Lambert hails 'world class' Forster

PUBLISHED: 11:03 19 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:15 10 September 2010

Paul Lambert and the Norwich City bench wait for the final whistle at The Valley. Picture: Alex Broadway / Focus Images

Paul Lambert and the Norwich City bench wait for the final whistle at The Valley. Picture: Alex Broadway / Focus Images

Norwich City's defensive performance was hailed as "as good as it gets" by manager Paul Lambert. Fraser Forster's goalkeeping heroics backed up a second-half resistance movement which kept Charlton at bay as they threw everything at City in an effort to get an equaliser.

Norwich City's defensive performance was hailed as "as good as it gets" by manager Paul Lambert. Fraser Forster's goalkeeping heroics backed up a second-half resistance movement which kept Charlton at bay as they threw everything at City in an effort to get an equaliser.

Forster has three matches remaining of his loan spell from Newcastle - it could be the last we see of him in a Canaries shirt.

"I don't think there is a better under-21 goalkeeper going, I really don't," said Lambert. "I get asked the question regularly. I am not telling anyone how to do their job, that's for somebody else to do it, but in my view there's not a better one about. I think he will be world class - and that's not putting pressure on the kid because I think he has been colossal. If there is a better one there, I'd like to see him."

Forster has made 39 appearances for City since Lambert made him his first signing back in August and his performances haven't gone unnoticed, either back at St James Park or elsewhere in the top two divisions, which could leave Lambert in a queue should his services be available again.

"Try to keep him? Newcastle have just been promoted, he's going back into the Premiership," said Lambert. "You don't know what's going to happen.

"They've got a terrific goalkeeper themselves up there at the moment, a couple, but their goalkeeping coach at Newcastle rates him highly. So do I, because I think he has been brilliant. It's just a pity he's not Scottish."

But in front of every goalkeeper there has to be a good defence, and after a performance at Orient four days earlier which by their own admission was below par, City's back four came good.

It was centre-half Michael Nelson who scored the game's only goal - and helped prevent some at the other end.

"The defensive performance was as good as it gets," said Lambert. "I thought every one of them put their body in, backed by a terrific goalkeeping display.

"And we had three big, big players back home - (Grant) Holt, (Wes) Hoolahan and (Korey) Smith."

Holt finished a two-game suspension, Hoolahan is recovering from a thigh strain and Smith turned his ankle on Thursday - although all three could be back for what will be a full house for the Carrow Road homecoming against Gillinghan next weekend when City need just a point to clinch the title.

We haven't won it yet," said Lambert. "We need a point. Now I want to win it. I want to do it next week and hopefully we will have a couple of big ones back."

Charlton boss Phil Parkinson also hailed the display of Forster, saying: "He was tremendous. He put in a great performance for them and well done to Norwich for getting promotion.

"In the second half, we threw everything we possibly could at Norwich. We changed it round with substitutes and we threw Sam Sodje up front. We just couldn't get the ball in the back of the net.

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