What Ipswich boss Paul Lambert told his beaten Ipswich players ahead of trip to Portsmouth next weekend

Ipswich will travel to Fratton Park on Saturday with manager Paul Lambert reminding his players to focus on their objectives this season.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th December 2019, 5:20 pm

While Pompey went down to a 4-1 defeat at Accrington, the Tractor Boys also suffered as they lost 2-1 at home to Bristol Rovers, who had captain Ollie Clarke sent off on 77 minutes.

That allowed leaders Wycombe to extend their lead at the top of the League One table to seven points following their 2-0 win against Burton.

It also made Lambert take stock of his side’s form, with Ipswich without a league win since November 5.

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That represents four straight matches without victory in the division.

Meanwhile, the Portman Road side will travel to PO4 with only one win in their past 10 outings in all competitions.

As a side with ambitions to return to the Championship at the first time of asking, it’s a worrying trend – despite Lambert & Co remaining in the automatic promotion places.

As a result, he’s asked his troops to remain switched on to the challenges ahead – including Saturday’s sell-out game at Fratton Park.

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert

Lambert said: ‘It’s important that the team remains focused on what they’re trying to achieve and if we can do it this year (win promotion) it will be brilliant because not many teams bounce back.

‘If you look at the table, you look at other results, it’s incredible. Accrington beat Portsmouth 4-1, I think Rotherham lost.

‘It’s a really tough league, really tough. But we’re in a good position, we’ve a game in hand but we need to start to win.’

Peterborough put pressure on Ipswich in the race for automatic promotion with a 1-0 win against Bolton at London Road.

The third-placed Posh closed the gap to second place to one point thanks to Ivan Toney’s 14th league goal of the season.

Manager Darren Ferguson heaped praise on his players at the final whistle.

He said: ‘The approach of the players was first class. I was very, very pleased with them.

‘December and March are the two most crucial months in the season for me and we have taken seven points from the first three games of this month.

‘Bolton are a better side than people might realise. They are not bottom because of their current squad.

‘They have some good players so I am delighted we beat them quite comfortably in the end.’

Meanwhile, ex-Pompey skipper did his former side a favour as Southend held Rotherham to a 2-2 draw at Roots Hall.

The results means Rotherham, who occupy the last play-off place, are just three points above the 10th-placed Blues in the table with one game extra played.

Campbell, whose side remain 22nd, said: ‘The performance was really good and the lads played really well against a dangerous Rotherham side who are doing well.

‘Considering where we are and where Rotherham are it’s a good point, but we also had a lot of chances to come away with a win.

‘We need more belief going forward and thinking we can score.’

Other results: Wimbledon 2-1 Doncaster, Fleetwood 1-1 Gillingham, Lincoln 1-0 Tranmere, MK Dons 1-0 Oxford, Shrewsbury 2-1 Coventry, Sunderland 1-1 Blackpool.