Norwich v Villa preview: Lambert – I won’t let one game get us down
Paul Lambert sports a relaxed expression as he fields questions on the eve of the Norwich game.
He's asked if the buoyancy after the Arsenal win has been replaced with concern following losses to Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle.
Lambert is too long in the game to take this negative and narrow perspective. He knows it's an inaccurate outlook anyway.
After shooting down the Gunners, Villa were magnificent at Chelsea, just missed out against a much-improved Liverpool side before a three-week break from action took its toll in the performance against the Magpies.
Hardly reasons to get unduly worried.
Obviously, he's predominantly quizzed about the Newcastle loss - the unusually sluggish display - and whether it still rankles with him as he prepares to send his side to Carrow Road for an early-afternoon kick-off.
Lambert is rightly philosophical, insisting that "one result won't get us down."
He said: "It was out of character. It was one of the first times I have felt really disappointed after a game.
"We never got going except for a flurry in the second half.
"You always get annoyed when you get beaten and you're disappointed to lose. You've got to give Newcastle credit, they played well and on the day we probably didn't deserve to win the game.
"But sometimes you hold your hand up and say 'we've been beaten' and then go on to the next one.
"That's what we have done this week. The lads have been training well. We will go again on Saturday.
"I'm certainly not going to let one performance get me down. The lads will come back strong.
"They have only played four games! No-one was saying all this after the first three games. They were on the top of their game.
"The lads can have an off-day, they are human. Sometimes they won't perform.
"Over the four games, they have been excellent for us. There's no need for me to sit and be worried over that.
"My confidence in these lads has never wavered. Never. After those first three games, to let one disappointing performance get us down would be wrong.
"I'm always encouraged by the lads. If they can keep doing what they were doing in the first three games then we'll be a threat.
"I definitely don't come in on Monday and let the place be all doom and gloom. You can't work like that.
"You've got to get them back up and get them going again. It's only one game and you have to bounce back as quick as you can.
"We don't dwell too much on it when we win, we certainly don't dwell on it if we lose."
So on to the next Barclays Premier League encounter and Lambert is relishing the return to Norwich, not because of his past ties, more because of the way his team played there in the previous season.
They were impeccable in a 4-1 cup win before showing character in abundance to see off the Canaries 2-1 in a game which held huge significance in the relegation fight.
Lambert looks back fondly on those couple of performances and hopes for more of the same this weekend.
He continued: "We had two great wins there last season and we'll try to win again. We know we've got a good record there and we'll try to do it again.
"Norwich have got some new players there who I don't know. One or two are still there that I worked with but it's a new team that they've got. It'll be a difficult game but I know we can go there and win.
"We'll go down there with a great following and if those fans are anything like they were the last time we went there then it'll make it a good atmosphere."
Just as Chris Hughton has new players, Lambert, also, has some fresh faces to call upon if needed.
He will be eager to strike a balance between giving his established stars a chance to bounce back after Newcastle and taking the newboys off their leash.
One player who has impressed over the past few days - his first full week at Bodymoor - is Libor Kozak.
He added: "He's integrated well, very much so.
"He's still getting to grips with the speed of the game here and the way it is.
"But in training he's been really fine."
Lambert will have to decide whether to throw him in at Carrow Road.
But regardless of who plays, as always the boss expects a good performance and wants a win.
Norwich v Villa
Our allocation for this match is sold out.
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Gaffer's press conference - watch now.
Villa have been hit by the news that summer signing Jores Okore will miss the rest of the campaign with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The Danish defender will be out for up to nine months after being forced off during last weekend's 2-1 defeat at home to Newcastle.
Norwich are hoping to finally hand a debut to striker Gary Hooper.
Hooper is yet to feature since joining from Celtic in the summer after picking up a shin iniury.
Winger Elliott Bennett recently underwent knee ligament surgery and will be out of action until the New Year.
Villa will be wearing their home kit of claret and blue.
Christian Benteke has scored 18 Barclays Premier League goals in 2013 - more than any other player in the division.
Paul Lambert won 70 of his 142 matches in charge of Norwich between August 2009 and May 2012, drawing 35 and losing 37.
Last season the claret and blues were the only club in the top flight to win more points away  than at home .
By winning 2-1 at Carrow Road in May, Villa inflicted Norwich's only home defeat in 11 league matches this calendar year.
Both teams are yet to lead at half-time this season.
Villa won twice at Carrow Road last term, a 4-1 success in the Capital One Cup in December followed by a 2-1 triumph in the league in May.
Villa's match console is the ultimate place to be to follow the game with Norwich.
Tune in and be part of the claret and blue conversation.
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Before the game starts, the match console will also contain pre-match analysis, interactive polls and a free video package previewing the game.
During the match itself, you can follow the action and interact with Paul Brown and Dan Harrison in the match console.
Paul and Dan will bring you blow by blow action as the game unfolds as well as the thoughts of fans logging-in from all over the planet.
After the game, the match console contains a game report, manager's verdict, stat pack and a picture gallery.
You can boost the coverage of the game in the subscription-only area of the match console.
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