Norwich City boss Lambert: No excuses

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert was clearly disappointed after Crystal Palace sprang a surprise by leaving Carrow Road with a 2-1 win that saw the Canaries slip two places to fifth in the Championship table.

Lambert was without left-back Adam Drury – who he said could be missing for a few weeks with a calf injury – and centre-half Elliott Ward, but refused to blame their absence for the two set-piece goals which proved so costly.

'Disappointed we lost the game, especially from two set pieces which is not like us, to be honest,' said Lambert.

'But we have a chance to turn it around on Saturday (at home to Middlesbrough) and that's what we will try and do.'

City looked to be in the driving seat at half-time, having just broken the deadlock thanks to Grant Holt's third goal of the season, but two headers by Julian Bennett and Anthony Gardner turned the game on its head.

'The first half we were playing well and we got a good goal, but set-pieces are a big part of football and if you can't defend set-pieces then that's what will happen, and the two goals were disappointing. The lads know my feelings.

'Set-pieces are vital in the game of football and to lose two set-pieces was disappointing.

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'You can do it all day in training all you want – you have got to do it when it really matters.

'But we are still sitting in the play-off positions so we have a chance on Saturday to win the game.'

Jens Berthel Askou came in for Ward, while Steve Smith replaced Drury – but Lambert refused to use the changes as an excuse.

'The two lads that have been out of the team have been colossal for us but that doesn't really wash with me – it's a squad and we need everybody to do the same things. It was just disappointing to lose the goals that we did.

'We just never got the momentum going and Crystal Palace scored two goals through corners – that's the disappointing thing.'

Lambert always believes there are goals in his side – a view he stuck to as the game slipped away.

'Macca (Anthony McNamee) came on and was very unfortunate not to get one,' he said. 'I always think they have got goals in them.'

City succumbed to old rival George Burley – but the former Ipswich player and manager still believes they will be in the running come the end of the season.

'Norwich will be right up there at the end of the season, I'm sure,' said Burley after his Crystal Palace side recorded their first goals and first win away from home this season.

'Coming here, with the great home support they have got, is never easy, but thankfully we came out on top.'

However, Burley – booed by City fans as soon as he appeared on the touchline for kick-off – refused to take extra pleasure from a win on 'enemy' territory.

'No, it is three points,' he said. 'To me, we, Crystal Palace need the points, we are trying to build something here and it is not going to happen overnight.'

Next up for City are Middlesbrough, who were beaten at Nottingham Forest last night, having parted company with manager Gordon Strachan on Monday – although Lambert is unsure of how the Teesiders will react.

'It's hard to say how they will respond,' he said. 'I am not part of their dressing room or their club so I don't know the feelings of it.'