Gaffer on Wolves' slow start but improved secon half at Norwich
Paul Lambert says Wolves paid the penalty for a slow start to the game at Carrow Road this afternoon, but acknowledged it hinged on the second half penalty which swung the game decisively in Norwich’s favour.
Helder Costa’s penalty had cancelled out Steven Naismith’s first half opener, and Wolves had got themselves into the ascendancy before Carl Ikeme was adjudged to have brought down Wes Hoolahan 15 minutes from time.
Ikeme was sent off for his reaction leaving Wolves, who had made all three substitutes, with ten men and Matt Doherty going in goal.
Robbie Brady slammed home the penalty and Jonny Howson added a deflected third in added time.
“I thought we started slowly, the first time we have started like that for a long time,” said Lambert.
“We huffed and puffed but didn’t really get things going.
“The atmosphere could have gone either way but they got the goal.
“We were still in it and I knew at half time that if we could get the next goal the atmosphere could change and at 1-1 I felt we could go on and win it.
“It was anybody’s game at that time.
“We came out for the second half the way we should have started the game and Helder scored a good penalty.
“And then their penalty changed the game.
“We got punished with Carl going off and the penalty so it was a double hit.
“After that it becomes difficult but credit to the team they kept on going and we went to three at the back and still playing two up front.
“Everybody who knows me will know I was always going to try and attack.
“We had a good number of fans behind us and I wasn’t going to sit back and wait for something to happen.
“We still threatened with ten men as well and second half were right in the game.”
Lambert says he will have to look again at the controversial penalty award which changed the course of the game and left the Wolves players so enraged.
“I’ve not had time to have a look back at it and I will do after.
“I haven’t asked Carl yet what he thought and I will wait until the emotion has died down.
“But he is a big character and a big player – he has been brilliant for us in the last few games.
“These things happen and I’m not going to sit here criticising the guy because he has been absolutely outstanding.”
Lambert was also philosophical about the result, Wolves first defeat in four, and says the team must now regroup ahead of the Emirates FA Cup trip to Liverpool on Saturday (12.30pm).
“It’s football – you win games and you lose games,” he said.
“But I have said to the lads there is nothing to be down about.
“We were up against a good team today and most of the players have been with them in the Premier League.
“The first 20 minutes was the problem when they started too slow but they gave it a real go in the second half.
“My team have been in great form and I am delighted with what they have given us in this period.
“And now we have another huge game on Saturday.
“When you get beat you are always disappointed but I can’t fault the lads for their effort.
“We got beat today – but we will go again.”
* Wolves have now SOLD OUT of their 8,300 allocation for next Saturday's Emirates FA Cup tie at Liverpool. As a result the Ticket Office will not be open tomorrow (Sunday).