Lambert questions timing of Norwich postponement

Chris Lakey Paul Lambert backed referee Mark Haywood's decision to call off Monday's League One clash at Walsall - but says decisions must be made earlier for the sake of fans.

Chris Lakey

Paul Lambert backed referee Mark Haywood's decision to call off Monday's League One clash at Walsall - but says decisions must be made earlier for the sake of fans.

The Canaries boss was concerned that parts of the Banks' Stadium were too hard underfoot after overnight frost, but the match official didn't make a final decision until 2pm, just an hour before kick-off.

Around 2,000 City fans had made the journey to the west Midlands, and some were allowed into the ground - even though the decision had already been announced.


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What greeted them was around a dozen braziers blazing away, as they had been since 8am, but presumably to little effect.

The match officials, City players and management had been closely looking at the surface for around 40 minutes before the decision was made - a decision Lambert admitted might have been made earlier.

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“Yes - because you see what they have got on the pitch trying to do their best and the ground staff have been great to be fair to them to try and defrost it,” he said.

“But it is the weather - you can't legislate for the weather. Maybe there should be some sort of way to stop people travelling a long distance to come and watch a game that is not going to be played.”

Lambert would have been without midfielders Darel Russell and Stephen Hughes, while Walsall were going into their first game for nine days compared to City's two - but the City boss insisted that had nothing to do with his views on the postponement.

“That has got nothing to do with anything,” he said. “The team that played brilliant on Saturday would have been round about it again.

“You could easily go over on your ankle. Whether it defrosted later on remains to be seen. From our point of view it's too big. The game is too big.”

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