Barnett happy to let Lambert get the best out of him

Norwich's impressive on loan defender Leon Barnett feels Paul Lambert is bringing out the best in him.

Barnett has forged a formidable central defensive pairing with Elliott Ward since his arrival from West Brom that has underpinned City's Championship play-off ambitions.

The 25-year-old is due to return to the Hawthorns early in the New Year but admitted after the Canaries' win at Derby his short term spell in Norfolk had exceeded expectations.

'It's gone even better than I thought it would do,' he said. 'It's helped that the team has been doing well. I spoke to the manager and I think they'd love to keep me here and I'd love to stay here. But it's down to the two clubs to agree a fee. I don't know whether they've done that or maybe they're going to wait until the end of the season and might extend the loan. As far as I know Paul Lambert wants to keep me and I want to stay here. I've said from the start Norwich is a massive club heading in the right direction and I want to be a part of their success.'

Barnett believes City's win at Pride Park is further evidence they can cut it with the Championship heavyweights.

'You could see the confidence from how we started on the front foot after scoring four goals the previous week, when we were perhaps expected to win.

'I think the boys have done well because they've come up from League One and not been intimidated by anyone. I think they want to push for the Premier League and these results against a big team like Derby will only help. They hadn't lost for a while at home so it's a big three points and it puts pressure on teams around us.'

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The former Luton defender was part of the Baggies' squad that won promotion in 2008 and knows the value of picking up away points.

'I think people might have thought we would maybe roll over on this one but all the boys dug in and we got what we deserved,' he said.

'I think we're learning every game. Sometimes when you're under the cosh in the last few minutes you need one midfielder just to drop in and help the defenders out or maybe you need the goalkeeper to come for a cross.

'We did things like that and we did it more times than we did against Millwall or in other games where we drew.

'John Ruddy did well. He pulled off a great save in the first half and came for loads of crosses that took the pressure off us.'

Barnett, however, delivered an honest assessment on his own display in the East Midlands.

'It probably wasn't my best game but the main thing was the team won,' he said.

'Maybe I could have got a booking. I think other referees probably would have given me a yellow straightaway and sometimes I need to think about what I do before I go in for a challenge.

'Maybe I get too tight. Cully (Ian Culverhouse) and the gaffer are working on telling me to be a bit sensible because I'm still learning the game at the moment.'