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Lambert rubs salt into Colchester's wounds

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Paul Fletcher | 21:08 UK time, Saturday, 16 January 2010

At the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

The sign above the Colchester dressing-room door on Saturday read: "You don't win on emotion, you win on execution."

I can only assume that it was the Norwich players leaving their dressing-room directly opposite who absorbed the message at a sodden Weston Homes Community Stadium on Saturday.

Six shots on target, five goals scored - statistics that signalled misery for the vast majority of the record crowd of 10,064, but guaranteed the very sweetest of revenge for the Norwich supporters who had watched their team humbled 7-1 at home by the same opposition on the opening day of the season.

The away support missed no opportunity to gloat and glee - and provided the perfect backdrop as Norwich manager Paul Lambert revelled in the role of pantomime villain.

lambert.jpgLambert won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund

The Scot, of course, started the season in charge of Colchester, and watched from the away dugout in the August sunshine as Bryan Gunn's Norwich were humiliated.

Norwich and Colchester have been unable to agree a compensation deal since Lambert switched sides and relations at boardroom level have soured considerably.

U's chairman Robbie Cowling made a considerable rod for his back as he spiced up the hype ahead of the fixture by stating that he had never wanted a victory as much as he did on Saturday.

He also refused to extend Norwich's original ticket allocation, noting that he would rather see empty seats than have them occupied by Canaries supporters.

Cowling's vocal tactics worked as the publicity generated ensured a sell-out crowd, but alas the U's chairman had to listen to a series of taunts from the away supporters, who took great relish in asking "Robbie - what's the score?"

The supporters clearly had the endorsement of the Canaries manager, who repeatedly moved to the edge of his technical area and offered them a very approving thumbs-up.

Lambert seemed to be having a whale of a time. During the week he had offered an extremely straight bat, reeling out the cliche that the contest was just another game.

But come Saturday there appeared to be something almost theatrical about his behaviour.

I couldn't spot him anywhere during the warm-up and he was last out of the tunnel before the match started, his appearance prompting a chorus of boos.

There was no skulking in his seat in the dugout for this Scot, who appeared to stand obligingly in front of the assembled photographers before walking over to Colchester manager Aidy Boothroyd, shaking his hand and returning to his technical area with a smirk on his face.

Lambert irritated the home support by jumping in the air and pumping his fist in a manner reminiscent of Martin O'Neill every time Norwich scored. Given that he had five attempts to hone his celebration, he was really rather polished by the final whistle.

I thought that he over-stepped the mark when he responded to a volley of "easy, easy" by egging on the away supporters, raising his hands in the air to the rhythm of their chants.

It all proved too much for one Colchester fan, who bolted from his seat, got on to the pitch and headed towards the away end.

It was one of the most futile acts I have witnessed in some considerable time, the only possible silver lining being that his prompt ejection ensured he did not witness the late goals that lent the scoreline a slightly harsh appearance.

Emotions might also have got the better of former Norwich striker Ian Henderson, who came off the bench to make his Colchester debut but saw red for a late challenge on Darel Russell.

Lambert, who took over at Norwich with the club in the bottom four, admitted afterwards that he had rather enjoyed it all and was quick to point out that having played in Glasgow for Celtic he was more than used to handling the animosity of rival fans.

And for most of the afternoon the atmosphere was hardly malicious. It had an almost comic element to it, with Lambert cast as the bad guy. I saw one grown man respond to Lambert's appearance by dishing out a double thumbs-down.

After the match Lambert talked at length in the tunnel with several of the Colchester players that he used to manage.

Several more came over to shake his hand and it seemed to further underline how his antics during the match were part of a performance, with Lambert high on the adrenalin of a big game. Now, in this quiet moment, there was none of the animosity that had fuelled the build-up.

Lambert was obviously delighted with the scoreline but quickly returned to the under-stated countenance he had adopted during the week as he answered questions about the result.

He insisted he had not mentioned the 7-1 result in the build-up to the match, never tried to use it as motivation. Besides, Lambert argued, with so many games left to play this was never going to be a season defining fixture.

But he can take great encouragement from the way his team adapted to the difficult conditions. Dribbling was nigh on impossible and passing was difficult. As the rain fell, the early signs were that it would be an afternoon better suited to Colchester and their more direct style.

