Norwich boss Paul Lambert believes that the Carrow Road reaction to yesterday’s 2-0 defeat to Hull told its own story, after the Canary faithful cheered their heroes off the park.
It was a classic smash n’ grab victory for the Tigers and after a dull first-half, City looked the likely winners up until Nigel Pearson’s men struck twice in the last ten minutes through Robert Koren and a classy Tom Cairney free-kick.
And Lambert was pleased that the Barclay end recognised a performance full of spirit and passion, even if it was lacking a little cutting edge in that final third.
“That’s your indicator,” said the Scot, speaking to reporters at yesterday’s post-match press conference.
“The crowd were brilliant and they saw that we gave everything we could to win the game. On another day we’d have won that match.
“Everybody in the stadium knew we were the better side and Nigel [Pearson] said it himself as well. I can’t ask for any more from them. We were excellent. If there had been some better finishing at the other end, we’d have won the game.”
The best chance of the entire match fell to Chrissy Martin on 77 minutes and after a beautifully weighted pass from Hoolahan, the City striker looked set to score.
But the Beccles youngster could only shoot straight at Matt Duke, when he really should have angled it into the corner of the net.
Four minutes later, another glorious Hoolahan cross found the head of Leon Barnett and almost straight after, the Tigers took an unlikely lead through a scrappy effort from summer signing Koren.
But Lambert was not about to lay any blame at the feet of Martin. At the end of the day, he has plenty of ‘credit in the bank’ after last season’s goal heroics in League One.
“When the ball is at Chrissy’s feet, you’d put everything you’ve got on him scoring. But as I said to him in there [the dressing room], he’s bailed us out of trouble a million times. He’ll do it again and I’m not going to be critical of someone who has been brilliant for me.
“I never ever fear that the lads won’t give me everything they’ve got. With the way they play, I get absolutely everything out of them and they’ve been a credit to themselves and a credit to the football club.
“The players have been absolutely brilliant for me and on another day we’d have won the game. What they’ve done in such a short space of time has been huge and as I said before, the biggest indicator is the crowd.
“We’ve had a lot of the ball, a lot of possession, a few crosses going across into the box and their ‘keeper has made of couple of good saves. I’m not going to criticise that group after what they’ve done for me.”
City have the perfect opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday night when struggling Leicester come to Carrow Road. And Lambert is pleased that they are back in action so quickly.
But the Scot will not be using it to blow away any cobwebs; according to the Norwich chief, the sixth-placed Canaries are in a good place right now. One result doesn’t change that.
“Yes it’s good but we’ve got nothing to be disappointed about. We’ll do the exact same things we’ve always done.”