Paul Lambert explains his selection dilemmas for Sunderland clash and makes blunt admission about his squad
Paul Lambert has been handed an injury boost with talented midfielder Andre Dozell fit to face Sunderland on Saturday.
The 20-year-old is regarded as one of the club’s best prospects and after making 20 championship appearances last season, hopes are high that he can have a big campaign.
He missed Ipswich’s impressive 1-0 win away at Burton Albion last weekend but is fit again.
“[Andre] has trained this week so he’ll be in the squad,” Lambert said.
The Scot has a big decision to make in central defence, with captain Luke Chambers available again for selection.
But after such an impressive defensive display, Lambert could keep faith in centre-back James Wilson.
Wilson signed a short-term deal after leaving Lincoln City, and despite suffering cramp at the Pirelli Stadium, is ready to retain his place in the starting XI.
“James is fine,” Lambert said.
“He’d not done much through pre-season but came in and did really well for us.
“He’s come through OK.
“The clean sheet, when suspension or injuries happen and someone comes in and holds it down, you’ve got a dilemma who plays.
“Luke is back in contention as everybody else is.”
That win at Burton Albion caught the eye but on Friday morning, Lambert again reiterated that his squad is not as strong as it needs to be for the League One campaign.In an eye-catcjing statement earlier this week, owner Marcus Evans urged fans to judge the manager ‘on the cards he had been dealt’, not the history of the club.
WIth a number of players still sidelined, Lambert insisted his squad is not strong enough.
“Not for 60-odd games,” he said.
“That’s an incredible amount you could end up playing and a lot of those boys are still catching up.
“[Jon] Nolan has not really trained, not played a game, [Gwion] Edwards has not played a game, only done wee bits [of training].
“Judgey has played 81 minutes [in pre-season], Emyr [Huws], Notts County was his first 90 minutes for two years.
“[Alan] He’s doing really well, I’m happy with how he’s going, but two years not playing is a long time.
“The squad is OK but I think we had to be stronger.”