Paul Lambert paid tribute to City’s loyal band of travelling supporters after they roared their side into second place in League One with a 1-0 win at Wycombe.
The visitors dominated throughout but just when it was looking like being ‘one of those days’, Korey Smith popped up to get on the end of a neat Wes Hoolahan cut back to seal the points with just 12 minutes remaining.
And after Charlton’s game at Walsall was called off – more on that later – the Canaries now sit in an automatic promotion place for the first time this season. The table looks good doesn’t it?
But as well as saluting his team’s character, the Scot was yet again taken aback at City’s support. Over 2,000 fans on a freezing cold day just after New Year – that’s some going.
“We were backed by a terrific following which drives us on,” Lambert told BBC Radio Norfolk afterwards.
“I went over to them to thank them for the backing they gave us. So it’s a big thanks to those who came to Walsall and those who came today.
“Without them, this place [Adams Park] would be empty. That’s no disrespect to Wycombe but our following is incredible.
“They came a long way to Walsall, for a game where everyone is saying it’s my fault. But if I can get a game called off, I can walk on water.
“Maybe Phil [Parkinson, Charlton’s manager] will get the blame for today’s call off. I’ll look forward to seeing who gets the blame.”
There was certainly plenty of nail biting in the away end and in Norfolk after a fantastic Chairboys rearguard action threatened to derail City’s charge into second place.
Goalkeeper Scott Shearer was especially impressive, pulling off save after save, and it was no surprise when he was named man-of-the-match.
And the Canary chief acknowledged the 28-year-old’s heroic performance – one that looked like keeping City at bay for long periods.
“I thought Scott Shearer was excellent. Some of the saves he made were terrific but we kept on going and kept on going and I thought we well deserved the win.
“You’re always a bit wary of it [not scoring] but I knew that if we kept on going, something had to give. We showed a great ‘never say die’ attitude which we’ve had in abundance since I’ve been here.”
With the Norfolk club now riding high on the coattails of Leeds United in top spot, they continue to progress under Lambert and his coaching staff at a staggering rate.
And you get the impression that the Scot feels they are ahead of schedule. It’s important to remember that the Canaries had just one point when Lambert arrived on the scene.
“If you’d have said to me that when we came in, with one point, that we would be second in the table, I certainly would have taken it.
“The group of lads have been colossal – I can’t compliment them enough. The way they’ve performed…they’ve been terrific.”
While the City boss isn’t usually one to single out specific players, he did admit that Russell Martin put in a star showing on his return to Adams Park.
“I thought he was outstanding. Both going forward and defensively, he did well; going up and down the line he nearly got us a couple of goals. I thought his performance was first class.”
And let’s not forget goal hero Smith. The Hertfordshire-born midfielder only returned to the side yesterday after a spell on the sidelines.
But to pop up with a match-winning goal on his comeback shows the character of the boy.
“Yeah, he’s done great,” Lambert added. “We need to remember he’s just a young lad who’s learning the game. But he’s been a big player for me since I came in.”
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