Belfast Telegraph

Lambert no fazed by Premier League

Norwich manager Paul Lambert insists there is no danger of him getting caught up in the hysteria that surrounds the Barclays Premier League.

The Canaries made their top-flight return after a six-year absence with Saturday;s 1-1 draw against Wigan at the DW Stadium. For Lambert it was a first taste of England's elite division, but the Scot is determined to treat the 2011-12 campaign as business as usual.

"I never read too much into it," Lambert said. "It is the same as with League One and the Championship - your emotions are totally focused on the game. I know the prestige and media attention of it, but I just try to stay the same as I have always been."

Norwich's supporters were certainly making the most of the occasion, with 4,500 making the journey to the north west after the club sold out its ticket allocation for the game.

"They were brilliant again here," Lambert said. "It is extraordinary what the fans do for the club, because they travel a hell of a long distance to get anywhere."

As for the players, there was little or no Premier League experience among the team Lambert selected and he was delighted with the way they went about their task.

Wigan took the lead in the 21st minute through Ben Watson's spot-kick after Franco Di Santo went down in the box under the attentions of Ritchie De Laet, who was chasing the striker back having given away possession.

The Canaries equalised just before half-time when Ali Al Habsi could not hold on to Steve Morison's delivery and Wes Hoolahan slotted the ball into the net. Watson almost won it late on with a shot which struck the woodwork and Victor Moses and Hugo Rodallega also went close in the dying moments, but both were denied by blocks from De Laet.

"Credit to them - they showed great desire to not get beaten," Lambert said. "Last year I said if you can't win a game, make sure you don't lose it and they are a credit, those lads.

"They keep on going. The spirit is there and has been there for the last few years. I always think we will score and I never thought we came here and looked tentative. I thought we handled everything okay. You have to remember, two years ago we were in League One. That is the magnitude of it.


From Belfast Telegraph