Lappin expects plenty of twists and turns

Norwich City midfielder Simon Lappin insists the Championship is not already a two-horse race.

The Scot was poised to get a perfect chance to assess Cardiff's promotion credentials today after recently helping the Canaries clinch a battling goalless league draw at fellow table-toppers QPR.

Lappin is one of a small band of Norwich players proven over course and distance in English football's second tier. The experienced Scot is wary of making any brash predictions barely a quarter of the way through the new campaign.

'In our dressing room we certainly don't look at anybody else but ourselves,' he said. 'It's still an early stage of the season. It's about getting as many points on the board as we can and not worrying about other teams. That has always been the way we have looked at things. We'll concentrate on what we do. We have been riding the crest of a wave, but that takes you only so far. We need to keep working hard and doing the same things

'It's hard to compare the Championship this time around from when we were here before. It's always going to be difficult and what I would say is people are right when they say its one of the most competitive leagues and the most difficult to predict. It's so hard to call games. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day.'

Lappin is enjoying the chance to forge a new relationship down City's left flank with compatriot Steven Smith who is poised for an extended run at full back in the injury absence of Adam Drury.

'It hasn't been difficult because he has slotted in seamlessly and he has been superb the games he has played,' said Lappin. 'Before Bristol I don't think he had played 90 minutes with his injury he got in pre-season. He has come in and he has looked sharp. We've got a good understanding and I think he understands me more with the Scottish accent than Adam. He is a fit guy who gets up and down and will get crosses in. It doesn't matter who is in the side, we all have a job to do.

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'People can talk about systems all day long but its individuals who wins games - whether its 4-4-2 or the diamond - but everybody knows their role and comes down to who performs on the day. Whether you are home or away, regardless of the opposition, you know there are going to be spells when you have to defend in that position on the left. Not just Cardiff, or Middlesbrough last week or even Burnley next week you will have to defend at stages of the game. Its part and parcel of that role and what you work on along with the attacking side.'

City's squad let the plane take the strain for today's cross-border Welsh trip after a torturous bus journey to Bristol on their previous long haul to the west.

'It's pretty obvious sitting on a bus for five or six hours is not going to help your legs or your back,' said Lappin. 'Its boring, mentally, I know that sounds stupid but sitting on a bus for that length of time is tough. With the plane we're there in an hour, we can get in the hotel and get rested up for the game. When you're stuck on the M6 for however many hours like we were going to Bristol the boys can become a bit fidgety so flying is good preparation for a game as big as this.

'I saw bits of the Leeds game the other night but I don't think we learned anything we didn't already know. We're playing well like they are so it'll definitely a good game to watch, but we approach it the same as every week and look to go and get a result. You want to play in these type of games against the best players and I am no different to anybody else. I'm an ambitious guy and that is where I want to play.'

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