Lambert delighted by flying Canaries

Norwich manager Paul Lambert rated the 2-0 win over Bolton as one of the best performances he has seen since taking over at Carrow Road three years ago.

Norwich's lead doubled.

The Canaries dominated the game from start to finish and could have been 3-0 up at half-time had it not been for the Bolton crossbar and some good saves from Trotters stopper Adam Bogdan.

The hosts finally took the lead in the 70th minute when Andrew Surman volleyed home at the second attempt after David Wheater blocked his original attempt.

A few nervy moments followed before Anthony Pilkington wrapped up the win five minutes from time after Bogdan spilled Russell Martin's shot directly in to the winger's path.

What pleased Lambert most was the fact his team completed the victory with full-backs Kyle Naughton and Russell Martin in the centre of defence after losing Daniel Ayala and Zak Whitbread to injury in the first half.

He said: "In my time, which is nearly three seasons now, that's as good as it's been because of the circumstances and the desire they showed.

"They were brilliant. They were fantastic. It's a blow when you lose your two centre-backs. I can't remember that happening to me before.

"The two lads who went off are big, big players and Bolton are a big side. Kyle Naughton is knee-high to a grasshopper.

"It showed the desire of the lads to not get beaten.

"We deserved to win the game. I thought we were dominant, and we might have got another couple of goals."

Lambert made four changes to his team following their miserable 3-0 defeat to Sunderland in midweek.

The move paid off, as Simeon Jackson had an industrious game up front alongside Grant Holt, although the Canadian striker was guilty of missing a number of chances.

Lambert, whose team are now ninth in the Barclays Premier League table, was glad to see his players respond well after the reverse at the Stadium of Light.

"The other night was the only time I have seen the team not get going in my time at the club, so to respond like that was fabulous," the Scot added.

Ayala came off in the 23rd minute after picking up a hamstring injury and Whitbread felt tightness in his leg. Both will now be assessed ahead of next weekend's game at Swansea.

John Ruddy had a quiet afternoon in the Canaries net as Bolton failed to make any chances of note until well in to the second half.

Their full-backs were easily exposed down the flanks by Norwich and David Ngog cut an ineffective figure isolated up front.

It was a disappointing afternoon for Trotters boss Owen Coyle, whose side are now back in the relegation zone just three days after earning a creditable 0-0 draw with Arsenal.

He said: "I thought we started quite slowly in the match, we offered one or two bits on the counter attack but not a lot and Norwich deserved to win.

"The first goal was always going to be important. It was a fantastic finish from the lad but having said that we were definitely not as good as we know we are, particularly after the positive performances we have had over the last couple of months."

With six-pointers against Wigan and QPR sandwiched by games against Chelsea and Manchester City coming up, Coyle knows his team must improve quickly.

He added: "I am disappointed that we didn't get to the standard that we set previously and we need to go back to that quickly.

"We have a big game coming up next week and hopefully we will get back to the form we showed in recent games.

"We just need to pick ourselves up. We know we have a good side when we are at our best. We weren't today [Saturday], but I hope we can pick up points that will help us move up the table."

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