MX23RW : Monday, January 21 00:25:19
Jan 12, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Portman Road Stadium (Ipswich, Suffolk)
Attendance: 20,893
IpswichIpswich Town
RotherhamRotherham United
Keane (31')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Ipswich boss Lambert makes a case for the defence after a rare win

Ipswich boss Lambert makes a case for the defence after a rare win
© Reuters
Town see off Rotherham despite coming under attack.

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert praised his "fantastic" defence after they held Rotherham at bay to come out 1-0 winners.

The victory gave their fans hope for a revival and potential Championship safety but they had to weather a storm of attacks from the visitors during the second period.

Rotherham had 18 attempts compared to three from the home side, but the important statistic was the result which moves Town to 18 points, seven behind Rotherham who occupy the final safe position.

Hull loanee Will Keane scored the only goal of the game 31 minutes in, giving Ipswich just a third win of the season.

"The first half I thought we were very good, really strong and worked the ball but they made it difficult second half and I don't think there was two passes strung together; just long balls and thrown ins and set plays," Lambert said.

"But the pleasing thing is we defended fantastic. The ball never (seemed to) come down. It was never out of the air, long balls you have got to deal with that and I felt we dealt with it really, really well."

Debutant James Collins was praised highly, with Lambert added: "I thought James Collins and the other new lads were outstanding.

"James wanted to be here which was great and to come and do what he did here was unbelievable how he performed, even Will Keane who has not played for a long time.

"We had to get players in and they have not played for a long time but they will get fitter and up to match speed and give everybody a lift."

Rotherham manager Paul Warne felt his side gave him everything in a second period which they dominated.

He said: "It's just how football is. I asked the lads to give me everything they've got.

"We did not cause enough problems first half, although we had a good chance to score, it's difficult when you come away in the Championship.

"I thought we played really well and I've got no complaint of the lads performance at all.

"We needed a bit of quality on a couple of occasions but generally they were pretty outstanding and should be proud of what they try to do for us but unfortunately today it wasn't enough.

"I think they only had one shot on target and I don't think my keeper in the second half used his hands once and I think it was literally one-way traffic and I don't think anyone, if we would have at least got a draw, would have any complaints, it just didn't drop to us and it just wasn't to be."

Ipswich gave league debuts to veteran centre-back Collins, defender Callum Elder and strikers Keane and Collin Quaner who all signed in the January transfer window.

Keane slammed home his goal from inside the six-yard box after he miscontrolled his initial touch of the ball following a cross from the left by Freddie Sears.

But in the second half Rotherham dominated the game and should have at least come away with a share of the spoils with Ipswich keeper Dean Gerken and his back four managing to defend their goal.

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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert on January 5, 2018
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