Norwich City players stood up and were counted - Paul Lambert
PUBLISHED: 11:43 12 March 2012 | UPDATED: 12:01 12 March 2012
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Manager Paul Lambert insisted he had not lost any sleep over Norwich City's successive Premier League defeats at the hands of Manchester United and Stoke - even after Wigan almost made it a hat-trick in yesterday's 1-1 draw.
The bottom-of-the-table Latics lived up to Lambert’s pre-match billing as tough opponents and might have had more than a Victor Moses goal and a single point to show for their efforts in the televised game at Carrow Road.
“It was a tough game, as I said,” said Lambert. “It was always going to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest, because of the expectancy level. But if you can’t win a game, make sure you don’t lose it. We could have won it at the end, we could have lost it at the end, so it’s another point for us to be safe. We showed great resilience at times. We had to because Wigan were playing well. We could have won it at the end with Steve Morison’s header but I’ll take a point.”
If one includes the FA Cup exit at the hands of Leicester, City went into yesterday’s match on a run of three defeats.
But Lambert said: “I was never losing sleep over losing two games. We’ve been beaten by Manchester United – just – and Stoke beat us. You can only influence what your own team does. It was never a crisis, put it that way.”
The City boss praised goalscorer Wes Hoolahan, recalled to the side, and goalkeeper John Ruddy, who between them did most to earn a point.
“It was a great goal and a great finish from Wes,” he said. “I thought he was brilliant, Wes. He was terrific. I thought his goal was excellent, his shutting down was great, his general football was a really high standard.
“And John Ruddy has been like that for two years, more or less. You come to expect he’ll make saves and today was no different. He’s been excellent for us.”
Midfielder Jonny Howson was a late absentee, missing the Wigan game eight days after making his debut at Stoke.
“I found out this morning he wasn’t well,” said Lambert.
Wigan, meanwhile, still have a chance of staying up with 10 matches to go.
“They’re not detached, that’s what they’ve got in their favour, and they seem to be playing well away from home. I think it’s the home form that’s maybe hurt them a little bit, but I’ve got my own problems, I think,” said Lambert, who is not taking his own side’s survival for granted, even though they are 14 points clear of the bottom three.
“I don’t think you can switch off. The league is too big and too demanding to think you’re safe until somebody tells you that you are, mathematically. We keep going and it’s another point near safety for us.”
Another 4pm kick-off beckons at Newcastle next Sunday, but the schedule is not unduly disruptive, according to the City boss.
“The lads will get a break and come back and we go again. It’s only an hour later and I know it’s an extra day, but it’s OK,” he said.