Norwich boss Paul Lambert has praised super sub Anthony McNamee’s attitude, as Saturday’s hero aims to push his way into the Canary starting line-up.
His introduction from the bench gave City much-needed impetus against Barnsley at the weekend, as the Canaries came from behind to win the Championship contest 2-1.
And despite his lack of action since joining from Swindon halfway through last season, Lambert is more than pleased to have the former Watford winger in the building.
“I really have got a lot of time for him; he never moans or anything and he just gets on with it,” said the City chief, speaking to reporters this morning.
“He will tell you that when the team wins, it is hard to get in when they have been doing it week in, week out for you.
“But he has done great whenever he has come on and even when he has started, to be fair to him, he has done well. It is just that sometimes you will pick a team that will win that given game.”
City continued their excellent start to the season with Saturday’s success over the Tykes, and after coming from behind again, it’s clear there is plenty of spirit in the squad.
The Canaries have also scored numerous last-gasp goals and Lambert is hoping that they can keep up the good work.
“Hopefully we never lose that – we deserved to win the game. We went a goal behind but had a lot of the ball and one or two chances. When you have that many chances you think something is going to happen at the other end, which it did do. But it was a terrific comeback.”
One City performer who continues to impress in the engine room is Korey Smith. And his tidy and efficient midfield work has not gone unnoticed since replacing David Fox for the trip to Scunthorpe, with Lambert revealing that his step up to Championship has not come as a surprise.
“I haven’t been surprised – he has carried on from where he left off last season. I know it is a step up but he is playing without fear which is great for us because when you have a young player you tend not to have that fear in your body.
“The more experienced ones tend to get the flack for it but I’m delighted for him and hopefully Korey will have a big career as it progresses.
“I think he gives you everything he has got and he’s got ability as well which people probably don’t appreciate as much as myself. If he keeps the enthusiasm and hunger he will have a big career in the game.”
City travel to Doncaster tomorrow night for a clash with one of the division’s more established clubs. Who would have thought we’d be saying that 10 years ago?
And Lambert is impressed with their style of play. To be fair to Rovers, they can mix it with the best the Championship has to offer.
“As I’ve said before, they are a really good football side and it will be a tough game. But I think every game is going to be tough and we have to earn the right to play. We are new to this league.”
One absentee for the Keepmoat Stadium trip will be Andrew Surman, who looks set to be out for two months with a knee injury sustained in training.
“It’s just a case of rest,” Lambert continued. “He may be two months, it may be a bit earlier; we’ll have to wait and see how he heals.”
City goalkeeper John Ruddy, however, could return after missing the Tykes victory with a dead leg. “We hope he’ll be OK – we’ll have to wait and see. He will train if he’s OK. We’ll wait until the morning and see how he is.”
Simon Lappin vs McNamee looks to be the only real dilemma for Lambert and apart from the goalkeeping situation, the Canary line-up should remain largely unchanged.