Lambert defiant as Norwich City suffer defeat
Chris LakeyPaul Lambert promised a response from his players and refuted suggestions they had become complacent as the League One promotion race took another twist last night.Chris Lakey
Paul Lambert promised a response from his players and refuted suggestions they had become complacent as the League One promotion race took another twist last night.
City's 2-1 defeat at Leyton Orient - their second away reverse in a row - means the lead at the top has been cut to six points. Leeds moved back into the second automatic promotion spot after a 3-1 win at Carlisle, while Millwall are a further point behind in third after they earned a point at Yeovil. Charlton - City's hosts on Saturday - beat Colchester 1-0.
Despite the defeat, City can still just about wrap up promotion this weekend - as long as Millwall lose at Huddersfield on Friday night, Swindon fail to beat Walsall and the Canaries win at Charlton.
And Lambert has promised there will be a response at The Valley.
'We have to pick ourselves up and go again,' said Lambert. 'We are still sitting at the top.'
Lambert denied that the pressure was beginning to tell.
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'There shouldn't be any because we have still got a really good lead and another two home games,' he said. 'We have a hard game on Saturday - but there is no need to panic.'
However, Lambert bristled at suggestions that his side were guilty of complacency.
'Don't be so silly,' he said. 'We got beat on this given night. We got beat, we defended poorly at set-pieces. There is no complacency whatsoever.
'I have never once said we are actually going to do x, y and z. We just got beat on this given night and we will come back.
'We have never even spoken about it in the training camp, the lads have never given me that indication that they think they are home and dry and we know we have got a bit of work to do. We are still in a terrific position at this minute in time and we will try and get over the line.'
City were undone by two first-half free-kicks - both from distance and both defended poorly in their own penalty box. A Korey Smith equaliser gave City hope, but it was one of few clear-cut chances they created.
'We never got going, never got off the front foot and lost two really bad goals,' said Lambert. 'Even at 1-1, the second goal we lost was poor.
'That's the worst we have been for a while.
'We never got going. I'm not going to kid on. We will pick ourselves up and will come back strongly on Saturday.'