Norwich City boss Lambert rues defensive mistakes

Paul Lambert cautioned Norwich City not to let their standards drop after salvaging a Premier League point against Blackburn.

City showed fresh reserves of character to hit back with Grant Holt's stoppage time penalty, but Lambert admitted Blackburn had cashed in after the interval on defensive frailty. Steve Morison cancelled out Junior Hoilett's opener before Rovers struck twice in two minutes just past the hour mark.

Yakubu lashed a powerful strike past John Ruddy from the edge of the area prior to the unmarked Chris Samba despatching a stooping close range header. Bradley Johnson's deflected shot sparked the late home surge which culminated in Holt's superb penalty rifled past Paul Robinson.

'If you step below your standards in this league you will get hurt,' said Lambert. 'We didn't do the right things and Blackburn hurt us. You can't give a team two goals like we did. That is too much. Listen, we got back in the game with a wonder goal, that was a fabulous strike but their second goal was a bad goal for us and then not long after that we lose a third one which was really disappointing because it has travelled a long way and we are beaten at the back post.

'The crowd got right on it, they never turned, which we needed, and once they generated that the lads bounced off it and Jonno gets a great goal. Obviously people who have come here for the last two years are not going to leave at that point because they know something tends to happen.'

Like Holt's stoppage time leveller after Rovers' midfielder Steven Nzonzi was penalised for handball in an aerial tussle with City's front two.

'I think the way the first five games of the season went with all the penalty decisions perhaps we got a break from that,' said Lambert. 'I'm delighted to get it because we had five against us. We have had some really bad decisions and sometimes we have deserved a bit of good fortune. For me, I thought we were the best team in the first half and we got caught with the classic sucker punch. That is what happens in the Premier against top level players, but I felt we had bossed the game. We lost a goal, had to re-group and the lads came out and gave it a go in the second half.'

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Typified by another marauding cameo from Holt who followed up his pivotal Liverpool display the previous weekend with another game-changing introduction in the final quarter.

'I thought his goal at Liverpool was brilliant and that one for different reasons was probably bigger than the Liverpool one. That is severe pressure on him,' said Lambert. 'I told him it doesn't matter how many games you come off the bench or how many years you are playing football, if you see the whites of the goalkeeper's eyes in that last moment, that last second, it doesn't matter who you are.

'Nerves play a huge part. The penalty is right in the side netting. Any other place and I think that goalkeeper would maybe have saved that. It takes huge players to go and step up and score a goal. I don't mind who goes up there to hit the penalty, but you have to be brave enough to go up and hit it.'

Holt's second top flight goal in a week denied Steve Kean's struggling side a first Premier League away win. Lambert insisted pre-match reports of Rovers' demise have been greatly exaggerated after a fully-committed display from the visitors.

'If that is a bunch of players who are not giving their manager the lot then I beg to differ,' he said. 'They are a really good side. He is on a little bit of a run where people want him out. I said the other day I think that is wrong with the demonstrations. That doesn't help the team, that doesn't help Steve himself or the players. I just hope he gets a chance to keep going. I don't buy into it that they are not a good side.'

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