Lambert expects his men to bounce back
Jonathan Redhead A pragmatic Paul Lambert expects Norwich City to bounce back immediately from their FA Cup exit when they return to League One action tonight. The Canaries tumbled out of the Cup before the third round for the first time since 1959 with their 3-1 reverse at Carlisle on Saturday - their first defeat in eight games.
A pragmatic Paul Lambert expects Norwich City to bounce back immediately from their FA Cup exit when they return to League One action tonight.
The Canaries tumbled out of the Cup before the third round for the first time since 1959 with their 3-1 reverse at Carlisle on Saturday - their first defeat in eight games.
The loss in the north west was only City's fourth in 21 games under Lambert's stewardship, but on the previous three occasions, City have rebounded impressively, picking up two wins and a draw in their following games.
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And after leading his squad through training at Colney on Sunday, a calm Lambert believes his team will recover from their collective 'off day' at Brunton Park when they return to league action against Southend at Roots Hall this evening.
"They were hurting from Saturday, but you bounce back, that's the nature of the game. You bounce back as quick as you can," he said.
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"They've done it before. They've done it when we got beaten at Leeds, they've done it when we got beaten at MK Dons and against Sunderland, so they've done it before.
"It's just we had an off day and too many of us on that given day didn't perform as we had been.
"You can get away with maybe one or two having an off day, but we seemed to have a few just not to the level. I think we only played for about 30 minutes and that's never enough to win a game.
"When we did go a goal down it gave us a jolt to get the goal back and we got it back and were playing well and that's the way we've been playing most of the season.
"The second goal, 10 seconds after the restart, gives them the impetus to go on again. It just wasn't our day."
Lambert said it was only the first occasion in his time as City boss that his side has not performed to the expected level - but is prepared to put it all down to 'human nature'.
"We just couldn't get out of the stride we were in. It's the first time that I've been here," he said.
"If you're telling me that can happen once every three or four months then I'll take it.
"Everything was exactly the same. It happens to everybody in every walk of life - they're human. Human nature is you can't perform at the top of your level every single time. It's really, really tough."
"I've seen in the top eight or nine in the Premiership in the last six or seven games every one of them has lost a game.
"Everybody's disappointed but we'll bounce back that's for sure."
The Scot also reluctantly admitted he'd rather have seen City's unbeaten run come to a halt in the FA Cup rather than putting the brakes on the push for the Championship which sees the Canaries fourth and four points off an automatic promotion spot.
"If you backed me into the corner, then yeah," Lambert said.
"But I wanted to go through and get as far as we could in it. If you're in something you may as well try to win it.
"It's disappointing, but what you can't do is let it blight what the lads have done over a period of time.
"After one defeat you pick yourselves up and you have to go again, no matter how disappointing it is. I'm not going to let it blight what the lads have done."