But Norwich held firm against the home team's early assaults and took the lead with Chris Martin's precise finish. It set the tone for a match that saw Norwich show a clinical edge in front of goal that hints at a rapid departure from League One.

Norwich don't play with much natural width, but with Wes Hoolahan behind Grant Holt and Martin, they are not lacking in creativity or artillery.

aidy.jpgColchester have lost just three league games out of 19 under Aidy Boothroyd

They have won their last five fixtures and, with leaders Leeds losing on Saturday, are now just three points off top spot.

The players have a momentum and confidence about them but in Lambert they have a manager whose temperament seems well disposed to keeping his squad focused.

A few Colchester fans hung around after the final whistle and dished out some X-rated abuse to Lambert, who most certainly repaid in kind, but the majority of the Colchester fans left, like their team, beaten and deflated.

They have now conceded 12 goals in their last two fixtures and manager Boothroyd desperately needs to shore up his leaky defence.

Boothroyd attributed four of Norwich's goals on Saturday to individual errors and quite correctly pointed out that although his team trailed 2-0 at the break they had been the better side for much of the opening half.

"They were silly errors," said Boothroyd. "It's our fault, we have made a beatable team look very, very good."

The Yorkshireman was honest enough to admit that the result had left him slightly shell-shocked but it is hardly all doom and gloom for Colchester.

The defeat was just the third in 19 league fixtures since Boothroyd took over at the club.

They are fourth in the table with at least one game in hand on the sides above them. When asked about making the play-offs the Us boss suggested that was negative talk. Why not still think about automatic promotion?

I'm not sure how many Colchester fans would agree with him, but they should not give up on the idea that the season could still finish successfully.

Heading back to the train station after the match, I heard the sort of optimism that ensures football fans come back for more even after a 5-0 drubbing.

An hour after watching his team humiliated, I heard one man say to the other: "Don't worry, we'll beat them in the play-offs."

Possibly, but I reckon Norwich might just be thinking that they won't need to take that particular route to win promotion.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    great to see an ex-celtic man do well. hope it keeps up for lambo and the canaries

  • Comment number 2.

    Thumbs up again Paul!

    I’d like to think that my comment on one of your other pieces the other day may have influenced your choice in venturing to the match. However, I am not naive enough to believe you haven’t seen the build up by Cowling and his antics in the last couple of weeks.

    I’m over the moon with the result and really couldn’t have asked for any better from the team who really have turned their season around since the arrival of Lambert – who seems to be created for a higher cause one day (preferably with Norwich).

    http://asportlife.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 3.

    Morning all. A rather disappointing result yesterday but having been at the game at least I have the consolation that we won't play many more teams as good as Norwich this season. From the South Stand (at the opposite end of the ground to the Norwich fans) we were wondering what our one idiot fan planned to do if he had been allowed to reach the 1900 Norwich fans. He'd obviously had too much of the falling down water before the game which clouded his judgement, although by the end most of the Colchester fans wished they were in the same state and I'm sure many of them were shortly after the game finished.

    My only note of caution for Norwich fans would be if supposedly bigger clubs come sniffing around for Wes Hoolahan and to a lesser degree Grant Holt and Chris Martin. Everything creative from Norwich seemed to go through Hoolahan and I think without the 3 players mentioned Norwich would struggle.

    I also think that rather than stealing our manager you have simply borrowed him temproarily and in my opinion he will show the same amount of loyalty to you when Tony Mowbray leaves Celtic and be on the first plane up to Glasgow.

    But to end on a positive note, congratulations to Norwich for a well deserved victory. We were as poor as I have seen us this season and didn't deserve anything from the game. I just hope we'll be playing you again in the Championship next year.

  • Comment number 4.

    "And for most of the afternoon the atmosphere was hardly malicious. It had an almost comic element to it, with Lambert cast as the bad guy. I saw one grown man respond to Lambert's appearance by dishing out a double thumbs-down."

    Fantastic! I haven't seen anyone do that in real life since a particularly bad karaoke night on holiday in Greece several years ago.

  • Comment number 5.

    Sir Geoff - agreed.
    That really made me chuckle.

  • Comment number 6.

