Norwich City boss Lambert hails his miracle men

Paul Lambert hailed his miracle men as Norwich City secured a dramatic return to the Premier League last night.

City painted Portsmouth yellow and green after a 1-0 victory which, coupled with Cardiff City's shock 3-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough earlier in the evening, earned the Canaries a place at football's top table for the first time since 2005.

Lambert emerged from the shadows to join his players as they celebrated in front of more than 3,000 ecstatic travelling fans – and then hailed their stunning contribution to the cause.

'It's a miracle, an absolute miracle what has happened to this football club,' he said.

'The lads have done it – they deserve everything that is coming their way.'

Two years ago today, City fans were in despair as they crashed out of the Championship. This morning they awake to a new era.

'It is fantastic,' said Lambert. 'Honestly, I am absolutely delighted for the players and those fans. I would like to thank Ian (Culverhouse) and Gary (Karsa) and Jeff Wood, who came in at a difficult time, the backroom staff, everyone who has helped me.

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'Those people there and those players, that is the main thing.

'You can imagine the euphoria in there, it's incredible, I can't speak highly enough of them. The achievement of what they have done on my own personal note is right up there with one of the big things.'

The goal that secured promotion alongside Queens Park Rangers was scored in the 50th minute by in-form Simeon Jackson – but it was Cardiff's defeat which set up the big, big night.

'We never said anything – it doesn't really matter because you have still got to win your games. It is never easy – it doesn't matter whether the other team loses, to come here at a really difficult place where they haven't been beaten many times this season, was an extraordinary effort.

'They knew exactly what was at stake, they knew what had happened, they knew we had to win – it never really changed much.

'This is as hostile a place as I have probably been to with the crowd they have got and the lads defended strongly, and the goal was brilliant – what a ball from David Fox and Simeon can do no wrong at the minute.

'They will have one hell of a week, that's for sure.'