Lambert: Cotter Has to Force His Way Into My Thoughts
Friday, 9th Aug 2019 12:34
Town boss Paul Lambert says young defender Barry Cotter needs to follow in the footsteps of Idris El Mizouni, Armando Dobra and Bailey Clements and force his way back into the first-team squad.
Cotter, 20, made a huge impression on fans when he made his debut at right-back in former boss Mick McCarthy’s final game in charge, the 1-0 home win against Barnsley in April 2018, but after appearing as a late sub a couple of weeks later at Reading has not featured for the senior side again.
Last week, he joined fellow Irishman Aaron Drinan in spending time on trial at GAIS in Sweden with the striker now having joined the Superetten team on loan until January, for “games and experience,” according to manager Lambert.
But Cotter has returned to Suffolk and played for the U23s as they drew 0-0 at Maldon & Tiptree on Wednesday.
“Barry came back, which is not a problem,” Lambert said. “I don’t have a problem with that at all. He’ll train as normal, but that never happened.”
Asked where things are with the Irish U21s call-up at present, Lambert added: “The same, he has to impress me, that’s normal, any footballer has to impress a manager that comes in and Barry falls into that category, you have to impress me to show me what you can do.”
He says the former Limerick man has work to do to get into his thoughts: “Yes, Dobra’s done it, forced his way through, Bailey’s done it, forced his way through, Idris has done it, forced his way through. You have to force your way through as a young player.”
Lambert says he’d have no qualms about fielding Dobra or Clements, along with El Mizouni subs at Burton last week, if they were required at any stage but says they’re far from ready to play regularly.
“No, none they did it in pre-season,” he continued. “But, as I said before, that’s a monumental ask for two young kids who have just stepped out of U18 football to go into this type of football.
“I think you’re being delusional if you think they’re ready-made players, they’re not, they’re kids learning, who if the truth be known, if we had a stronger squad they would be fleetingly in and out.
"But at the minute they’re training with us every single day, but that’s where the club is. We can’t do anything else, that’s what we have to do.”
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