Lambert: Form on road can be crucial

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert knows his side's away form will be important in the Championship next season - but it will take something remarkable to match their record-breaking achievements on their travels in 2009-10.

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert knows his side's away form will be important in the Championship next season - but it will take something remarkable to match their record-breaking achievements on their travels in 2009-10.

The Canaries' 3-0 win at Bristol Rovers meant they finished the League One campaign with 12 victories in 23 away games, two more than their previous best.

Lambert admitted that it would be difficult to reproduce that kind of points haul on the road in a higher division.

“First and foremost you have to try and win as many home games as you can and if you can pick up things away from home, then great,” he said.


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“But the away form this season has broken the record with victories and we've got the most consecutive home wins, so the lads have been absolutely terrific for me.”

Lambert was delighted his players took such a committed approach to a game where they could have relaxed with the league title safely in the bag.

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He said: “We were here to win the game and I thought from start to finish we were excellent.

“You have got to enjoy it, but you have got to do it right. I thought we deserved to win the game and could have had a few more.

“I said to them the other day 'Don't come here and try and showboat because I think you could end up getting beaten quite heavily' and we have too many people coming to watch us, so they did it right and deserved it.”

City were without arguably six of Lambert's first-choice line-up but players such as Matthew Gill, Anthony McNamee and goalscoring substitute Oli Johnson took their chance to shine.

“I think he's got a real chance in the game, Oli. Fifteen months being a professional is not long at all - he's a terrific lad, and his finishing was top drawer,” said Lambert, referring to City's second goal, scored by Johnson in first-half stoppage time.

“That was not an easy finish and to lift it over him was great. I'm delighted with Oli and what he's done. If I was him at the minute, he can't do any wrong, I would retire.

“He has millions to learn. He won't stop learning until he's about 39. He will keep going and he wants to better himself - we have a player on our hands. I think.”

McNamee played behind the two strikers at the tip of the midfield diamond, the position occupied for most of the season by Wes Hoolahan, currently sidelined by a thigh strain.

“Macca can play either side on the wings or he can play in behind the front two and I thought today was as good as he has been for us,” said Lambert. “But Wes is a special player in that role and he'll be back next week.”

Rovers players gave City's title-winning team a guard of honour as they took the field at the Memorial Stadium and they were given a great ovation by both sets of fans.

“It was terrific. It was great. I never knew they were going to do it until a few minutes before, so it was very nice,” said Lambert.

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