Paul Lambert insists Norwich City’s ability to learn on the job has been key to their Premier League survival chances.

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City go into a testing Easter programme against Everton and Tottenham armed with the security of an 11-point gap to the bottom four.

The Canaries’ current rate of progress is even more impressive given the club’s early-season bid to bridge the gap from the Football League was hindered by an alarming penalty concession rate.

Lambert side’s were conceding a spot kick per game over the first month, but have since given up just two further penalties in the remaining 26 matches.

“You know you can’t make mistakes at that end of the football pitch. If you make mistakes, they tend to get punished because players are much more sharper in the brain and on their feet,” said Lambert. “The run we had in the first five games was killing us at certain times. The higher level you go up, the better players you play against and hopefully you step up with that.

“I’ve got nothing but praise for the team, the way they went about it and the position they find themselves in. It has been an incredible achievement, what’s happened, because we were joint favourites to go down.”

Lambert’s buying policy has also stood the test of time in the Premier League with latest January window recruits Jonny Howson and Ryan Bennett both stepping up into the big time in recent games.

“Some of them haven’t even played Championship football, let alone Premier League football, so they’ve taken it by storm, which is great, and collectively as a unit they’ve been excellent,” he said. “Everybody has an opinion, but a manger’s opinion must depend on what he thinks he can do. I’ve said before, finance dictates an awful lot.

“We looked at lads in Championship football and League One that we thought could enhance our group. My job was to get it working collectively and get them gelled together and get them believing that they could go and win games, and that’s what’s happened.”

Bennett made his debut in a defensive three at Fulham which City also employed to good effect against Wolves, but Lambert dismisses any suggestion he will try to forward plan for next season once safety is guaranteed.

“No, you couldn’t experiment because you have Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham before the end of the season,” he said. “How could you experiment there? Give me 15 players to play them with and you might experiment. It just gives you another attacking threat. It won’t always be that way.

“It’s just whatever team we think, or whatever system we think can go and win a game, we’ll play it. We have never gone anywhere and gone for a point or anything like that. It might not always happen, but we always set our stall out that we try to win.”

15 comments

  • Glad you haven`t retired permanently, Timbo! Like you, I get fed up of the repeated etherings. It`s when one is rejected as "duplicate" that really gets me. It`s usually because I`ve made a second attempt with a precis, then the original, more "in depth", offering is deemed to be the duplicate! Still, it`s appropriate treatment for that inferior species, the "Keyboard Warrior". You`re right about the constitution of the Horse. How can he put in so much effort and give & take such a battering and keep going? Mind you, little Wessi seems robust enough, as do R. Martin, Grasshopper, Jacko and E. Bennett. Preston has commented that his Everton pals consider JV to be injury prone. It is a worry. It has to be a case of ILWT for now.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • I was hoping Vaughan would help take some of the pressure off Holt on the final run in. Just pray Holt stays in one piece and maybe Wilb will be given a chance after his goal on Sat. I bet on a 14th place finish last Sept and got a bit carried away in Dec thinking about a top half finish. Keep the faith its been a better season than I originally hoped for.

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    cutty

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • It would great if Vaughan was able to help out up front before then end of the season. Being injured so much can take a toll on your self confidence. I don't think our horse is lacking in that department but it would be good to have another one alongside him pulling the plough. It has been a better season than expected as Cutty says. I would love to see us beat one of the super-teams though!

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    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Difficult to see how we will get beyond 43 or 44 points by the end of the season. I also predict that we will finish 15th. In any case City have done tremendously well to adapt, compete and stay up this season. The summer comings and going are going to be crucial to next season's outcome. If we do not build adapt and improve on the squad we will struggle next year when the PL will be an even tougher league. OTBC !

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    Dubai Canary

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • Spot on Brewer. Vaughan is the one that worries me. Hope we've not bought a pig in a poke there. He has ability, but is no use on the treatment table to a medium sized club like us. Howson + Ryan Bennett (what we've seen of him) look like good buys. Whitbread is winning me over but I'm still not sure. Ayala looks the part, but again seems a bit too easily injured for my liking. Oh, to have 11 players with the constitution of the Horse ...We live in interesting times !

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    Timbo

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • Yes,Swiss, a major scalp. Man C would be good. Fergie might have a player or two for Lambo if we do him a favour! I`d happily settle for Spurs or Arsenal. I don`t think Liverpool counts as a super-team any more?

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • The only games we have that will influence directly are Blackburn and possibly Villa. We need to grind out a couple of draws or ideally one more win. Can ALL the teams below us win 4 more games from 7 and us lose all 7? Villa and Bolton's game in hand is against each otherand WBA seem on a slide. I,ve tried the maths but the combinations are too complex for my brain to handle. So another win please Mr Lambert

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    Pondlife

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • Apropos of not a lot and because I have too much time on my hands, I tried to research this striker, Taylor, at Peterbro. So I got on to the site of the Peterborough Evening Gazette or whatever. Our Grosskontrolleren would think their collective birthday had arrived all at once! Unbelievably incoherent gibberish is the norm! Makes you glad we live round here! Ged would look sensible. Have a look!!

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • That we`ve done relatively well is even more remarkable when you consider the injury-proneness of so many of PL`s recruits; Whitbread, Ward, Vaughan, Tierney, Barnett, Ayala and Surman have all had their share.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • I've camed down now Brewer. I get heartily sick of writing out intelligent offerings with no swearing, to see them never posted.Then they insult you with the lie " It may take a while for your posting to appear blah, blah"...Keeping my writings shorter too, so I'm not too cheesed off when they're ethered !

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Ethered, Swiss! Precis. I don`t think Liverpool qualifies as a Super team anymore, do you? Bring on ManC! OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • The 11 point gap is to be preserved or extended. Not taken as a signal for an early holiday, or a way of driving NCFC fans to a state of severe apprehension. OTBC.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • Good to see the NCFC flag of St George hanging at England's test match in Sri Lanka

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • Another PD column. Another ethering. Still, I`m only a "keyboard warrior" eh, Paddy?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • Agreed Brew. 11 points looks good, but is no guarantee of safety. There is still work to be done, games to be won, especially at the 'Theatre of Aspirations'.

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    Soglio Star

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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