Lambert expecting to see a response against Bolton

Paul Lambert has warned his men they have to be more ruthless to cut it in the Premier League.

City head to Bolton tomorrow to face a Wanderers side still smarting from their heaviest home defeat in 15 years last weekend against Man United.

The Scot expects few favours from his long time friend and Trotters' counterpart Owen Coyle after watching the champions tear their north-west rivals apart.

'Owen has done brilliant,' said Lambert. 'He has done really well and I watched the Man United game and at the minute they, along with Man City, are definitely the best teams in the league. You don't want to see your team lose 5-0 against Man United, but the way they are playing they can do that against anybody. That is no slant on Bolton. Bolton is a very, very hard game for us.

'What I do find in this league is that at both ends of the pitch you have to be really sharp and really clued in. I think you can have all the dominance you want and possession of the ball in the midfield area but at the actual business end of the pitch – which is the attacking and defending area – we have to be a lot sharper than what we are to get the goals and stop the ones we are conceding. That is the big thing that it has shown me – in both penalty boxes you have to be really, really sharp.'

Lambert – speaking on the Premier League's latest podcast show – insisted the Canaries will not dwell on their bizarre run of conceding four consecutive penalties in the opening weeks of the season. Norwich were also denied a clear spot kick opportunity themselves when West Brom's Gabriel Tamas elbowed James Vaughan in the closing stages of last weekend's 1-0 defeat – Tamas subsequently hit with a three game FA ban for violent conduct.

'We don't seem to be getting that little rub of the green at the minute but hopefully things will even themselves out,' he said. 'People can draw their own conclusions, but it doesn't help us. I'm pretty sure if the referee had seen it we would've got the penalty and maybe the linesman should have seen it as well. It hasn't happened and we end up getting beat and you just pick yourself up and you go again but I was delighted with how we played. We are playing well and we just have to turn that performance into wins.

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'I don't think the Stoke one should have been given because that was outside the area – that was plain enough for everybody to see and Sunday's was really, really soft. The one at Wigan, yes, it might have been and obviously the Chelsea one was a penalty. You just hope things turn around and on another day we might have had more points at this stage.'

Meanwhile, Coyle has challenged his men to repay the home supporters against the Canaries on Saturday after being humbled by United.

'The one thing I would say is that we're not going to play Manchester United every week,' he said. 'We know, going forward, that there are goals in us and that we should have scored on Saturday. We'll lick our wounds because no-one likes getting beat, particularly by those margins, but I'll be expecting the lads to get back in and work their socks off for the next game, which is Norwich at home. The fans were magnificent throughout the game so we have to go and reward them with a big performance now.'