Lambert: Every month is tough
Manager Paul Lambert today insisted Norwich City’s November programme was no more daunting than any other month in the Championship season.
The arrival of Burnley – in the Premier League last season – at Carrow Road tomorrow (3pm) kicks off a truly testing month in the fixture calendar for last season’s League One champions, with visits to Millwall on Tuesday and Reading a week tomorrow followed by home clashes with Leeds and Ipswich.
But Lambert said he did not treat November differently to any other period in the season.
“I think every game is hard. League One was really hard – every game,” he said. “I’ve never been involved in a game where I thought ‘This is going to easy’ and even when we went to Paulton Rovers in the FA Cup, I played the strongest team I could.
“This month is hard and when we get to December I’m pretty sure you’ll ask me the same, and then when we get to January and February.”
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New leaders Cardiff and Queens Park Rangers have set the pace but the rest of the table is tight and Lambert said it was important to keep in touch with the leading pair.
He said: “You cling on for dear life to stay up there. You do everything you can to hang on to their coat tails but there is an awfully long way to go.
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“I don’t think it will be a two-horse race – there will be others that will come up there but the top two are there on merit.”
City have no fresh injury worries after the 3-1 defeat at Cardiff with the five senior absentees – Michael Nelson (ankle), Zak Whitbread (calf), Adam Drury (calf), Stephen Hughes (ankle) and Andrew Surman (knee) – all reported to be on the mend.
“They’re doing fine. I hope it’s not too long before we get one or two back,” said Lambert.
Burnley boss Brian Laws believes his squad is clear of the sickness bug that afflicted six players last week, ruling out four of them for the 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers.
“It seems to have flown the nest, which is great,” he said.
“There’s only one player who’s gone down with it this week, and that’s Martin Paterson, but he was back in yesterday and looking sprightly and fresh.
“They’ve all had a few days’ recovery.
“We just had to keep our fingers crossed and hope they didn’t all go down with it.
“Hopefully they’ll have a bit more energy this week as well.”