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Lambe vows to show more attacking threat for Toronto

Reggie Lambe insists there’s still plenty more to come from him after admitting he has underperformed for Toronto FC so far this season.

Lambe has been a regular starter under new Toronto boss Ryan Nelsen but believes he needs to show more cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.

Still yet to score in the Major League Soccer this year, the 22-year-old accepts he has not reached the high standards he set himself before the start of the campaign.

“I know I must do more in the final third,” said the Bermuda midfielder. “I have started most of the games but my impact offensively hasn’t been up to the standards I set myself before the season started.”

Lambe has been deployed in a more defensive role under former Blackburn defender Nelsen but said he was happy to perform any role his coach asked of him.

“I’m playing a mainly defensively role, but I still try to get forward when I can. Wherever I can help the team out and wherever Ryan wants me to play, that’s what I look to do. I just want to help the team to push on and get out of this slump that we are in.”

Toronto, who have never made the MLS play-offs, finished bottom of the standings last season, and are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference having taken just eight points from 13 matches.

Despite Toronto’s continued run of form poor, Lambe still maintains they can reach the play-offs this season.

“We haven’t really had the best of seasons. We’ve been playing good football but conceding too many late goals,” he said.

“If we can get two or three wins then we will be right in playoff contention that’s not out of sight for us at all.”

Lambe, who returned home to play in Bermuda’s 6-1 defeat to England C on Tuesday night, found himself dropped to the bench for Toronto 1-1 draw against Philadelphia Union last weekend.

And with Nelsen drafting in several midseason reinforcements, including Scotland international Steven Caldwell and former Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim, Lambe concedes competition for places is hotting up.

“The squad is getting stronger and there’s a lot of competition for places,” said Lambe, who played 27 games for Toronto last season. “You have to play your best to make sure you make the team rather than just coming into training and going through the motions.

“I’m just trying to do positive things and help the team improve. I’ve been keeping my place and as long as I work hard I think I should be part of the team.”

Lambe said he is hoping to return home for next month’s NatWest Island Games a competition Bermuda are red-hot favourites to win.

“My main focus right now is Toronto FC, but we will work around my fixtures and see if I can come home and play a few Island Games matches,” said Lambe.

“I take a lot of confidence coming back to play for my national team it gives me an extra boost.

“The Island Games is something I’m looking forward to and I hope I can come back and play.

“(The Games) will interfere with Toronto’s season but the coach believes in me and he thinks I will make the right decision.”

The former Ipswich Town man doesn’t believe Bermuda’s heavy defeat against England C was a fair reflection of how the hosts played.

“Minus the scoreline I think we played really well, we just need to work on cutting out the mistakes,” he said.

“If we can limit the amount of mistakes we make in a game then we won’t lose by that much.

“Also, we need to capitalise on our chances in and around the box.

“We need to take more chances and have more shots that’s something we need to work on.”

Photo by Akil Simmons Reggie Lambe goes on the attack in Bermuda's match against England C at the National Sports Centre on Tuesday night. England C won 6-1. Lambe believes his best form is ahead of him at Toronto FC.

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Published June 06, 2013 at 2:54 pm (Updated June 06, 2013 at 2:53 pm)

Lambe vows to show more attacking threat for Toronto

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