We’re still in pole position – Norwich City boss Lambert

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert certainly didn't have the look of a man concerned his side were about to wilt under the pressure of a promotion battle yesterday.

Saturday's 3-0 defeat against Swansea City may have reduced their four-point cushion in second place to just a single point but Lambert knows his side are still in pole position to snatch the last automatic promotion spot.

While rival managers like to pinpoint to the media exactly where their season was won or lost, Lambert prefers to cut through all the hurly burly of the promotion race.

Talk is cheap for the City boss and he won't be drawn on points targets or any of the other semantics surrounding going for a place in the Premier League.

It's far simpler than that for the Scot's team – win six games in a row and they're in the Premier League.


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'We are the ones sitting second – if we win all our games then we will do it,' said the City boss, whose side will be looking to keep up their record this evening against Watford of never having lost two league matches in a row in the same season during his tenure. 'It will be close. If you look at the games that everybody has got it's really tough.

'But if you're going to simplify it it comes down to that. If we don't do it then we've given it one hell of a run.'

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Fortunately for Lambert and Co, a trip to Vicarage Road means there is hardly any time for too much self-introspection. To use a footballer's vernacular, they will simply 'move on'.

Defeat in Wales undoubtedly hurt the Canaries squad, but Lambert is willing them to keep it firmly in perspective.

'When you're not used to it then it hurts twice as much as what it does if you get beat on a regular basis,' he added. 'If that happens then you get an acceptance of getting beat. This group don't have an acceptance to getting beat.

'If you sat back and think it's been an incredible season and you're sitting second with six games to go – it's been great, it really has.

'One thing is for sure their heads won't go down.'

With Wes Hoolahan still a major doubt due to the hamstring injury suffered against Scunthorpe, Lambert's creative resources could be tested once again this evening.

But Lambert insists he has got enough depth in his squad for his players to understand that if they underperform as they did in the first 45 minutes at Swansea, he will not hesitate to make changes.

'I'm going to need everybody in the squad. It doesn't matter what level you go to – if you're at a big club and competition is rife then you have to do your utmost to get in.

'The fear of losing your place has got to hang over your shoulders. If you don't then you don't perform.

If you don't have competition and you're just going to have favourites then it's wrong. The group has been brilliant – there's never once been flat or down and everybody is going the same way.'

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