Lambert won’t dwell on missed opportunity

Paul Lambert insisted it was simply time to move on to the next game after watching Portsmouth leave Carrow Road with all three points.

'I think when you win a game you don't dwell on it, when you lose it you don't dwell on it,' said Lambert. 'Not when they are playing like that.'

The City boss is obliged to go through the post-match inquests like any other manager – barring a certain fellow Scot – but the verbal jousts are usually one-sided and on Saturday the message was quite clear: should have won, didn't, on to Coventry.

The lesson was one that had been taught before: if you don't take your chances it can come back and bite you.

'I think that is any division to be honest,' said Lambert, who saw his side reduced to 10 men late on with the dismissal of Leon Barnett.

'I think any team can do that. When you have the dominance that we had and the way we were playing and the chances we were creating you have got to take them. But the way we played there is no way I can criticise that group.

'The way we played the game I thought we were very, very good, against a team if you look at that for a squad, it's really powerful.

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'I thought we were dominant for nearly the whole game, but you're up against a really good quality side who have just come down. It is probably the strongest in the league when you look at that.

'Those lads have been up there - we have come through League One, but we never disgraced ourselves by any stretch the way we played. We had a lot of dominance in the game and on another day they go in. You pick yourself up and you go to the next one.

'On another day they go in. The breaks never went for us today and sod's law that is what happens when you have so many chances and chance after chance ultimately another team will get a chance against you.'

If evidence were needed of that Premier League touch it came with both goals, which were set up by David Nugent, the first after a fine run down the right which ended with a square pass for Dave Kitson to knock home, the second when he earned a penalty after Leon Barnett's challenge - which saw the new recruit receive his marching orders for a second yellow.

Lambert had little to say on Barnett's sending off or his reaction, but admitted the opener may have been down to circumstances beyond his control.

'I think Simon (Lappin) knows he got maybe a little too tight, but I'm asking Simon Lappin to play left-back every single week for me when he's not really a left back,' he said.

Pompey keeper Jamie Ashdown –who had a less than auspicious loan spell at City in 2006 – was one of Pompey's best performers.

'Their goalkeeper has made some tremendous saves,' said Lambert. 'I think Simeon (Jackson) had a chance and the goalkeeper has made a really good save – on another day they go in or they fall to somebody else, but I can't fault them for the way they played.'

Lambert refused to accept that the absence of the suspended Grant Holt was a factor.

'That's too easy,' he said. 'You miss your striker, a lad who is on fire, but that's why you have a squad, for lads to come on and do the job,' he said.

Something which has become more evident in recent games is City's willingness to pass it around at the back, the ball often ending back with keeper John Ruddy rather than being lofted forward and possibly lost.

'We have been working on it and I think the lads' confidence is really high at the minute,' said Lambert. 'They can do it and we have some really talented footballers in there who are technically very good.

'We are creating that way and creating chances – we don't kick it long or anything like that we try and play the game in the right way.'

The reaction of the City fans at the final whistle suggests it's an agreeable way to watch football.

'You can hear them after the game,' said Lambert. 'We'll play worse and win games, but I think our level of performances at the minute are really, really high.'