Trust is the key to selections – Lambert

Paul Lambert revealed trust is at the heart of his evolving selection policy after Norwich's Bolton triumph.

Lambert made six changes to his starting line-up from the previous weekend's televised Premier League defeat to West Brom.

John Ruddy's return from suspension to replace youngster Declan Rudd was expected – but Russell Martin lined up in an unfamiliar centre-back role alongside Leon Barnett.

Creative midfield duo David Fox and Wes Hoolahan returned to supplement the combative aggression of Bradley Johnson, with skipper Grant Holt omitted in favour of Steve Morison operating in a lone striker role.

Lambert reiterated his pre-match mantra when questioned on the major overhaul – the sole entity he cares about is Norwich City Football Club.


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'I think every decision you make is hard, but we only try to pick a team that wins a game,' he said. 'I have got to do my best for the football club and sometimes I make decisions that have to be made – but I explained it to the lads. They know exactly why I do it and to be fair to them they have taken it on board.

'The likes of David Fox and Russell Martin, I know them really well because I have had them for two years. They know me, and you expect them to perform for you – that is how much trust I have got in them. Not just those two, but I trust the lads to give me everything they have got.'

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Martin's elevation at the expense of Ritchie De Laet was made with one eye on the future as well as the present, after the Manchester United loanee's recent defensive errors.

'I thought Russell was excellent. I know him really well and he will give you everything he has got. I knew he wouldn't let the team down,' said Lambert.

'I've spoken to him when he has been left out and this shows his character to play the way he did when he came back in against two strong centre forwards. I spoke to him (De Laet) during the week. His general game has been very good, but one or two mistakes have hurt him.

'I wanted to take him out of the firing line – to protect him a little bit was something we had to do. He still is going to have a major part to play in it, Ritchie, but we just had to watch him.'

Midfield schemer Fox earned a special mention for his role in both City's first half goals.

'I thought the goals were excellent,' said Lambert. 'Foxy's delivery was excellent as well and Bradley Johnson seems to be getting better and better. I was delighted with everybody. I thought the whole team played so well. Foxy has a brilliant habit of never giving it away. Set-plays are a big part of the game.

'Not just that, but the way we manoeuvred the ball with the two wide lads and Wes (Hoolahan). He just took a bit of cramp at the end, but he was back to his best with the way he performed. It was a really strong team performance.'

Lambert insisted he never had any fears over fragile confidence amongst his troops following back-to-back league defeats against Chelsea and the Baggies.

'I thought we played very, very well,' he said. 'I never found a problem with the confidence of them. I said that to you before. We seem just to bounce back – whether we draw or get beat – they just seem to come back. It's a testament to themselves and the way they play the game, but I thought their general game was excellent.

'I think the onus is always on the home team – whether they are down to 10 men or if they have 11 – and this is a really hard place to come. You expected Bolton to come out and give you everything they have got but I always thought we looked dangerous on the counter-attack.'

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