Norwich City boss Lambert keeps Blackburn guessing
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert refused to be drawn on Friday morning whether Grant Holt's goalscoring Liverpool cameo was enough to force his way back into the starting line up for Saturday's Premier League home test against Blackburn.
Lambert praised Holt's attitude at his pre-match Colney presser after having to bide his time in recent weeks with Steve Morison operating in a lone front-running role - but reiterated his priority is finding the right mix to pick up three points against struggling Rovers.
'It's not Morison versus Holt or anything,' he said. 'It's what is beneficial for this football club. I'll wait and see later on today. We have in our heads what we are going to do. I'll pick a side and like I say to them sometimes they find themselves in the side and sometimes they won't. His goal on Saturday was fantastic. It was a terrific cross and the header was brilliant. Grant has been brilliant in and around the place for the last two years. He understands. He is 30 years old so he understands the game. He is not a young lad that you are having to explain a lot of things and he has been good about it.
'I said it right from League One days that we need everybody to go the same direction for this club to have some success.'
Lambert reported no fresh injury concerns with the same personnel expected to be on duty against Rovers meaning Zak Whitbread (hamstring) remains on the sidelines along with the longer term injury absentees.
'It's just the same squad it has been for the last few weeks. They all seem okay,' said Lambert. 'The injured lads are doing fine. We just have to wait to get them back. The longer term ones haven't trained with the group. They are still training with the physios and the fitness people here.'
Lambert believes City's recent impressive points-gathering form in the Premier League ensures no-one in his squad wants to miss out.
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'I'm pretty sure it helps,' he said. 'If you are in the side and you are going to places like the lads have in the last few weeks those little strains and knocks won't be there. Its when you get turned over it might raise its head. I don't think I can say that about the group. We have genuine lads who tell me straight away if they are feeling something or not.
'That is the beauty of being the manager here at the minute. Results suggest that the way they are playing. I never view it as picking a side and that will be set in stone. I need everybody to perform.'
The City boss, however, warns home fans his men will need to be every bit as resolute as they were at Anfield to overcome a Rovers' outfit fighting for their Premier League lives.
'I think that is wrong if people are going to come and think we are going to just roll them over,' he said. 'That is wrong. That is how you get caught. It is a really hard game. Probably the hardest we have face because of the circumstances. For different reasons it is a totally different game from last week. Blackburn are a good side - an established Premier League side, we are not.
'The onus is on to make the running but they are a good side. The Norwich fans may turn up and think we are going to win, but as I said before, if we don't play as well as we have been we will get turned over. We have to play at our maximum. They have got young players but also experienced ones as well, lads who have played in the league for a few years. We have to combat that.'
Lambert does not subscribe to the theory Rovers' gruelling Carling Cup extra-time shift in midweek tips the balance in his side's favour.
'I'm not sure it has much impact,' he said. 'When you win a game I'm pretty sure you want to go and play the next week as quick as you can. You can hide behind that. That can be an excuse. I think if you are winning football games you want to keep on playing. Blackburn had a terrific result and played really well. I saw and heard reports on it and I know they played really well to get through.'