Lappin: We've got no fear

David Cuffley Midfielder Simon Lappin is hoping to get used to Norwich City's exalted status as he gets another crack at Championship football.The Canaries go into tonight's game at Doncaster Rovers (7.

David Cuffley

Midfielder Simon Lappin is hoping to get used to Norwich City's exalted status as he gets another crack at Championship football.

The Canaries go into tonight's game at Doncaster Rovers (7.45pm) in joint sixth place in the table, giddy heights for a player whose first three seasons in and out of the side ended with the club in 16th, 17th and 22nd place in the division.

Lappin, who was recalled to the starting line-up because of Andrew Surman's knee injury for the 2-1 home win over Barnsley on Saturday, is now one of the longest serving players at Carrow Road and one of only a handful of survivors from the squad that suffered relegation 16 months ago.

The 27-year-old Scot has certainly seen enough ups and downs - he made most appearances in the League One title-winning side - not to get carried away by City's promising start to the season.

“It is early days, and we look no further ahead than the game tonight,” he said. “But we're playing with confidence and playing good football. Minus the first game, we've had a few great results and I hope we can keep that going.

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“We respect all our opponents but we don't fear anyone in the league. We know it's a tough league with a lot of good players but we go into every game the same way.”

Lappin is just eight matches short of 100 senior appearances for City - the best total in the current squad apart from runaway leader Adam Drury's nine-year tally of 329 games.

He stops short of describing the existing squad as the best in his time at Norwich, but knows it has hit on a winning formula the others failed to find on a consistent basis.

He said: “There have been some fantastic players here. When I first came to the club you'd got Darren Huckerby and Dion Dublin and players like that. It's hard to compare squads but this is a fantastic squad that the manager's got in. It's a different squad of players. There's a different manager, different staff, I think it can be down to so many things.

“A couple of years ago we had 17 loan players or something like that, whereas we have one just now and I think that's massive - everybody's going to be here for a couple of years. We've got a great bunch of boys and we have the belief we're going to do something this year.

“We're under no illusions about how difficult it is going to be but we go into every game full of confidence, especially coming off the back of a good result on Saturday.

“We showed tremendous character, which we know we have in the dressing room in abundance, to come back and win the game. I think we deserved it.”

One man's misfortune was another's opportunity as Lappin started a league game for the first time this season because of Surman's injury, which is expected to keep him out for two months.

“It's never nice to see one of your team-mates injured and I hope he'll be back soon,” said Lappin.

“But it gives me an opportunity to stake my claim for a place in the side and I hope I can do that.

“You always like to get back on the park - that's where you want to be. I was delighted to get a start again. I hope I can get a run of games now.

“The manager had to strengthen the side, going up a division, and it can only benefit the team if you get competition for places. It keeps everybody on their toes and for the boys that are trying to get in the side like myself, you've got to take an opportunity when you get the chance and grab it in both hands.”

City have impressed with the style of their football under Lambert, but Lappin would settle for any kind of win tonight.

He said: “It's a really tough game and we need to be at the top of our game if we're going to get anything from it.

“It's always you want to play good football but I'd take a scrappy 1-0 if it came to it.”

Lambert praised Lappin's contribution since he took charge of City.

“Simon has been great. He was terrific last year and was a little bit unfortunate that he never started this season,” he said.