All we are saying is give us that goal
Chris LakeyYou have to cast your mind back more than two and a half years to find the day Simon lappin last scored for Norwich City. It was a magnificent 35-yard effort, lobbed back over the head of Cardiff goalkeeper Ross Turnbull after a poor kick.Chris Lakey
You have to cast your mind back more than two and a half years to find the day Simon lappin last scored for Norwich City.
It was a magnificent 35-yard effort, lobbed back over the head of Cardiff goalkeeper Ross Turnbull after a poor kick.
Lappin takes a self-deprecating view of his goal scoring efforts since that day, but knows time is fast running out for him to make a mark on the goals for column this season.
He's been close, perhaps most notably at Charlton a fortnight ago when an effort from the edge of the area with his trusty left boot was turned away for a corner by keeper Darren Randolph.
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That the subsequent corner was taken by Lappin and headed in by Michael Nelson for what proved to be the promotion-clinching goal, sums up his season.
Perhaps he's destined to be the bridesmaid and never the bride - but his contribution to the cause won't be overlooked when the season is analysed game by game.
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The official Football League statistics show Lappin has 10 assists this season, one behind Grant Holt and three behind Wes Hoolahan. That suits him fine.
'I'm not sure how many I've got,' he said. 'I don't set myself targets or anything - especially on the goal front - but I just keep putting the ball in the box and if the boys get on the end of it, great.
'It would be nice if somebody could repay the favour, especially big Mick. If he takes the corner I'll try and get my head on it.'
There's more chance of City winning a penalty than that happening - and if there's a spot kick to be taken at Bristol Rovers this afternoon or at home to Carlisle next weekend, you'll find Lappin at the head of the queue, especially with Holt definitely ruled out today and Hoolahan unlikely to figure.
'Definitely - if it's there to be taken,' said the 27-year-old Scot. 'If nobody else does I will put my hand up, but I am not going to concern myself too much because I haven't scored yet.
'I would like a goal, but I said earlier in the season, if it meant me not scoring and us winning the league title, I would take that all day long - but it would be nice to get on the scoresheet.'
So, with the league title all wrapped up, surely there are no excuses?
'Thanks very much - no, it would be nice to get on the scoresheet, but the most important thing is to go and win the two games. That's the aim.
'It's just one of those things. I'm not going to worry about it too much. If it happens it happens.'
No one's complaining about the Lappin goal tally, least of all a player who has made a Phoenix-like rise from the ashes of the Glenn Roeder era to become the most selected player under Paul Lambert.
'It's been a great season on a personal note for me, managing to play as many games as I have, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude towards the manager for sticking by me, because sometimes you're not going to play well,' said Lappin.
'But he has kept me in the side and hopefully I have repaid him with some of my performances.'
That contribution to the cause continues at the Memorial Ground today, with Lappin knowing that the past week's celebration of the title triumph has to take a step back into the shadows while work goes on.
'I think everybody is still on cloud nine,' he said. 'It's a fantastic feeling. The manager said it the other night, that's why you play football, to win things, and there's no better feeling than when you do. I've got to get the serious head on now. We have another game on Saturday and we have got to be professional about it and do the job in hand.'
Neither team has anything to fight for, except pride: but there will be no let-up.
'Not at all,' said Lappin. 'It's another game. It wouldn't be fair to other teams if we went there and didn't put on a professional performance and approach it with the same professionalism of every other game all season.
'Obviously, confidence is high because we have won the title and we've been playing good football again, so we go into the game the same way as every other game this season.'
Lappin arrived at Carrow Road in January, 2007, brought in by then manager Peter Grant to bolster his Championship side which was struggling to get out of the lower reaches of the table. Lappin knows what's ahead.
'It's another big one to look forward to,' he said. 'We will go into it with no fear, but we know it's going to be difficult. I'm pretty sure the manager knows where he wants to strengthen and he will bring a few players in, as he said, to help us along, but it is something I look forward to. You want to play at the highest level you can and this is the next step and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it.'