McNamee stakes his claim for a starting role

Norwich City wide man Anthony McNamee hopes his Stockport man-of-the-match display can help force his way back into Paul Lambert's starting line-up for the League One title run-in.

Norwich City wide man Anthony McNamee hopes his Stockport man-of-the-match display can help force his way back into Paul Lambert's starting line-up for the League One title run-in.

McNamee opened his account for the club with an early strike in Monday's 2-1 win over Stockport that maintained the Canaries nine-point gap over the distant chasing pack.

The former Swindon man then had a hand in Grant Holt's match-winner on his recall to the line-up after settling for a bit-part role for the past four matches following Darel Russell's return from suspension.

"I knew when I came here it wasn't going to be easy just to play every game because of how well the team has been doing so I just have to be patient and bide my time," he said. "I hope I can run out here again on Saturday but we'll have to wait and see.

"I was delighted to score. I don't score many, but I was happy with the goal. I'm playing on the right and I'm left-footed, so coming in on my left foot, I just saw a bit of space to drive into. I thought, 'let me have a go at it', and I just took a shot and it went in."

Holt's 30th of the campaign settled any nerves after Jabo Ibehre's 12th-minute equaliser cancelled out his landmark strike. City could have gone on to win even more convincingly with Chris Martin twice hitting the post and other chances going begging.

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"It was a shock but we got the goal after that," said McNamee. "Grant Holt's always going to score because he's a great goalscorer. In the second half we were very unlucky.

"If we had scored one of the four chances we had I think we would have cruised on to win the game by a lot more goals but that's football - sometimes they just don't go in for you."

City need to win three of their last six games to mathematically clinch a Championship return.

"We can't take our foot off the pedal now," said McNamee, who played on the right flank as Lambert switched formation to 4-4-2 in the absence of the injured Wes Hoolahan.

"Every time we go out on the football pitch we want to win every game so I hope we can get all the points that are remaining. When I was younger, in the youth team, I would play more on the right but then when I started playing first team I played on the left but I'm not really bothered."

Lambert admitted McNamee had been unlucky to miss out after starting all three games during Russell's recent ban.

"He went out of the side, probably unfairly, but it was a decision I had to make," said Lambert.

"When a team keeps on winning it's hard to slot certain lads in front of you and he has had to wait again and he has come in and played really well for us, and scored a terrific goal."