Norwich City boss Paul Lambert admits the Canaries were second best at Sunderland in the Premier League

Paul Lambert refused to criticise his men after tonight's below-par 3-0 Premier League defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

The Norwich boss admitted City were second best in the north-east after succumbing to Fraizer Campbell's rocket strike and Stephane Sessgnon's header inside the opening half an hour before Dani Ayala's own goal after the interval. Lambert, however, insists the Canaries will be ready to go again when they face Bolton at Carrow Road this weekend.

'No complaints. They were the better side on the night,' he said. 'When you are in this league that is what you get, but there are not many times in this league I have said that. We have done remarkably well but on this given night we were beaten by the better side. I've said before, I never get carried away whether we win, lose or draw. I always try and keep the same feelings. The one thing I won't do is criticise the group because they have been brilliant for me over the past two or three years and we're still sitting pretty good.

'I've never had any worries about the lads lifting themselves. You take your hits, you mull over it for a few days, lick our wounds, and then we go again on Saturday and try to win that. I've said it before, if you are not bang at it in this league you will get beat. That is great credit to my team because more often than not we have been at it and that has been good enough to pick up some wins and draws on the road.'

Lambert felt City were masters of their own downfall.


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'The first goal is a wonder strike and sometimes they fly in like that buts ometimes maybe they go over the bar,' he said. 'The second is a disappointment to me because we were attacking at the time; just too easy. The third goal came from our free kick. We put the ball into the box, the keeper palms it down and gets it away down the pitch and they score. Disappointing, it really is, but we have another game on Saturday we will try and win.'

Grant Holt led the Canaries into battle 24 hours after the skipper had been the subject of a deadline day bid from Rangers - which Lambert revealed he rejected out of hand.

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'I spoke to Ally McCoist yesterday (Tuesday) and then Rangers obviously put a bid in which was nowhere near Grant's valuation in my view,' he said. 'Plus I wouldn't let him go. I said that the other day that no-one was leaving. The money that Rangers offered was nowhere near. I spoke to him about him and told him what was going on and he was fine with it. He seems to be okay. It was my duty to tell him as the captain of the football club. He has done terrifically well for me. The valuation was nowhere near what I thought and more importantly I wouldn't have let him go anyway.'

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