Norwich City denied in final seconds
Paul Lambert shrugged off the disappointment of losing two points at the very death last night to look into his crystal ball and see light at the end of his injury list.
The City boss headed to Millwall with seven players missing – six through injury, one through suspension – forcing him to mix and match with his meagre resources.
It looked to be working when David Fox put City ahead with his first goal for the club after 75 minutes, only for teenager John Marquis to level with a controversial goal four minutes into time added on in his home debut.
Lambert admitted later it was a game the Canaries, who move up to fifth in the table, should have won – but refused to be downbeat.
'We did it on Saturday to a team (Burnley),' he said. 'But I am proud of the lads and the way they performed. 'I have seven lads out injured or suspended and some young lads on the bench, but I am proud of the group that played.
'We should have won it. We never saw it through but I am proud of the way they played and the group we have got. It might be a huge point come the end of the season.
'It is not an easy place to come, definitely not. We knew that last year. We came here when we were near enough on the way to winning the league. We were winning 1-0 and Millwall beat us 2-1 – no complaints. But on the night I thought we were excellent.'
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Fox was taking over the midfield role that has been the domain of Andrew Crofts, who was serving a one-match suspension, although his absence was further exacerbated by the absence of City's only specialist left-backs, Adam Drury and Steven Smith.
'Simon Lappin is not a left back and did great,' said Lambert as he assessed the changes. 'We have a young kid playing midfield, we have Macca (Anthony McNamee) playing midfield who has never really played in a diamond before and some young lads on the bench. With the team we had it might be a big point.'
Fox's goal – a thundering shot from just inside the areas – was 'absolutely brilliant', according to his manager – but with Crofts returning at the weekend he is clearly looking forward to having a full squad available.
'If you ask any of the lads at the football club they will tell you that technically he is one of the best lads there,' said Lambert.
'Crofty's been sensational for us, (Andrew) Surman will come back shortly as well. Crofty is playing at the top of his game and so is young Korey (Smith), so when everyone starts to come back and if we keep them all fit this time we are a decent squad.
'We will have Adam Drury coming back as well - once all the lads come back we will see how they go.'
City had been indebted to keeper John Ruddy in the first half of a commanding display, but Lambert refused to blame him for the goal that clinched a point for the hosts.
'I think he's offside when he puts it in,' said Lambert. 'He's on the line and Ruddy's nowhere near it and the lads is offside when he's put it in.
'He (Ruddy) took some great crosses when we needed him to. I think he has been playing really well – he had no chance with the goals on Saturday and he had no chance for the one tonight.'