Lappin: Spirits high in Norwich camp

Renaissance man Simon Lappin insists Norwich City's swift Carling Cup exit has not damaged team morale ahead of Saturday's League One visit to Hartlepool.

Renaissance man Simon Lappin insists Norwich City's swift Carling Cup exit has not damaged team morale ahead of Saturday's League One visit to Hartlepool.

A 4-1 defeat by Premier League side Sunderland on Monday night brought the Canaries down to earth with a bump, little more than 48 hours after the 5-2 home win over Wycombe Wanderers in manager Paul Lambert's first game in charge.

But Lappin, switched from midfield to left-back as Lambert overhauled his team for the televised second round tie, does not believe the defeat will leave any lasting damage.

“We're disappointed but we need to look forward to Saturday now and getting back to league business,” he said. “The boys are still in confident spirits after the result we got on Saturday here. We were beaten 4-1 but we're looking forward to another tough game on Saturday.

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“We'll not dwell on it too much, we'll pick out things that have maybe gone wrong tonight and, I hope, put them right.

“We started OK, but lost poor goals again. I know it was against Premiership opposition but it doesn't matter, we still want to win any game we're playing, so it was disappointing.

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“But we came out in the second half and gave ourselves a chance with a goal. We were back in it for a while - and even in the first half we had one or two good chances and Craig Gordon made a few good saves.”

Monday night's scoreline made it 20 goals in three competitive games at Carrow Road so far this season, but the standard of the opposition made the defeat rather less traumatic than the 7-1 mauling by Lambert's Colchester on the opening day.

Said Lappin: “I'd prefer it if they were flying in for us, but it's only one game, that's gone now, we've got to put that behind us. As far as we're concerned it's in the past.

“It will be a tough game at Hartlepool, but we'll go there full of confidence.

“We've got to kick on and drive on as individuals and, more importantly, as a team.”

If he keeps his place at Hartlepool, Lappin, who collected the sponsors' man of the match award against Sunderland, will be starting three first team games in a row for City for only the second time in 21 months, but as one of only five players to feature in the starting eleven in Lambert's first two games in charge, he knows his place is not guaranteed.

He said: “I'm not taking anything for granted at all. I know what it's like sitting on the bench and you're desperate to get a chance and there will be boys the same now so it's up to me to keep putting in good performances, working hard, keep my head down and, I hope, keep hold of my jersey. That's what I've got to do.

“I'm not going to hide the fact that I do prefer playing midfield, but if I'm asked to do a job at left-back I will do my very best and give 100 per cent. I'm just happy to be playing.”

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