Lambert is bringing back the good times
Paul Lambert says he is delighted to have returned the feelgood factor to Norwich City – a day after writing himself into the club's history books.
The Canaries boss could be forgiven for basking in the glory yesterday, 24 hours after guiding City to a 4-1 win over old rivals Ipswich – the biggest City win in East Anglian derby history.
City fans are packing Carrow Road to the rafters – the all-seater stadium record which was broken against Leeds ten days ago was smashed again by Ipswich's visit on Sunday.
And that's where Lambert believes he and his management team have hit the sweet spot.
'They are brilliant,' said Lambert. 'From day one since I came to this football club, along with Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa, the fans have been terrific with me. They have had a lot of hurt with the relegation thing and we had to get them going a bit and they absolutely love their football here, that's for sure. The crowds are coming into the stadium, I'm pretty sure they're enjoying it at the minute.
'The atmosphere is absolutely terrific – we just can't get any more people into the ground at the minute. Whether we are playing Ipswich or we are playing Manchester United it doesn't realy matter, we just keep filling the stadium.'
While fans will remember Sunday's victory over the old enemy for a long time yet, Lambert's focus will now be on the weekend trip to Derby County as City try to improve on their fifth place in the Championship.
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'It's a really tough league,' he said. 'What we have done is give this football club a good feeling about itself. Norwich had the disappointment of a couple of seasons ago of getting relegated and that's the thing I always look at – just try and hang on as long as we can. I never look too far ahead, I just take each game as it comes. I know it's an old boring clich�, but that's what I do.
'I think what we have done is we have put ourselves up there on merit. I know there is a long, long way to go, but the feeling about the club and about the city has been great since the day we walked through the door. All we can do is keep hanging on as long as we can.'
Grant Holt's first career league hat-trick and a goal from sub Wes Hoolahan sunk the Tractor Boys.
Holt has been a virtual ever-present for Lambert, who describes him as 'a proper man in the way he play in games, a rough and ready old-fashioned No 9' – but Hoolahan has been on the bench for the last three games, due mainly to Lambert changing from his usual diamond formation, which suits the Irishman down to the ground, to a more conventional 4-4-2.
It was Hoolahan's goal which rounded off the rout after 78 minutes. 'Brilliant,' was Lambert's verdict. 'A very talented footballer, very, very talented. I've left him out the last couple of games but he has responded brilliantly for us and he has got that in his make-up, he can beat people for fun at times and his finish, I thought, was top class.'