Pilkington delivers perfect response for Lambert after Old Trafford

Anthony Pilkington proved his character as much as his class according to Paul Lambert after a clinical brace against the Swans.

Pilkington's well-publicised misses against champions Manchester United prior to the international break were highlighted as the difference between City earning points as well as plaudits for their battling Old Trafford display.

The former Huddersfield flyer took less than a minute to lash home Steve Morison's cushioned header before an instinctive swivel from Bradley Johnson's flick secured another three points for Lambert's side.

The Scot revealed a little training ground pep talk was all the convincing he needed that Pilkington has the temperament as much as the talent to flourish in the top flight.

'I just spoke to him. The way I do with everybody in training. I just told him to keep playing the way he is,' said Lambert. 'Going to Old Trafford the way we played was excellent. We just needed that goal. To come back and do it in front of your own fans where there is a bit of pressure on and to respond the way he was did was excellent.

'I thought he was excellent here and he was at Old Trafford. People spoke about the chance he had there, but he showed a big character to come back from not just that but from a really severe injury. People forget that but since he has been at the club he has been terrific.'

Midfield allies David Fox and Bradley Johnson served fresh notice they are forging a formidable double act in the middle of the park.

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'You run out of things to say about Foxy,' said Lambert. 'You just expect it from him. I've worked with him now for eight years or so and he has a great habit of passing to a player wearing his own coloured shirt. Some people find that hard to do. He is a terrific lad. He had a great upbringing at Man United where he learned good habits when he was young.

'Him and Johnson at the minute are playing really well. Bradley, you would need to ask him, but he is probably playing the best football he has done in a while. For the team and for me he has been brilliant.'