Lambert frustrated by late leveller
Published 22/08/2011 | 08:02
Norwich manager Paul Lambert was left to reflect on what might have been after his 10 men were denied a first Barclays Premier League win when Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones headed in a stoppage-time equaliser at Carrow Road.
The key incident of the match occurred just after the hour when Jon Walters got ahead of Leon Barnett and into the Norwich box, before tumbling. Referee Neil Swarbrick ruled Barnett had tripped him and awarded a penalty and then sent the Norwich defender off. Walters took the spot-kick himself, but John Ruddy guessed correctly to make a fine save.
Lambert lamented the penalty decision, saying: "It was at least three yards outside the box, so how he gives the penalty, I don't know, and then he has given the red card. It would have been a free-kick anywhere else on the pitch, but was not a sending off - you are getting a double hit."
He added: "We were on the back foot against a really good side, but the effort of the lads was excellent.
"When you go down to 10 men at this level it is really tough. With 11, I think we would have seen it through.
"You are disappointed not to win, but we are not too despondent because it was a big effort, with our first home game, I thought we played really well.
"I am under no illusions how hard it is going to be, but commitment-wise we gave as good as we got."
Lambert had made half-a-dozen changes from the opening day at Wigan, where Norwich had come from behind to draw 1-1.
The Canaries boss continued: "We are new to this level, we have to adapt to certain things, and that is what I did today, changing it a bit.
"I will need every player to perform, no matter who I pick. Whatever system we play, everyone has to go out and perform."