    What did you think of the performance of Mike Dean yesterday Paul? The consensus from fans around me was that he had a shocker and it was no wonder he is not a Premier League ref any more. I thought he made a couple of strange decisions but that still doesn't account for us losing 5-0.
    There is also talk that the compensation for Lambert could approach £1 million which Norwich don't have and it could be enough to put them into administration with the loss of 10 points. They could cover it by selling Hoolahan or Holt but as the tribunal isn't due until after the transfer window closes they won't have that option. It also appears that the business plan is based on Norwich being promoted this season to generate extra revenue and that they could be in financial trouble if they don't go up this year.

  • Comment number 7.

    ColchesterFC - I have to say that I thought Dean had a pretty reasonable game. I thought he got the penalty decision right, Henderson's dismissal was correct and he handled a grudge match on a greasy surface with a measure of calm. Boothroyd also said he had no problem with the referee.

    What did you think he did so badly?

    I have heard a few suggestions that Lambert would willingly jump ship for Celtic but I wouldn't be too worried about that at the moment if I was a Norwich fan. As you point out, Grant Holt, Chris Martin and Wes Hoolahan are key players but they won't be sold in January.

    Norwich fans - do you think you'll go up automatically?

    And Colchester fans - is it time to forget all about Lambert and focus on getting your season back on track? Promotion is still there to be won.

  • Comment number 8.

    I can't see the compensation for Lambert approaching anywhere near £1 Million-it'll probably be about 10% of that amount and, in the end, more than Norwich think they should pay and less than Colchester think they should get.

    Quite why the whole issue has dragged on for so long-which hasn't helped anyone-is a mystery. Clearly, Colchester think they are in the right, but, as has been the case before, these payments are usually written into contracts or based on salary. Lambert will have known the terms of his contract with Colchester better than anyone, he "jumped ship" with the confidence thyat goes with that and Norwich appointed him based on that confidence, which would have been backed by Lamberts advisors/agent/accountant etc. So Norwich clearly think there is no serious case to answer, and, given their financial plight, would not put themselves into a position where it might be compromised.

    I am fairly confident that we will go up automatically, but, at the same time, am amused how many are now saying Leeds will "implode" because they lost their second, yes, second, game of the season yesterday. If thats imploding...!

    Charlton are a worry, as are Huddersfield and Colchester. We need to keep winning, and, when we lose a game, as we will, come out of it straight away and get a winning run together again. That is the real sign of a good team, not always that they keep winning, but how they respond to a defeat.

    As for Holt, Martin, Hoolahan leaving-maybe in the Summer, but it won't be this January. For the long term good of the club, we MUST get promoted this season (we will go into adminstration if we don't) and short term gain from selling players that, ultimately, could see us losing out njsut won;t happen. Like I said, things may change in the Summer, but we'll worry about that then. We worried about losing Marshall, Clingan and Croft last Summer, but don't miss any of them, and, of those three, only Clingan might expect to have a chance of getting in the current team.

    As for Colchester, well, a lot of the spin, hype and perceived rivalry has come from their Chairman. We are not traditional rivals and it is not, take note BBC, a local "derby" match. Hopefully the clubs can move on now, the compensation thing can be settled, and both clubs can progress. I would like to see Colchester go up through the play offs, as they are a decent club and a community focused one.

    And Paul Lambert? Unquestionably destined for higher things and, jno doubt if he continues as he is, Celtic one day. Hopefully not too soon though, and, for that reason, I hope Mowbray keeps his job for a long, long time!

  • Comment number 9.

    I personally thought Dean was OK and got the major decisions right. The penalty was at the opposite end of the ground to me so I couldn't see it clearly (a touch of the Wenger's there) but the sending off looked like a very poor challenge. A lot of the 50/50 decisions seemed to go Norwich's way but that could easily be me wearing my Colchester glasses. We can't expect to win when we give the opposition 4 goals through our own mistakes.
    I do wonder how long Mowbray will be given at Celtic after yesterday's draw and being 9 points behind Rangers. Do you think they should bring in the same rule for managers as they have for players where they can only be at 2 clubs in one season?
    I definitely think that it's time to move on and concentrate on making sure we claim a play off place at the end of the season. I think Norwich and Leeds are the outstanding teams in the division and will take the top two places with Charlton keeping it interesting right to the end of the season. I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to finish in the top 6 as long as we get over the last two results and get back to how we've been playing for the last couple of months.

