We've always bounced back, beams Lambert

Norwich boss Paul Lambert hailed his side's ability to bounce back as they clinched promotion.He said he never had any doubt his players could put Tuesday's 2-1 loss at Leyton Orient behind them and maintain their record of not losing two successive league games this term, adding: "We had a chat with the lads on Thursday and I just knew they had the belief to try to get over the line, so I wasn't going to let one defeat ruin what we'd done.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert hailed his side's ability to bounce back as they clinched promotion.

He said he never had any doubt his players could put Tuesday's 2-1 loss at Leyton Orient behind them and maintain their record of not losing two successive league games this term, adding: "We had a chat with the lads on Thursday and I just knew they had the belief to try to get over the line, so I wasn't going to let one defeat ruin what we'd done. We were still sitting six points ahead of everybody, so if you're sitting first and six points ahead and people are saying things, I wouldn't like to see it when it was downhill."

The Canaries booked their return to the Championship with Michael Nelson's first-half goal against Charlton at The Valley, the same ground where their relegation was confirmed 11 months earlier.

City need one point from the final three games to be crowned League One champions, an extraordinary turnaround for a team beaten 7-1 at home on the opening day of the season when Lambert was manager of Colchester, the team responsible for inflicting that defeat. Asked if he felt the squad had enough ability to mount a promotion challenge when he first took charge in August, Lambert admitted: "Not when I saw them get beaten 7-1. We had good players but that doesn't matter. You have got to have a team. You can have the best players in the world but if they don't function as a team then you won't get out. We just had to get them playing as a team. They were good players, maybe playing a bit of an individual game at times, but collectively now they're absolutely terrific."


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Goalkeeper Fraser Forster and the defence performed heroics as Charlton pushed for an equaliser, with 3,000 travelling fans willing on a City side without Grant Holt, Korey Smith and Wes Hoolahan.

"The defensive performance was as good as it gets," said Lambert. "I thought everyone of them put their body in the way, backed by a terrific goalkeeping display. We had three big, big players back home - three massive players - so I'm delighted, absolutely delighted.

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"We've not won it (the title) yet. We need a point and I want to do it next week and I hope we'll have a couple of big players back."

Holt is available again after his two-match ban, but Korey Smith missed Saturday after turning his ankle over in training on Thursday, while Hoolahan has missed four matches with a thigh strain.

"Wes is doing fine," said Lambert. "We'll see how he feels this coming week."

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