Football League Daily – Lambert salutes incisive Norwich

In the wake of his side’s 6-0 demolition of struggling Scunthorpe, Norwich boss Paul Lambert was full of praise for his rampant charges. “I thought the players were excellent today. Right from the off they were outstanding and the tempo of their play was great”, said Lambert. ”To be fair they have been brilliant for me ever since I have been here. The turnaround has been massive and they deserve everything that comes their way. The new lads coming in gave us a lift and I couldn’t have asked for any more from them”. Lambert reserved special praise for hat-trick hero Grant Holt: “He’s been massive for me ever since I’ve been here, not just with the goals he has scored but with his overall play. I think he’s proving people wrong who suggested he wouldn’t be able to do it at this level. He’s getting a lot of help from all the good players around him but he’s a big part of what we’re trying to do here.” Yet it was Simeon Jackson, Holt’s strike partner and fellow hat-trick scorer, who was the chief beneficiary of Lambert’s praise: “If anything,” said the Norwich manager, “I’m even more pleased about that hat-trick than Grant’s. Simeon has taken a lot of unfair criticism since he has been here but I know what he brings to the side and I’m really delighted for him.” Norwich now sit comfortably in second place, only six points behind Queens Park Rangers.

Reading boss Brian McDermott has refused to allow either himself or his players to get carried away with their latest triumph over Portsmouth – three points which has seen the Royals leapfrog Nottingham Forest into the final play-off position. “We knew three points would get us into the top six and we have kept a clean sheet so I am happy with that,” said McDermott. ”In the second half we didn’t play as well as we might and we didn’t see the game out as well as we would like.” McDermott remained tight-lipped over the chance that Shane Long, the in-form striker who has been recently tipped to move away from Reading, would still be plying his trade at the Madejski stadium next year: “I think he has been on fire since the start of the season and playing well but not scoring. Now he is getting the goals as well. We spoke about how good he is in the air. I could play him centre half because he won all the first headers from their corners, but I am not going to do that. I am not thinking about losing Long or any other players next season. All we can do is train tomorrow and worry about our next game against Preston on Tuesday.”

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