Norwich City boss Lambert: No hint of complacency
Paul Lambert insists there will be no hint of complacency from the Canaries in Saturday's Premier League trip to Aston Villa.
City had to dig deep last weekend to snatch a stoppage time point against struggling Rovers - but Lambert denied any suggestion Blackburn had delivered a timely wake up call.
'Not from the players,' he said. 'The players knew exactly what sort of game they were going into. It's everywhere else where people think you are just going to turn up and win. I've never known a game to be like that. You have to work really hard for it and the pleasing thing was we kept on going. We were 3-1 down with ten minutes to go. That character is there in abundance. We were caught with a wee bit of lethargic play but we managed to turn it around.
'We just can't turn up and think we are going to win, or people think that. We weren't complacent. I knew it was a dangerous game last week with Blackburn's position but they are a really good side and I think everybody saw that.'
Lambert believes a trip to Villa Park is as big as it comes despite already sampling games at Cheslea, Man United and Liverpool.
'This is a really tough one,' he said. 'Going to Villa Park will be a great experience for ourselves. The stadium is lovely, they have a vibrant fanbase as well and a new manager. It's a tough, tough game - but as I have said before we are playing well enough to win.'
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.
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City's high-scoring 3-3 draw with Blackburn came during a record-breaking goal rush for the top flight last weekend. Another Premier League lesson digested for Lambert.
I've learned that it is as hard as anything. It is a really, really tough league,' he said. 'Every game you look at you can never see an easy game. The league shows that. No game is easy. We have to be bang at it every single game. Every game you do take a point is a prisoner – that is the way we do have to look at it. It can be a great point.
'I don't know why there is so many goals this season. It could be a number of reasons. It can be very good attacking play, it can be bad defending or mistakes. I think there is a multitude of things that can happen in game. I don't think its just one area. Sometimes you can get caught napping or by some great play.'
Former Man United defender and now television pundit Gary Neville cited the modern-day offside rule earlier this week as one of the potential factors. Lambert agrees from a coaching perspective the nuances of the current offside interpretations - in particular deciding when players are deemed active or inactive - make it far from easy to defend against.
'That is a grey area and I think it has been for a number of years,' he said. 'I just heard on the radio that Franz Beckenbauer was coming up with some idea from when he played. I don't think there should be a grey area. The last line of the pitch is a vital part and we all need to be clear what is offside and what is not. I think at the minute it's a difficult one. You don't want to play it because of inactive or active so you are bit unsure at times. I think if you are in any doubt whatsoever then you can't play it. You have to take that out of the equation. Its not for me to decide the rule, but if you are in any doubt then don't play it.'