  • Comment number 10.

    I thought that the most disappointing thing about yesterdays match was that there was no chance for both sets of fans to be united with a chant of "Stand up if you hate Ipswich"

  • Comment number 11.

    ColchesterFC, I think the lack of the "Stand Up if you hate Ipswich" chant illustrates just how much of an irrelevance they have become with both sets of fans this season!

    Their fans, mind, are still obsessed and worried about us!

  • Comment number 12.

    With any luck all three teams will be in the Championship next season and the rivalry will intensify again. I do agree that yesterday wasn't a local derby. Our traditional rivals are Southend not Norwich and it has been mostly Cowling that has has led to the bad feeling between the clubs. As I live close to Norwich now I know a lot of their fans. I think that reports there could be trouble were overhyped and that both sets of fans behaved well, apart from our one idiot with the deathwish who tried to get into the away end.
    Very disappointing that Norwich only brought 1900 fans with them though. I thought they might have had more than that ;-)

  • Comment number 13.

    Yes, lets both get promoted and have that East Anglian mini-league thing going on again!

    Shame you aren't interested in taking Cureton back, I guess you know, as the world and his wife does, that his legs have reportedly "gone" and the pace and fitness that was once a trademark of his game is no more. But he did well for you, proibably the best time of his career?

    So he'll see out his nice fat contract with us.

    How many players in your current team do you think could make the step up, should you go up this season?

  • Comment number 14.

    Izzet, Baldwin, Okounghae and Odejayi could certainly play at a higher level and if we got in a couple of others we should be ok. I'm not convinced by Wordsworth and haven't seen enough of Henderson yet to make a decision on him. I don't know what's happening with Nobby Solano as he was reported to be interested in joining us. He could be a useful addition for the second half of the season. He's obviously not as good as he was but I'm sure he would be able to contribute at League 1 level.

  • Comment number 15.

    Personally, i'm a huge fan of Lambert.

    As mentioned by more than 1 person, I truely believe that Norwich are another club to help him build his experience up before he "goes home" to Celtic.

    He's got Norwich playing some great football, and after a win like that, even moreso considering what happened at Carrow Road, again, Lambo has confirmed his status as a fantastic up-and-coming Manager, who is destined for success.

    Scottish Managers are fantastic at their jobs, the majority of the time anyway. Just take a look at the Premiership & Football League at how many Scots are there managing English sides, yet some people act surprised with results like this. It's hard as a Bradford lad i'm a huge fan of Aidy Boothroyd, but on the othe rhand i'm a Celtic fan who worships legends like Paul Lambert. Not the kind of score I or anyone else was probably expecting, but again and again Lambert is proving he has what it takes.

    He'll take Norwich up, and probably do a Forest/Leicester by challenging for Play-Offs, then a few years down the line he'll leave, his head held high, and cross the border and head back to Glasgow :-)

    Godd luck for the rest of the season to both Norwich & Colchester . . .

  • Comment number 16.

    At 11:11am on 17 Jan 2010, ColchesterFC wrote:
    What did you think of the performance of Mike Dean yesterday Paul? The consensus from fans around me was that he had a shocker and it was no wonder he is not a Premier League ref any more. I thought he made a couple of strange decisions but that still doesn't account for us losing 5-0.

    Just to point out that Mike Dean is very much still a Premier Ref, and a very well thought of one too. That being the reason he was given this potentially volatile fixture.

  • Comment number 17.

    Nice blog Paul. I criticised your Friday effort but this was top drawer.

  • Comment number 18.

    Terrific result, Cowley got exactly what he deserved. When will people learn that mouthing off like that usually results in a very large backlash?
    As for Lambert taking the Celtic job, he emphatically turned down the Burnley job and seems genuinely happy in the interviews I've read, in which he has praised the fans.
    Also he's one of few managers I've seen respond to "Give us a wave!"

  • Comment number 19.

    After Colchester started selling the DVD of their opening day victory over Norwich there have been suggestions that Norwich might replicate with a DVD of yesterday's highlights. The working title is "Weston Homes Five-0, Book 'em Deano"

  • Comment number 20.

