Lambert praises his unsung Canary heroes
Chris Lakey Norwich City 4, Brighton 1: Paul Lambert insisted his unsung heroes should not be forgotten as City took another step up the League One ladder last night.
Norwich City 4, Brighton 1
Paul Lambert insisted his unsung heroes should not be forgotten as City took another step up the League One ladder last night.
Victory over struggling Brighton moved City up a place to fourth in the jam of clubs chasing a place in the Championship. And while Grant Holt, Chris Martin and Wes Hoolahan will take the lion's share of the plaudits, the City boss insists that a run which has seen his team beaten just once in their last 14 games owes as much to the silent majority.
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“There is no question those lads have been terrific, but I am sure if you ask any of those lads, they need the other lads behind them, as a unit,” said Lambert. “You have to give everybody credit for what they are doing. 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 - and I think the ones who haven't been playing as much as the ones who are playing are every bit as important as the ones that play because they drive the other ones to stay in the side.”
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One of those who could have been watching from the fringes is Simon Lappin, whose place was by no means certain when Lambert arrived in August but who has become a permanent fixture in his line-ups.
Lappin has a wicked left foot and it played a major part in City's third goal last night - an own goal - which put them back in command after the lead given to them by Holt and Hoolahan had been halved.
“He gives us a balance with his left foot and left-footed players are rare to find,” said Lambert. “I know he was out of the team before we came in but since I have been here he has been in the team on merit and he has been terrific.”
Martin made it 4-1 in the latter stages to confirm City's second-half superiority against plucky opponents - leaving other teams watching the Canaries' progress and wondering how to stop it.
“Everybody knows we are on a massive run,” said Lambert. “We are sitting there and all we can do is try and 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 only had open point from three games - so to be on 32 now is not a bad return.
“I thought the lads were excellent against a good Brighton side.”
Lambert has consistently pointed to the players as the ones who have turned around City's fortunes, but his controversial arrival, along with assistant Ian Culverhouse and football director Gary Karsa, has clearly provided the spark.
“Ian and Gary have been with me since Wycombe,” he said. “Ian Culverhouse is a brilliant coach and I am lucky enough to have him on my side, and him and Gary have been really close allies with me. The two lads especially, have been brilliant