It wasn’t very gracious, perhaps. And I know I’ve spent a good few years extolling the virtues of Norwich being an upright, socially responsible club. But seeing our manager being a not-particularly-good winner was much more fun than all those seasons of trying to be a good loser.
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“It seemed like a never-ending battle at one point but now we’re starting to see the fruits of our labour and we’re getting up that league now. There’s just one more team that we’ve got to try and chase.”
“He [Paul Lambert] didn’t really let it filter down to us. He obviously emphasised the importance of the three points though and we need to keep that run going now,” said Doherty.
“Today wasn’t difficult for me. I know what it’s like because I used to play up in Glasgow. It wasn’t about me but I knew what was going to happen with the crowd’s reaction. I’ve had it before.”
“The lads were brilliant, they really were – especially with everything going on. Considering the Colchester fans’ reaction, I thought they kept their heads, kept going and we were worthy winners.” TOM HAYLETT reports after a highly satisfying afternoon in north Essex.
“As I’ve said before he’s one of the best finishers I’ve seen for a long time,” Norwich boss Lambert said today. “He can shoot with both feet and I know he’s only 21 but I think he’s come back here from his loan spell and adapted really quickly.”
“I’m not going to be the most well-liked man in Colchester, that’s for sure,” said the City boss, sure to cop a fair bit of flak from the terraces tomorrow. “But this is a brilliant football club to be at,” he says ahead of tomorrow’s eagerly anticipated derby clash.
“Jon did really well for me and he moves on with our best wishes,” said Paul Lambert in a brief statement on the club’s official website. “Good luck to him.”
It’s not just the turnaround that has been remarkable – doesn’t that 7-1 defeat to Colchester seem an age ago? – it’s the speed at which Paul Lambert has transformed Norwich from a club in crisis into promotion favourites in a matter of months.
“I think the fans of the two clubs generally get on well and I don’t see there being any problems,” said Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling ahead of Saturday’s potentially fiery affair.
“They have got quality centre forwards who are probably above this level and that’s why they are second in the league,” said Exeter City captain Matt Taylor.
Such an historic town, and good football club deserve better than to be represented by Cowling. Through nothing more than a bruised ego, he has decided to punish law-abiding football fans, and create enormous friction between the two set of fans.
When I talk to people involved in club takeovers, they say that Norwich City’s overall indebtedness remains the big problem. If you want to buy a football club, there are much better deals to be had. The frightening finances confirm that Peter Cullum was trying it on when he asked Delia Smith and Michael-Wynn Jones to give him the club just over two years ago.
“You’ve got to give the players credit – they kept going,” he said. “But we can’t play brilliant every single game. But it just goes to show you that there’s a bit of resilience there – a bit of a drive and a hunger to go out and win football matches.”
“As everyone knows Wes’ eye for a pass is up there with the best and Holt always seems to find himself the space to score,” said Lambert, who managed to survive the curse of the Manager of the Month award to keep Norwich driving onwards and upwards.
“They’ve been a little inconsistent and changed the team around a little bit but they’ll be hoping to go a run – starting against us. We need to put paid to that and continue the way we’ve been playing.”
Given my soft spot for hard feelings, I should really be savouring the ‘Week of Grudge’ we’ve got coming up with our games against Walsall and Colchester. But there’s something that doesn’t feel quite right about it. I think it’s because the grudges feel flimsy and ridiculous, even for me. There’s no real substance to them.
“Norwich is a massive club,” said new boy Zak Whitbread. “Growing up they were one of the top clubs in the country and they’ve got a great tradition and a great ground – which stills sells out 25,000 every week.”
“I love it here. There is a great rapport with people and this is a special place. The fans and the players, with what they’re doing, have been absolutely terrific so I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’m really impressed by his commitment to Norwich City and the way he goes about his business and I want him to be the manager to take this club forward.”