Lambo’s signings Keane to impress
PAUL LAMBERT breathed a huge sigh of relief as his new boys helped him to only his second win as Ipswich boss.
Lambert added beef to his side with four recruits making their home debuts and it paid dividends.
On-loan Hull striker Will Keane netted the winner while freebie James Collins was a rock at the back.
Lambert said: “The new lads have not played for a while and they’re not match fit. But I had to throw them in.
“They gave everybody a lift and they will get fitter and up to match speed.”
Keane pounced on a half-clearance from Sean Raggett and hooked the ball into the net from close range.
The ex-Manchester United youngster managed just one goal in two years for the Tigers after a £1million move from Old Trafford in 2016.
Former West Ham defender Collins added stability at the back alongside skipper Luke Chambers as the Tractor Boys kept their third clean sheet of the season.
Rotherham battered the home side in the second half but could not turn their superiority into goals.
Lambert’s men hung on grimly while Millers counterpart Paul Warne could not believe his side failed to secure their first away win of the season.
Even a draw would have seemed like scant reward.
Warne said: “It’s a cruel game. I’m wondering how we are not going away with at least a point but that’s football.
“Ipswich only had one shot on target all game and I don’t think my keeper used his hands once in the second half.
“It was one-way traffic and no one could have complained if we had got at least a draw.”
Jon Taylor squandered the Millers’ best first-half chance when he crashed a shot over the top from 10 yards.
Dean Gerken made a number of saves from long-range efforts and spared Collins’ blushes when a sliced clearance threatened to find the net.
He then saved well from Will Vaulks before Michael Smith headed over from close in.
DEJECTED David Wagner admitted Huddersfield are pretty much down – but not before he sprayed some defiant bullets in the direction of referees and the FA.
The German had said before kick-off that his team simply had to win this game.
But their best chance of doing so disappeared when referee Lee Mason overturned his penalty decision 14 minutes from time.
Cardiff’s Joe Bennett tangled with Florent Hadergjonaj and Mason pointed to the spot – only to change his mind after a chat with assistant Stuart Burt.
Instead of a penalty Mason gave a free-kick to the Bluebirds and Wagner found it hard to conceal his bitterness.
“Everybody knows the referee gave a big decision that cost us the game,” said the Huddersfield manager, whose team remain bottom and are now eight points from safety.
“After seeing the footage it’s a clear penalty. It was the most clear-cut chance of the whole game and they took it away from us.
“The spirit and attitude was there. Clearly we were the more active team and we deserved something.
“But I don’t know how many decisions like this have gone against us this season.
“We will probably get another phone call from the FA apologising for the decision.”
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock saw the same incident differently, claiming the only real penalty was the one waved away by Mason when Junior Hoilett was sent tumbling by Hadergjonaj in the first half.
In truth, it did look just as deserved as the one the official gave with one hand and then took away with the other.
Warnock said: “Junior
Hoilett’s penalty shout was
10 times worse.
“How that can be two people with a genuine coming together over the ball, I don’t know.
“With the Bennett one it was a good job we had an experienced linesman because there was not enough contact to award a penalty.”
But two spot-kick shouts do not alone make for a decent game of football.
The truth is that this match was not Premier
League standard and it would have tarnished the Championship. Even clubs in League Two would have given it a wide berth.
These two sides, who require some fireworks to avoid relegation, instead manufactured a stinkbomb of a game that leaves both feeling nauseous about the prospect of the drop. Huddersfield’s need for three points was the more urgent and what little quality that blossomed on a barren wasteland of tragic desperation came from Wagner’s side.
The Terriers scurried around and dominated possession but their lack of anything approaching a cutting edge means they have now gone nine Premier League games without a win. They did prevent that sequence becoming nine straight defeats, but mostly because Cardiff were so eye-poppingly listless.
As a bare minimum Warnock’s teams usually carry an up-and-at-them menace. But here they were so lifeless they were unrecognisable.
Warnock blamed his squad’s injury list and the fact that he has been unable to bring in any fresh blood so far in this transfer window.
He said: “It would have been easy to have lost that game in the last few minutes.
“But that’s our sixth clean sheet which is a good statistic. If you cannot win then you get a point.
“Huddersfield said they had to win before the game so they were freer than normal. There was no pressure on them.” Wagner’s team can now play with the freedom of condemned men but Cardiff will need a big improvement if they are to find a way to avoid the trap door.
At least it appears Wagner’s job is not under threat thanks to an enlightened chairman, but his resentment is obvious. “It looked extremely unlucky for us today and I don’t know how many big decisions have gone against us,” Wagner added. “Yes, we have problems scoring and we are bottom of the league but these are decisions we cannot control.”
FALL GUY: Hadergjonaj goes down in the box TOWN CRIER: Terriers boss David Wagner rages at fourth official Andre Mariner CAR CRASH: Gunnarsson and Morrison react
ON TARGET: Will Keane