It's not for me to change penalty-taker - Lambert
PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 March 2011
Archant © 2011
AUDIO: Norwich City boss Paul Lambert will not insist on a change of penalty-taker after Wes Hoolahan's cheeky chip went badly wrong against Preston.
But he admitted: “While I’m at this club I don’t think he’ll do it again.”
Hoolahan had the chance to give City a 2-1 lead from the spot in the 72nd minute against the Championship’s bottom club at Carrow Road after Darren Carter handled Russell Martin’s cross-shot. But in trying to float the ball in from 12 yards, he gave goalkeeper Iain Thomas enough time to readjust and make a save.
The Irishman has scored four penalties this season but has failed twice from the spot after shooting wide in the 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers.
Said Lambert: “When penalties go in, it doesn’t matter how you hit them, they’re great. When they don’t, whether you want to chip them or try to blast them, it’s an opportunity missed.
“I don’t know what went through his head in the run-up but there have been games where he’s been huge for us.
“It’s something he chose to do in that given moment. I’m not going to criticise him for what he’s done for me in the 19 months we’ve been here.
There are games when he has unlocked defences more times than not – everybody in the dressing room knows the feeling of what happened and that will stay there.”
But Lambert said he did not appoint a penalty-taker.
He said: “Whoever feels confident on that given day, and thinks he can score, they’ll go and do it. The game’s all about players.
“It’s an opportunity missed but there’s not too much damage done.”
Preston boss Phil Brown argued that Hoolahan had been disrespectful to his goalkeeper.
“I can’t understand players who do that where penalties are concerned,” he said. “I took penalties towards the latter stage of my career and became a goalscoring full-back but if I struck the ball, the goalkeeper would end up in the back of the net with the ball.
“For him to do that, it shows a little bit of disrespect of Iain Turner and I’m delighted for Iain to get himself a penalty save and also a point.”
Lambert dismissed that theory and said: “My own view is you don’t disrespect people you’re playing against, and Wes is not that type of character.”
The City boss added: “I think we had a lot of chances to go and win the game but Preston are fighting for their lives and you’ve got to give them credit.
“But a couple of results went for us, so you just don’t know. The point could be huge.”
Lambert’s fresh injury concern ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Leicester is central defender Zak Whitbread, who was replaced by Rob Edwards 10 minutes into the second half after landing badly on his back.
“It’s a spasm in his back. I just need to see how he’s feeling. I have to see how he is tomorrow,” said Lambert.
Full-back Marc Tierney was hobbling, too, but played the full 90 minutes. “He seems to have been caught on his ankle but he seems to be OK,” said Lambert.
Paul Lambert post-match