Belfast Telegraph

Lambert plays down dip in form

Norwich manager Paul Lambert has downplayed the importance of their poor recent run of form.

The Canaries have impressed on their return to the Barclays Premier League and currently sit comfortably in 11th place, with a 13-point cushion over the drop zone ahead of Sunday's fixture against struggling Wigan.

Norwich come into the game on the back of three successive defeats, although Lambert is philosophical about the poor run. He said: "Listen, I don't think anybody is surprised by that in football. Defeats can happen. The FA Cup game against Leicester was not our main priority as the league is."

He added: "We played really well against Manchester United and lost right at the death and in the Stoke game I don't think we never looked like scoring and it had 0-0 written all over it. The players are by no means down confidence-wise, we will re-group and we go again. The pressure is always here. It's only pressure if you put it on yourself, I don't feel it."

Many have tipped Norwich to get back to winning ways on Sunday against the side propping up the table, although Lambert has warned against complacency when Wigan come to Carrow Road.

"This is a really tough game and nobody should be under any illusions that it is one of the hardest ones we are going to face because everyone expects Wigan to turn up, being bottom of the league, and lose," he said.

"That is everyone's perception of the game but I know in my own head it is going to be really tough. The lads know it is going to be really tough but we can play well enough to win."

Lambert revealed that City's preparations for the match involved a trip to warmer climes in southern Spain, saying: "Yes, we went away. The lads worked really hard out there and we hope they come back refreshed and are ready for Sunday. We did it last year as well and came back and I felt it was a major help to us.

"This year is the same and obviously I think the weather has been poor here, they went and got some sun but they worked really hard, which is the most important thing."

One negative aspect of the Spain trip is that Daniel Ayala suffered a reaction to a hamstring complaint on the trip to his homeland. The defender will miss the Wigan clash as a result and is joined on the sidelines by left-back Marc Tierney and striker James Vaughan.

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