Blink and you'll miss it but Norwich City make their point
PUBLISHED: 10:09 19 December 2011
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City manager Paul Lambert admitted he missed the goal that denied his side victory at Goodison Park - but was not about to explain his brief absence from the dug-out.
Lambert was reported to be in the tunnel when Leon Osman struck an 81st-minute equaliser for Everton, but did not say where he had been.
“It’s my prerogative to do what I want and I’ve done it before,” he said. “I missed the goal and that’s what happened.
“I’ve seen the goal now. I think John (Ruddy) had the shot covered until the lad put his foot out and it went in. Sometimes you need a break to go for you, and Everton got that one, but Everton played very well.”
Lambert was still well pleased with a point to follow up the one his side picked up a short distance away at Anfield in October.
“They came roaring right at us. They’re a really, really good side, Everton,” he said. “You have to weather the storm – it was the same at Anfield. Liverpool came strongly at us and it was similar today. You have to hang in in certain games and we certainly did that.
“I thought we played well in spells. It’s a really tough place to come but we battled away really strongly and I thought we deserved to get a point. I’m delighted – any point away from huge is a huge, huge point.”
Grant Holt’s seventh goal of the season, which gave City the lead after 28 minutes, was his 60th for the Canaries in just 107 games.
“It was a brilliant finish. The free-kick and Morison’s lay-off to him and then his roll in the box was excellent,” said Lambert.
“In anybody’s book that’s a phenomenal goalscoring ratio and he’s always been a handful throughout his career.”
The City boss praised goalkeeper Ruddy and defender Marc Tierney, who denied Denis Stracqualursi a goalscoring chance with a vital tackle in the dying seconds.
“Tierney’s tackle in the box was different class and so was John – the back five were excellent,” he said.
“John had nothing to prove to me. It was great for him to come back to the club that reared him as such. He has a lot of friends here and quite rightly so.”
Lambert named an unchanged side for the first time since the end of October, and he explained: “I just thought the lads deserved another go for what happened against Newcastle.
“The team picked itself basically and if they perform, then great.”