Lambert: We must put loss behind us
David CuffleyNorwich City boss Paul Lambert was far from despondent as his side's 16-match unbeaten run in League One came to an end. The leaders' 2-1 defeat at Millwall was their first in the league since the 2-1 reverse at Leeds 16 weeks ago.David Cuffley
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert was far from despondent as his side's 16-match unbeaten run in League One came to an end.
The leaders' 2-1 defeat at Millwall was their first in the league since the 2-1 reverse at Leeds 16 weeks ago.
But after Kenny Jackett's Lions gained revenge for losing 2-0 at Carrow Road on Boxing Day, Lambert looked straight ahead to next Saturday's trip to Brighton.
"One defeat in nearly four months - the lads have been absolutely brilliant for me, really brilliant, and yes, we got beaten today, but we will bounce back," he said.
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Fourteen wins and two draws since the trip to Elland Road had been a remarkable run, said the City boss.
"If somebody said to me you would have taken 44 points out of 48 then no matter what league you're looking at, that's an extraordinary return. You can't win every single game. No team alive will win every single game," he said. "The next step is to win your next one, and that's what we will try and do. When you get a defeat you have to get over it. It's the same with a win - I never dwell on it because I know the next game's on me before I know it and this club doesn't allow you to be sitting on an easy ride."
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Millwall substitute Neil Harris headed what proved to be the decisive goal five minutes into the second half, but Lambert felt it was an even contest.
"There wasn't too much in the game, just a hard-fought battling game and Kenny (Jackett) has got a good side, that's for sure. It was a tough game, it's a tough place to come," he said.
Lambert did not believe suspended skipper and top scorer Grant Holt was missed more than in the previous two games. But he admitted Millwall had been successful in nullifying Wes Hoolahan, described by Jackett after the two sides' previous meeting as the best player in the division.
"Most teams try to do that to Wes," said Lambert. "Most try to man mark him because of the player he is and if you give Wes Hoolahan freedom then you can be in a bit of bother."
The final whistle from official Grant Hegley may have spared City another possible suspension after defender Zak Whitbread brought down last man Steve Morison in the final seconds of stoppage time but went unpunished.
"The referee probably did us a favour," admitted Lambert.