Lambert - Beware of angry Wolves

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert is braced for a Wolves' backlash in tonight's Premier League contest at Molineux (7.45pm).

Wanderers' chief Mick McCarthy finds himself back in the spotlight after Stoke inflicted a third league defeat in four games over the weekend to keep Wolves hovering just above the bottom three.

Lambert was quick to defend the Irishman from early-season criticism and the City boss refutes any suggestion McCarthy's men are a side in crisis.

'I don't think they are struggling. The points difference is not that great in the table to be saying they are struggling,' he said. 'Everybody wants to win all their games. The reality is you just can't do it.

'Wolves were unlucky at the weekend from what I saw. I felt they were unlucky with one or two of the decisions from the referee and I understand where Mick was coming from.

'Mick had unfair criticism earlier on. I think it was terrible and I spoke about it at the time. What he has done for that club has been huge. I only know him through dealings with Andrew Surman and speaking to him on the phone once or twice, but the good thing about him is he is straight as a die.

'I've never been (to Molineux) so it's another one I am looking forward to; it always seems a great atmosphere. We'll go up and try to win.'

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City travel to the West Midlands buoyed by another battling point at Everton. Lambert fully expects more of the same against a Wolves' side desperate for festive points to pull clear of the relegation zone.

'It's a tough game. It really is,' he said. 'Mick has done great there as well and they have been an established Premier League side for a number of years. It's going to be a physical game and a big crowd again.

'I'm not saying they are a physical side because that deflects from the fact they have some really talented footballers. You make no apologies for being strong, but they can also play. That is the thing we have to combat as well. Whatever position Wolves were in right now, it is a hard game for us.

'We're new, we've only played 16 games in this league and they have been in it for a number of years. We're holding our own. We've got a little bit of a foothold, but every team we play against, apart from QPR and Swansea who came up with us, is a hard game for us and this is no different.'

Lambert confirmed yesterday City's squad picked up no fresh injuries from the weekend's Goodison Park draw. Defender Ritchie De Laet (back) is poised to re-join training this week along with Elliott Ward.