Lambert believes Seagulls will fear Norwich City
Michael Bailey Paul Lambert knows what it is like for Gus Poyet as the new Brighton manager tries to make his mark at a new club.With the Uruguayan hoping to drag the Seagulls clear of League One's drop zone, he will be hoping for a similar impact to what Lambert managed when he took over the Canaries in August.
Paul Lambert knows what it is like for Gus Poyet as the new Brighton manager tries to make his mark at a new club.
With the Uruguayan hoping to drag the Seagulls clear of League One's drop zone, he will be hoping for a similar impact to what Lambert managed when he took over the Canaries in August.
An excellent win at Southampton in Poyet's first game was a great start, and was followed by an FA Cup replay victory over Wycombe.
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But Brighton came unstuck against leaders Leeds at the weekend and Lambert believes tonight's visitors will fear a trip to Carrow Road.
He said: “Brighton have got a new manager which makes it harder. This will be his fourth game but they'll come to our place knowing we're playing really well. That's the thing they've got to think about.
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“There's only two ways I think it's ever going to go when you get into a new job. You either can't get a win with the current group or you do go on a run, and he's done great on his first couple of games and okay, he got beat by Leeds who are top of the league and Leeds played well, so it's a tough game we've got, there's no doubt. It's a hard game, the crowd will come again in their thousands expecting us to win so we have to make the running. The run we're on has been great and there's always a team that'll want to take your mantle. Teams have tried it and not done it, and I'm sure Brighton will want to be the first team to do it.
“But if we play the way we have been and we get the crowd on our side, we'll be right in the mix. We're certainly playing well enough to win games.”
Leeds showed the way to beat Brighton with a hard-working shift on Saturday - and that is the least Lambert expects from his players.
“You can't play without the ball, so you may as well go and get it back as quick as you can and that's what we've got,” said the City manager. “Allied to really good players, we've got a work ethic that lads will go and get the ball for us, and you need that. You shouldn't have to ask for that, it should be there anyway.
“They seem to have the bit between their teeth at the minute and they're the ones that have turned it round themselves, they're really good players and they've driven ourselves from where they were earlier on to where they are now.”
Norwich will be without Owain Tudur Jones (groin), Matt Gill (calf), Luke Daley (thigh), Declan Rudd (knee) and George Francomb (thigh) until they make a return for the reserves, while Michael Spillane is out until Christmas (hamstring).
Lambert will keep his players' feet on the ground as they seek to edge closer to the automatic promotion places.
“I'm never one to look any further than the next game, so first and foremost is managing expectations of the club, regardless of whether it was doing poorly at the beginning or it was doing great.
“Whoever sits here in years to come will find it exactly the same because of the fan base it's got. With the expectancy level of the club, you have to be round about it. If you can manage that, then I'm sure you can manage a group of lads who are doing well for you.”
The Canaries are still playing catch-up from a slow start of one point from their opening three league games.
“I'd rather be up there from the beginning, it's easier looking down than it is up,” said Lambert. “It's never easy to always play catch up, but we've done that since day one we've come in here, I think Norwich had a point. No we're on 29, so it's not bad.
“It (third place) is another target that we'll try and hit, and as soon as you hit that you want to try and get up to second. There's not much in it now between us and second. There's loads of games to play between now and the end of the season, but we're up there on merit, that's for sure.”