After Leeds United’s sickening last-minute winner at Elland Road last night, Paul Lambert hit the nail on the head as he summed up the mood of the Canary nation.
The in-form visitors dominated much of the game against English football’s only unbeaten club in the league.
But the Scot described Jermaine Beckford’s injury-time winner – after Fraser Forster’s scuffed goal-kick – as galling.
And boy was it galling, especially after such a spirited Norwich showing as they sought to send a huge message to the rest of League One.
The Whites took an undeserved lead in the 15th minute with their first meaningful effort after Bradley Johnson headed in a Robert Snodgrass corner.
But the Canaries got back on level terms with seven minutes of the half remaining, after a Lineker-esque finish from Grant Holt on the end of Simon Lappin’s cross.
City then dominated much of the second half, and at times looked a class above the hosts with their invention and movement.
But in a shattering blow, after running out of gas in the last ten minutes, Beckford capitalised on Forster’s mistake and the rest, as they say, is history.
“It’s absolutely galling; absolutely galling,” said a clearly dejected Lambert after the game, speaking in front of the Sky cameras.
“We never deserved that, that’s for sure. I thought we were the better team on the night, in my opinion. I may be biased, but that’s my opinion. It was an error that cost us, a grave error.”
But a proud Canary chief was in no mood to heap too much blame on the on-loan Forster, especially after he made two crucial saves in the game’s closing moments – one from a Snodgrass free-kick and another from Beckford when clean through.
“He made two terrific saves, as I’ve said to him,” continued the Scot, as the Norfolk club look to lick their wounds and come back fighting against Swindon on Saturday.
“He’s young and he’ll be better for it. It might not sound great at the minute, but he will be better for it.
“He was carrying a bit of a back problem but I wouldn’t have thought it made a difference [to the incident which led to Leeds’ winner]. He made two terrific saves and as I said, it’s galling.”
Yet again, Lambert declared himself a happy man performance-wise after a Canary showing full of heart as well as skill.
They haven’t really let the former Celtic hero down since his move up the road from Colchester. And if they keep up the good work, then City’s upward curve will no doubt continue.
“Effort-wise and the way we played the game, I thought we were terrific. We were brilliant and that’s how they’ve been since we came here.
“It’s as good as I’ve seen and as I’ve said, I might be biased, but we never deserved what happened to us tonight.”
Leeds: Higgs (Ankergren 17); Crowe, Bromby, Naylor (c), Hughes; Howson, Johnson, Doyle, Snodgrass (Gradel 80); Beckford, Vokes (Kandol 77). Subs not used: Prutton, Kilkenny, Grella, Michalik.
City: Forster; Otsemobor, Doherty, Askou, Drury; Hughes (Gill 90), Russell, Lappin; Hoolahan; Martin, Holt (c). Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Cureton, Adeyemi, McVeigh, Daley, McDonald.