Positive attitude pays off for Lambert’s men

Paul Lambert went on the offensive – purely in footballing terms – as he summed up Norwich City's attitude away from home.

A 2-1 win at Coventry City was the Canaries' fifth win in 11 trips this season, and kept them firmly in the promotion chase.

The Sky Blues hadn't conceded a goal in their previous four games, but Lambert made his intentions clear as he lined up with three main strikers – and plenty more goal power behind.

Yet again, Plan A worked a treat, with a Grant Holt double on his return from suspension sealing a deserved win.

'You have got to give Coventry respect for the form that they are in,' said Lambert. 'They've been in excellent form, playing really, really well. Aidy (Boothroyd) has got them going really well, but we never came here to frustrate, we came here to win.

'We lined up with three forwards up top – plus (Henri) Lansbury is offensive, so you have virtually got four offensive lads, and we were excellent, really attack-minded to go and try and win.

'I don't think anybody can look at us and say we came here for a draw.

Most Read

'I have never been like that – we go and try and get a foothold in the game. This is a really hard place to come and win.'

City survived an early Coventry penalty claim when Clive Platt went down as he and Michael Nelson chased the ball, but the big talking point came on 35 minutes when midfielder Aron Gunnarsson was shown a straight red card by referee Chris Sarginson.

While Boothroyd accepted the decision, Lambert said he believed the Icelandic player was unlucky.

'I think it was harsh,' he said. 'I think the conditions might have played a part in it, but I don't think there was really any malice in it, that's for sure.

'If I was Aidy I would probably feel a bit aggrieved that he got sent off. He might have had a better view than I did – sometimes the referees allow for the conditions, but I am not so sure.

'It is never easy to play against 10 men, but I thought the way we kept the ball was excellent.'

The suggestion that Lansbury went down too quickly and, as Boothroyd said, showed some gamesmanship, didn't hold much water with the Norwich boss.

'His ankle is swollen,' he said. 'If it is professionalism then for somebody 20 years of old to do it, then brilliant, but his ankle is swollen so we just have to hope that he is going to be okay.'

Holt's goals – taking him to five in his last five games – once again stole the show, but Lambert refused to single him out.

'That's probably why strikers get paid the most money, because they can put the ball in the net,' he said.

'That's what I pay him to do. It's not rocket science, I pay him to score and he's been brilliant for me from day one.

'Grant's every bit as important as every other player I have got in the dressing room.

'If we are going to survive we need everybody, in the dressing room or in the team.

'I have a lot of lads out injured at the minute, but you have got to give the ones credit for coming back.

'I have been in really good dressing rooms at certain times of my career and that's a good as any one I've been in. It's a brilliant dressing room to be in.

'Since I've been at Norwich we have never lost back-to-back games, which is an incredible achievement from the lads.'

City's progress has been all the more remarkable given the number of top players hit by injury – and there will be more worries in the lead-up to the Boxing Day trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Midfielder Andrew Crofts missed Saturday's game because of illness, Lansbury had a swollen ankle and sub Wes Hoolahan had to go off after just 14 minutes.

'He's got a dead leg he couldn't run off,' said Lambert. 'Hopefully he will be okay for Sunday.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter