Norwich City aim to do more than just follow the leaders
David CuffleyNorwich City boss Paul Lambert will try hard not to look at the League One table in today's newspapers - but admits he would love his side to close the gap on leaders Leeds United.David Cuffley
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert will try hard not to look at the League One table in today's newspapers - but admits he would love his side to close the gap on leaders Leeds United.
The Canaries moved into second place with their 1-0 win at Wycombe and with Leeds otherwise occupied, knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup, their lead is down to eight points.
The leaders have a game in hand on both City and third-placed Charlton, but top-of-the-table mathematics was not uppermost in Lambert's thoughts after his side's fifth away win of the season, against the club he managed for two years.
He said: 'It's only a table, and tomorrow's news will be fish and chip paper on Monday. I am not one for looking at it at the minute. I know we're doing great.
'I'd love to be first but we're not. The lads have been colossal. I can't compliment them enough on the way they've performed.'
But when pressed, he conceded that Leeds were in City's sights.
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'That's the next step,' he said. 'They are a good bit away, but all we can do is try to eat away at their lead and that's what we will try to do. It looks healthy.
'Time will tell. We will keep going, we will try to win every game we possibly can. We have another hard game against Exeter next Saturday and we go to Walsall again next Tuesday and then the Colchester game, so we have three games in quick succession, but we are certainly playing well.'
Would overtaking Charlton give City a psychological advantage at the start of the new year?
'We've been chasing them since I've been in here from day one, so it might well do,' said Lambert. 'But they're a good side, there's no doubt, Charlton are a really good side.'
Lambert's former goalkeeper almost spoiled his return to Adams Park with a fine display.
'You are always worried because I thought Scott Shearer was excellent,' he said. 'I thought some of the saves he made were terrific, but we kept on going, kept on going and I thought we well deserved the game.
'I knew if we kept on going something had to give. Scott was in excellent form, but the lads kept on going and showed a great never-say-die attitude, backed by a terrific following which drives us on.
'I have to thank the fans for the backing that they've given us. They came a long way to Walsall when the game was called off and they came a long way again.
'Without them this place would be empty, and that's no disrespect to Wycombe, but that following is incredible.'
Some Wycombe fans gave Lambert a rough reception and he admitted: 'It was disappointing, but that's the nature of the game.
'We did fine when we were here, but I am absolutely over the moon with the Norwich crowd. They have been brilliant with me and I will try my utmost to give them something at the end of the season.
'I am only interested in Norwich. My time at Wycombe has gone.
'It was disappointing to hear some of the chants that were going on. I did everything I could to give this club success at the time.'