Lambert chooses to bite his tongue

Chris Lakey Canaries boss Paul Lambert refused to get embroiled in another row over match officials after City put up the fight of their lives to grab another last-gasp point.

Chris Lakey

Canaries boss Paul Lambert refused to get embroiled in another row over match officials after City put up the fight of their lives to grab another last-gasp point.

After losing to a controversial penalty at MK Dons a fortnight ago, City found themselves up against it when goalkeeper Fraser Forster was controversially red-carded after 33 minutes, but the City boss insisted that it was the performance of his team, not referee Paul Taylor, that was important.

“If you keep on talking about referees every week you're taking away from the game, which was a really good game,” said Lambert after watching Darel Russell snatch an equaliser after Simeon Jackson had converted the penalty conceded by Forster for his foul on Curtis Weston.

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Taylor sent off Russell in the home game against Preston last November, having dismissed him and Gary Doherty at Coventry the previous season.

But Lambert resisted the obvious urge to criticise the Hertfordshire official - although he believed City had a late penalty shout themselves when keeper Simon Royce tangled with Grant Holt after City had levelled.

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“I can't really see from where I am so I just asked him why if he's given the first one then I'd like to see Grant's again,” said Lambert.

“Some you get some you don't, but the decisions on penalties seem to be going against us at the minute.

“He (Forster) said he never touched him, but I will see it on the tape myself. As I said I can't really comment until I see myself.”

For the second game in a row City left it late, Russell emulating Holt's feat against Charlton seven days earlier when City grabbed a point from a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road.

“I can't fault the rest of the lads,” said Lambert. “They hung in and showed a great desire not to be beat.

“Brilliant they were. I thought they were every bit as good as last week - we deserved something out of the game.

“We had everything to contend with. We had to reshuffle it and one sent off, but I thought we started the game brilliantly.

“Eleven v eleven there was only one team in it and I was confident we were going to get the breakthrough until the sending off - it gives them a little bit of an impetus, they get the penalty and then you have to try and get back into it with 10 men. But when it was eleven v eleven I thought we were the better side. We changed it at half-time, put Wes (Hoolahan) back through the middle. I always thought we could get a goal, which we did.

“You have to keep going, that's what we are trying to instil - just never give in, always keep going because you always get a chance against somebody and lo and behold we got the chance. The desire not to get beat is terrific.

“They never wilted and kept on going and going and going which was really, really pleasing.”

Lambert said he was delighted with Hoolahan and Russell.

“Wes has been excellent, Darel Russell the same,” he said. “They're two lads, especially Darel, who have come in from the cold from a long spell out. Delighted with the two of them.”

The only cloud was the departure of right back Jon Otsemobor with a hamstring problem.

“We had that to contend with as well. I don't know how severe or bad it is going to be,” said Lambert. “We put young Korey (Smith) back there - everything seems to go against you at the minute, but listen, the effort I'm getting and the work rate is brilliant.”

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