Lambo’s sign­ings Keane to im­press

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By MEL HEN­DER­SON By Gra­ham Thomas

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

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