of a hat, as it tends to confuse players and anyway, he knows what suites his training methods best.
There is a real possibility that Reading could be without two of their leading frontmen on Saturday too, as top goalscorer Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is out with a broken bone in his back and French striker Yakou Meite, who has scored four in four, is a major doubt after he limped off with an ankle injury in the closing stages of the Royals’ 3-2 home win against Bristol City last weekend. He trained today though so may make the bench. Reading have been in fine form at home recently beating Hull, Bristol City and Millwall in the process, so Town will have to be on their guard!
If Town are to make changes then it will probably be up front. We might, for example, see Kayden Jackson starting in place of Jason Roberts – although he might be tempted to play with three out and out strikers and put Freddie Sears down the middle! This seems unlikely, however, but I do expect to see Jack Lankester on bench warming duties once more, and Grant Ward may find a place on the bench, along perhaps with Danny Rowe.
Lambert has even indicated that Lankester might start the odd game because in his eyes the kid has a huge talent. With Jon Nolan out with a dead leg, the Ipswich mole has told me that he is unlikely to change the midfield and the defence performed sufficiently well last time around to remain the same.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich