Lambert - We'll pick ourselves up and start again
Chris LakeyPaul Lambert took City's first league defeat in almost four months firmly on the chin and insisted the Canaries will bounce back. There was no shell-shocked post-match appearance from the City boss, no dissection of his team's performance and no ritual slaughter of the weak links - just a matter-of-fact assessment of what has happened between Leeds away on October 17 and Millwall away on February 6.Chris Lakey
Paul Lambert took City's first league defeat in almost four months firmly on the chin and insisted the Canaries will bounce back.
There was no shell-shocked post-match appearance from the City boss, no dissection of his team's performance and no ritual slaughter of the weak links - just a matter-of-fact assessment of what has happened between Leeds away on October 17 and Millwall away on February 6.
"When you get a defeat you have to get over it," he said. "It's the same with a win - I never dwell on it because I know the next game's on me before I know it and this club doesn't allow you to be sitting in on an easy ride. I have never thought that, I have never once came away with some stupid statements that we are going to do x, y and z, so I know how hard the game is.
"I know people want to beat us because of the club we are and because of the run we have been on, but one defeat and you can ask any manager in the land would he take it and he would take it. Honestly I am delighted for the lads what they have done - I can't ask for any more.
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"One defeat in nearly four months - the lads have been absolutely brilliant for me, really brilliant, and we got beat today, but we will bounce back. If somebody said to me you would have taken 44 (points) out of 48 then no matter what league you're looking at that's an extraordinary return.
"You can't win every single game, no team alive will win every single game. The next step is to win your next one, and that's what we will try and do."
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City got off to the perfect start, when Chris Martin put them ahead after just four minutes with a superb free-kick that matched the quality of his won performance.
It silenced the Millwall fans among the 14,374 crowd - their highest of the season - but only momentarily. For long periods the Lions held the upper hand, turning that advantage into points with Tony Craig's leveller on 25 minutes and Neil Harris' headed winner six minutes into the second half.
"It was a terrific free-kick from a lad who is full of confidence," said Lambert. "It was like a cup tie, that's what the game felt like with the atmosphere that was created.
"It was a tough game, it's a tough place to come. I think every game is hard. I just thought in our penalty box we just switched off for one split second and the lad gets in in front and scores and the other penalty box we weren't as clinical as what we have been. But I can't ask for any more."
Wes Hoolahan's creative juices were shackled by the constant presence of Jimmy Abdou.
"Most teams try to do that to Wes," said Lambert. "Most try to man mark him because of the player he is and if you give Wes Hoolahan freedom then you can be in a bit of bother. It is their prerogative how they play the game, they're a good side, no two ways about it."
However, at Brighton next week Lambert will have his skipper and leading scorer Grant Holt on the pitch rather than watching from the stands serving the final game of a three-game ban - although he refused to concede that City missed him more on Saturday than in the wins over Walsall and Hartlepool.
"Not really - because the other lads came in and did great for me so I am not going to give those lads a disservice," he said. "We just got beat on this given day and Grant will be back next week and we will try and win our next game."
If Lambert did get grumpy after the match it was at the suggestion that City had been complacent - against a team that started the day in sixth place.
"No, not at all," he said. "We knew this was going to be a hard game and so it proved, so there was none. I have never sensed that since I have been at the football club. There wasn't much in it, there wasn't too much in the game, just a hard-fought battling game and Kenny (Jackett) has got a good side, that's for sure. One defeat in four months - I'll take that."