Lambert is quick to calm expectations

Norwich boss Paul Lambert issued a promotion reality check after City's second half salvo sunk Southend last night at Roots Hall. Captain marvel Grant Holt's second half double and Korey Smith's deflected strike moved Norwich up to the dizzy heights of third in League One.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert issued a promotion reality check after City's second half salvo sunk Southend last night at Roots Hall.

Captain marvel Grant Holt's second half double and Korey Smith's deflected strike moved Norwich up to the dizzy heights of third in League One.

The Canaries cashed in on Colchester's 1-0 defeat at Brentford to move within four points of an automatic promotion berth behind pacesetters Leeds and Charlton.

Lambert insists no-one will get carried away on his watch after stretching their unbeaten league run to six matches with a hard-fought success in deepest Essex.


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"I'm not buying into all this that we have a divine right to just turn up and win," he said. "This club was on its knees when we came in but the lads are getting results for us at the minute and the turnaround has been terrific. All we can do is try and win. If Leeds United win every single game from now until the end of the season they deserve to go up. Since I've been here we've had to play catch up and the lads have been immense.

"We had a lot of possession of the ball in this game but Southend have honest lads and they are not going to let us do what we want. They are good professionals and it is a tough place to come. You have to earn the right to win football matches."

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Lambert reserved special words of praise for his match winning duo.

"Grant is a key element for us and his goal scoring has been terrific," said Lambert. "Since I've been here he has been exceptional and the same goes for the whole group. It's not just about keeping Grant fit. The same applies for all of them. If we want to do anything this season they are all equally important. For someone who is only 18 years of age, Korey is a credit to himself to perform that way.

"I made a few changes and gave the likes of Russell (Martin) a go because I just thought it needed freshening up somewhere down the line. The lads have played a lot of games and I thought we needed to do that and it worked."

Adam Drury failed to re-appear for the second half after suffering a damaged ankle while Darel Russell (dead leg) was not risked. Lambert is cautiously optimistic both should be fit for Oldham's weekend league visit.

"Adam has hurt his ankle so we'll have to wait and see," he said. "Hopefully he won't be out for the weekend. The same goes for Darel." He has a dead leg and from experience they are sore things to shake off."

Lambert was delighted with his players' response after their weekend FA Cup Carlisle exit.

"It takes big players to come back when you have had a knock," he said. "Especially with the expectancy at this club but we try and do that and I thought the lads were great. We didn't deserve to go through on Saturday - that is the bottom line, they were better than us on that given day.

"We only played for about 30 minutes and that is nowhere near enough. I know from coming here in the past it is not an easy place to visit and you can drop points but I thought we were excellent."

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