Late Norwich City shows shredding Lambert’s nerves
Canaries boss Paul Lambert applauded another 'massive' win for his team – but admitted City's habit of firing in late winners wasn't good for the nerves.
City looked to be heading for a 2-2 draw until Simeon Jackson completed his hat-trick in time added on to preserve the grip on second place and keep Cardiff a point behind.
Carrow Road erupted and the City bench celebrated with them as Derby, who had twice fought back from behind, were finally put to the sword.
'Your heart couldn't stand that – I couldn't go through that every week,' said Lambert as he tried to sum up the events of the afternoon.
'There have been a few like that. And they're exciting – if you win them. I think you sensed the relief when that actually happens, but the lads, I can't describe what they have given me. They have been extraordinary, they really have, they have been brilliant, and I will go to the well every game with them.'
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The man at the centre of the drama was Jackson, who scored with a first-half header, a lob on the hour mark and then his dramatic winner after Russell Martin's shot was blocked on the line and the rebound cannoned off the Canadian's midriff.
The pick of the treble – his second in the space of a six-game spell which has yielded eight goals – was his second.
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'I think it was a world class goal,' said Lambert. 'I think it was a brilliant finish. He was brilliant today... unplayable, excellent. He has had a bit of a hard time of it. He had to go behind Chrissy (Martin), and Wes (Hoolahan) and Grant (Holt) but to be fair to that lad he stepped up to the plate in the last six, seven weeks so I am delighted for him.'
Like the rest of his team, the question is: can they cut it at a higher level?
'It's the lads themselves who hopefully will create their own careers and their own names for themselves,' said Lambert. 'I hope they do, I really hope for themselves and their own careers, but as a team they are brilliant. That's what they are – they are a proper team.'
Twice City went ahead, twice Derby came back, but Lambert refused to settle for a draw and by the end City were throwing everything they could into attack.
'We couldn't shake them,' he said. 'To be fair to Derby, they have been on a terrific run of late. I watched them against QPR and they did great and arguably had the best chance of the game on that night.
'It is a massive win for ourselves. We know if we win the next two we have done it. I know that sounds a lot easier than actually doing it. I am realistic enough to know that regardless of what happens we have had an incredible season.'