City boss Paul Lambert revealed his frustration after Swindon’s last-gasp equaliser at the County Ground yesterday meant a share of the spoils.
After taking a 52nd minute lead via the head of skipper Grant Holt, the league leaders looked reasonably comfortable up until a late flurry of Swindon pressure.
And on the face of it, a point at the fourth-placed Robins is a one gained, despite City’s red-hot run of form.
But Lambert, being the perfectionist he is, wanted all three – especially after being so close before Gordon Greer headed home from a corner to give Danny Wilson’s men something to show for their efforts.
“I thought we’d done enough but you can never be sure until it’s over,” he told BBC Radio Norfolk. “It’s a decent point but we should have won the game.
“Even if we’re not going to get a second goal we could have done a little bit better with the ball [in the closing moments]. But it keeps it going and it’s another point against a Swindon side that have been flying.
“You can be critical of people dropping off in the box [for the Swindon equaliser] but in general terms we’ve been excellent this season. Terrific.”
As the dust begins to settle on two tough away trips to Huddersfield and Swindon, Lambert admitted that four points was, in fact, a decent return.
But if you’d have offered him a 1-1 draw at the start of proceedings yesterday, would the Scot have taken it?
“Not really. Not with the way we’ve been playing recently. We had a terrific following here again but when you’re away from home I suppose sometimes you take it.
“We didn’t get beat, we’re still at the top and we’re still obviously right in the mix with other teams not making any headway today.
“Being greedy you want to win them all but you can’t win every game. But what the lads have given me, with their desire and commitment to put ourselves in the mix, has been great. We’re a good side.”
Part of that good side is an excellent goalkeeper in Fraser Forster. And the Canaries almost had the Newcastle man to thank for another crucial success after he kept out Jonathan Douglas moments before Greer’s leveller.
“When he makes those saves you think you’re going to see it through and I’m gutted for the lads and gutted for the people who come and watch us. But we’re still the team to beat and we’re still at the top.”
Despite an eight-point lead over Leeds at the time of writing, that buffer could be cut down to five if the Whites can defeat fellow promotion hopefuls Millwall at Elland Road tomorrow night.
But whatever the result in west Yorkshire, it is all set up nicely for that big date with United at Carrow Road on Saturday. It promises to be some occasion.
“Leeds will be a brilliant game, the atmosphere will be terrific – it’s one the fans really want to see. We’re on a great run and I can’t be too critical of the lads after today. I’m disappointed we lost the goal but we’re still there.”
City: Forster; R Martin, Doherty Nelson, Rose; Smith, Russell, Lappin (Hughes 78); Hoolahan; C Martin (Elliott 73), Holt. Subs not used: Rudd, McVeigh, McNamee, Johnson, Drury.
Mr Barry Edwards says
Just a note on yesterday’s game from a Town fan exiled a wee bit on the dorset coast. Having gone up to watch the game it must be said that Norwich were by far the better team on the day. To my delight though you did fall asleep and take your eye off the ball at the very death. But this withstanding, despite a very dificult game against Leeds on the horizon, you are the best team in Div One. You will be promoted and make a very strong challenge in the Championship. Whether Swindon can squeeze into the play-offs is a different story but fair play to you all, you are a very decent team. Your supporters (many of whom I spoke to before the game) should take some desereved credit. Enjoy your time in the old second division.