Lambert’s rotation ‘freshens up’ Norwich City’s band of brothers
Collective strength is Norwich City's greatest asset, according to Paul Lambert.
City's manager dipped into his squad with three changes to his starting line up against QPR. Simeon Jackson, Ritchie De Laet and Andrew Surman all came back in from the relative cold after limited chances to impress on the big stage.
'We just wanted to utilise the squad,' he said. 'Surman hasn't really played this season. Andrew has played very little and Ritchie only at the start. Myself and Ian (Culverhouse) spoke after the Arsenal game and lucky enough it worked. Surman is a really intelligent footballer, a really clever footballer. He has a great left foot and I thought as the game wore on in the second half he got stronger. It's not going to be 11 or 18 players. You need the whole squad. We wanted to freshen up. I felt those lads with that freshness would allow them to hit the ground running and then maybe when it hit the hour mark you might have to think how much have they got left in their body.'
Lambert then introduced Grant Holt and Wes Hoolahan in a double change for the final quarter that reaped instant dividends within three minutes of their arrival. A feather in the cap for the players, rather than the man at the helm.
'It wasn't about me. It was the players. They are the ones who go and do it,' he said. 'They are the most important people at the club, along with the ones who come and watch it. I have to trust them when they go on the field of play that they will go and perform and they have done it for the last two years. They are a brilliant group to work with. I think we have surpassed a lot of people's expectations but this group of lads will give me absolutely everything and if we keep going the way we are going, hopefully we'll be okay.'
Lambert confirmed afterwards De Laet's departure for Kyle Naughton was due to a recurrence of the back injury which kept the Manchester United loanee out of the squad for the previous weekend's Arsenal game.