Lambert hails ref's handling of fracas

City boss Paul Lambert praised referee Keith Hill's handling of the first half free-for-all that threatened to overshadow last night's 4-1 victory over Brighton at Carrow Road.

City boss Paul Lambert praised referee Keith Hill's handling of the first half free-for-all that threatened to overshadow last night's 4-1 victory over Brighton at Carrow Road.

Players from both sides piled in after the Canaries' Darel Russell and opponent Dean Cox tangled on the ground and it took a while for the fracas to die down.

But the Hertfordshire official, after consulting his assistant, showed just three yellow cards - to Russell, Cox and Brighton skipper Andrew Crofts.

Lambert felt the referee, who at times appeared to infuriate the home crowd, did a good job in defusing the flare-up.


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“I think everybody was involved in that, so I couldn't see what happened. The referee did fine in the situation,” said Lambert.

“I've been involved in things like that myself, stupidly enough. But your adrenalin and the emotion of the game and passion of the game is part of football's make-up and that's what happens.”

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Whether Mr Hill makes more of the incident in his post-match report remains to be seen, but it did not diminish Lambert's delight at his team's seventh win in nine league games - and their fifth in a row at home - as they moved into fourth place in the table.

He said: “Everybody knows we are on a massive run. We are sitting there and all we can do is try to pick up three points every time we play in the league and if we do that you are hoping something else gives elsewhere and you are just trying to keep climbing up that league.

“When we came in we had only one point from three games - so to be on 32 now is not a bad return.

“The lads have been phenomenal. There's only one place you want to be and that's at the top. You can only beat what's in front of you at the minute and try to pick up points everywhere we go. The lads, they deserve all the credit that's going. They're the ones that have turned it around.”

Lambert also praised those sitting on the bench, on the fringes of first team action.

“There is no question those lads have been terrific, but I am sure if you ask any of them, they need the other lads behind them, as a unit,” he said.

“It is not just one or two individuals, but the whole group - as a team and as a unit, they have been terrific.

“It's a settled team but the settled team needs the lads who are not playing to push them to stay in the team - that's the thing. And I think the ones who haven't been playing are every bit as important as the ones that play because they drive the other ones to stay in the side.

“And if we can get one or two more lads in to give them a hand, it will create that feeling. I need everybody, not just the eleven lads that are playing in a settled side.”

He said he was still trying to get new faces in before tomorrow's loan deadline, which prevents further signings until January.

“We'll try, we'll do our best and if we can do something then great,” he said.

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