AUDIO: Lambert happy with his latest winning formula
PUBLISHED: 11:52 28 February 2011
Focus Images 2011
City boss Paul Lambert was not about to go into detail over his reasons for switching to a different attacking formula at Barnsley when he said: "I just pick a team to try to win a game."
Lambert left out striker Aaron Wilbraham after the 1-1 draw against Doncaster, bringing Andrew Surman into a flat four-man midfield and pushing Wes Hoolahan into a more advanced role in support of skipper Grant Holt.
It worked a treat as City cruised to a 2-0 win at Oakwell to move up to fourth in the Championship, with Hoolahan again a big influence.
“People find it very hard to pick him up the way he’s playing at the moment – the way he can manoeuvre a football and the touch he’s got, it gives teams a problem,” he said
“I’d rather let him do his work higher up the pitch where we get the benefit from him.”
Lambert was delighted with the performance and with two outstanding first-half goals from midfielder Andrew Crofts, who made it eight for the season as the Canaries completed their second double of the campaign and their ninth win in the last 11 meetings with Barnsley.
“They were brilliant. The first goal was a terrific one with a late run, the second I just think was a piece of brilliance,” he said.
“I know what Crofty does on the other side of his game – his work ethic is really, really high – but he can also finish. I don’t know how many he’s got from the midfield areas but his contribution has been huge.
“It’s a tough place to come but I thought from start to finish we were the best side.
“We could have got more, we had a few chances, the goalkeeper made some good saves. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t but at the end of the day it’s another three points.”
Crofts’ double means City have scored more than 20 goals from midfield this season – consolation for the lean time being experienced by some of their strikers. “Do I lose sleep over it? No,” said Lambert. “We always create, we always look as if we’re going to score. I’ve got great belief that whoever plays is going to do the job that we ask.”
There was one other change with Marc Tierney replacing Adam Drury at keft-back
“Marc coming in was excellent,” said Lambert. “Adam’s 32 and he had a little thigh problem the other week so three games in a week is hard. Marc came in and deserved a crack at it as well. We’re a team and that’s what you get. “It was a terrific cross. I’ve known Marc from Colchester days and I know exactly what type of player he is.”
Paul Lambert post-match