Norwich City manager Paul Lambert has praised Grant Holt after the striker was the two-goal hero in his side’s 4-2 Premier League win over Newcastle on Saturday.
Holt notched a brace while Wes Hoolahan and Steve Morison also registered on the scoresheet for the home side to sink the Magpies, who had Dan Gosling sent off after 65 minutes.
After the game, Lambert told reporters of Holt: “He’s every bit as important as he was two years ago, when I joined.
“He’s done that here for two-and-a-half years, he’s been a handful wherever he is, and I thought both he and Steve Morison were excellent today. I’m delighted with his performance.”
The Canaries boss added that he felt his side deserved to emerge from the thriller with three points.
“I’m delighted. I thought we deserved to win the game,” said the Scot. “Newcastle are a good side, you can see they’ve been doing very well in the league. They’ve got a threat up front [Demba Ba], and threats in support, but I thought we played very well.”
The win saw Norwich continue their recent penchant for headed goals, with both of Holt’s coming in the air and Morison’s also a bullet-header finish, but Lambert insists that it is not a tactic that he has been preparing deliberately.
“We don’t practice them,” he continued. “The balls are there to be won and the lads have got a great desire to go and get their heads on them – it’s not rocket science. I wish it were, I wish we could get even better.
“The balls are coming into the box and you’ve got Morison who wants to go and head it and Holt who wants to go and head it, so you’ve got two lads like that in the box and you’re just hoping that one of them will get their head on it.”
Lambert was also surprised not to have been awarded a penalty in the first half, when Newcastle left-back Davide Santon appeared to control the ball with his forearm in the area.
“I think the only thing he didn’t do was catch it,” the 42-year-old joked. “It was a penalty. But the linesman, for whatever reason, never saw it.”
Comparing it to his side’s opener, which came from a disputed corner, Lambert added: “Football’s like that; you get them for you and you get them against you.”
The win lifts Norwich back into ninth in the Premier League, tied on 19 points with Aston Villa and seven behind their vanquished opponents in seventh.