Norwich City boss Paul Lambert - We’ll never switch off
There was never any danger of City’s players winding down towards the summer break, manager Paul Lambert insisted after their dramatic draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Three straight defeats had followed the Canaries’ 2-1 win at Tottenham on Easter Monday, and with Premier League survival guaranteed before they faced Champions League hopefuls Arsenal, the big question was whether they could still raise their game for the last two fixtures. They answered it emphatically, becoming the first visiting team in 49 games to score three times at Arsenal.
“They’ve never switched off. Even in training, they give you everything,” said Lambert.
“They might get beaten in certain games because the other team might be better than you on that given day, but one thing I’ll never accuse them of is switching off. I wouldn’t allow it.
“The way they are as people and footballers, they wouldn’t do it. They’ve just been beaten by better teams.
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“We got beaten by Liverpool because they were better than us. Manchester City were better than us in that 20-minute period. At Blackburn we did really fine, but the goals changed the course of the game.”
Lambert felt City’s 3-3 draw against the Gunners was an even better performance than their victory at Spurs.
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“It was not just a battling performance, I thought we were excellent. Some of the football we played was marvellous – as good as in my time,” he said.
“I thought the Spurs game was absolutely huge. I never thought I would see that again. But I thought we surpassed it the way we played. I thought we were brilliant, I really did. I think we were unlucky not to win.”
Arsenal claimed a penalty two minutes from time when defender Kyle Naughton appeared to shove Robin van Persie into the net, but Lambert argued City might have had at least one spot-kick, first when Francis Coquelin challenged Wes Hoolahan, then when Russell Martin’s shirt was pulled by Laurent Koscielny.
He said: “We should have had a penalty in the first half. I thought it was a penalty when he was pulling his shirt. The first one I’d have to see but the one with Russell Martin, I think definitely.
“Arsenal might argue Van Persie might have had his but if you look at it, Gervinho was offside when the ball came across.
“And Simeon Jackson could have made it 3-1 when he tore through the heart of them, so we certainly deserved something.”