We'll take the game to Leeds, insists Lambert
Chris Lakey Leeds v Norwich - it's City's biggest challenge of the season and perhaps the standout fixture of the whole League One campaign. City head north with a five-game unbeaten run and a new-found resistance to away day travel in their locker, while Leeds have been beaten just once in 15 league and cup games this season - and that by Premier League Liverpool.
Leeds v Norwich - it's City's biggest challenge of the season and perhaps the standout fixture of the whole League One campaign.
City head north with a five-game unbeaten run and a new-found resistance to away day travel in their locker, while Leeds have been beaten just once in 15 league and cup games this season - and that by Premier League Liverpool.
Monday evening's live televised encounter also pits two of the Football League's young guns against each other - Paul Lambert and Simon Grayson.
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And it's Lambert who expects to emerge victorious.
“We don't have any fear going up there, that's for sure,” he said. “It is a great game, a great crowd to play in front of and we will have a terrific following ourselves going up there so it's probably one of the best games throughout the league.
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“The challenge is there every team we play against, that we have to win. You have got to play them some time. It is not a game that we are frightened of - we are playing terrifically well at the minute and we go up there to try and win.
“We won't go up there to sit and wait for things to happen. We have to go and take the game to them.”
Lambert refuses to single out Leeds as more difficult than any other team in League One: for him it's strictly one game at a time.
“It's about the Norwich lads and the fans, that's what the game is about - if we can win and it keeps the run going it will be great.
“But I wouldn't say it is any harder or less than what Wycombe was, or Gillingham - every game in the league is really tough, every game,” he said.
“It is a massive game and a massive club that we are going to go and play against and they are top of the league - a tough game, but we're playing well. I wouldn't say we were underdogs, not the way we're playing. I think Leeds are at the top of the league on merit, which results have suggested. They are a very good side.
“Simon has done great up there and this is a really tough game, but it is a game we will do our best to go and win.”
Jermaine Beckford and Bradley Johnson have scored a dozen league goals between them this season, but that doesn't concern Lambert.
“I rate Leeds as a team, not just individuals,” he said. “It's the whole team that is really strong. The front two lads can score goals.
“This is a tough game - but I'm pretty sure if you ask them they'll feel the same about us at the minute.”
Lambert has an extra couple of days to prepare for the game, thanks to TV rescheduling, while Leeds won't have played for 13 days after having last weekend off because of players' international commitments.
The assumption that Leeds will benefit more isn't one that Lambert necessarily subscribes to.
“I'm not so sure,” he said. “Sometimes if you don't play the first time you come back you think your legs aren't there because you've missed a game the previous week, so I think it can work for you or go against you - and hopefully it will go against them.”
If Leeds are too big for the third tier of English football, then perhaps City, Charlton and Southampton can claim they are too.
“They're massive, massive football clubs who have found their way into the Third Division of English football which is a fall from grace really,” Lambert said.
“But you are where you are - things have happened previously and the current managers at the minute just try and do their best to try and get them back into the top flight. You are where you are for a reason.
“It is not through anything else other than things went wrong in that particular period of time.”