    @18 I think that there's a big difference between being offered the Burnley job and the Celtic job. Next season Norwich and Burnley are likely to be in the same divison so there's not a lot of reason to go there. However the offer to take over at Celtic just might be too tempting for him to turn down.

  • Comment number 21.

    Nice blog Paul. I wish I was at the game now. What id miss? Only joking

    If both Norwich and Colchester go up this year, imagine how good next season would be for East Anglia. Youd have Ipswich, Peterborough, Norwich and Colchester, and thats just the Championship. Its a shame we dont have any teams in the Prem

  • Comment number 22.

    @21 Unfortunately even if Norwich and Colchester do go up it looks likely that Peterborough and even Ipswich (although they have started doing better recently) could swap places with them.

  • Comment number 23.

    ColchesterFC- You're also assuming he'd be next in line after Mowbray. As much as I love Lambert, that kind of job would come up if he got us riding high in the Championship, possibly after our League One promotion (would love it if it was at the expense of Leeds, hoofy one man team with delusions of grandeur).
    It's a bit join the dots- he was a player at Celtic, he played under Martin O' Neill, therefore he'll get the Celtic job. As much as I love Lambert, it's still too early to put him in that kind of frame.
    For example, you've got managers like Mark Hughes available who might be tempted for that kind of vacancy.

  • Comment number 24.

    I see that Jermaine Beckford has withdrawn his transfer request at Leeds. How many of you seriously reckon Norwich can overtake Leeds at the top of the table?

    I think Charlton might have their work cut out to reclaim second spot. The League One play-offs are going to be mighty tough this season, with so many other teams also fancying their chances - Colchester, Huddersfield, goal happy Swindon etc

  • Comment number 25.

    @23 That's a fair point. I think he'll end up at Celtic if he keeps progressing but maybe it is too soon to think it will be this season. I personally hope he does stay at Norwich for a while. They've always been my second team as I moved up close to there when I was quite young and I haven't bought in to this recent rivalry between Colchester and Norwich. Cowling has been acting like an idiot with some of his recent comments. It's time to forget it and concentrate on promotion. Unfortunately I don't think things will move on until after the tribunal and even then I'm sure one side or other will be unhappy with the outcome.

  • Comment number 26.

    @24 A large helping of humble pie for Mr Beckford I think. It seemed that after the FA Cup game he thought he'd get a flood of offers if he put in a transfer request and when those offers didn't come in he realised that he had some bridges to build. I don't think he's still at Leeds because he wants to be. But I can't see anyone catching them. In my opinion the other teams are fighting for 2nd and play off places.

  • Comment number 27.

    It won’t be easy to overtake Leeds, but I’m sure if anyone in the league can do it it’ll be us. We have been continuingly closing the gap down and have the chance next week to take the top spot.

    The whole Beckford debacle will have obviously caused problems within their camp and just because he has withdrawn his transfer request does not mean he will not move on in this window. The other point to mention is the amount of games that they have coming up – being both in the FA Cup and the paint trophy – whereas we have only the league to concentrate on.

    Obviously these are all ifs and buts however the possibility is certainly there and their recent run will show other teams that they are not invincible.

    http://asportlife.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 28.

    #26 Beckford put a transfer request before the Man Utd game so I cant see how getting bigger offers has anything to do with it

    I dont think it would happen BUT Id love it if we got top spot! Love it! It would show how far we have come with Lambert

  • Comment number 29.

    Colchester and Norwich fans can see what happened behind the scenes at yesterday's match on the new Late Kick Off programme this Monday with Matt Holland. Matt's special guests will be MK Dons manager Paul Ince, and, former Norwich Manager Bryan Gunn. That's Late Kick Off, Monday 2335 on BBC 1 (EAST).

  • Comment number 30.

    Norwich's aim has got to be to push for the top spot and dislodge Leeds, which if they manage to keep Hoolahan, Martin and Holt is definitely realistic. The come back from the 7-1 opening day defeat has been impressive and judging by Leeds tight win at Elland Road earlier in the season there's not a lot between the sides. The match up at Carrow Road will be awesome.

    I don't think Lambert is a viable contender for the Celtic job until Norwich are at least established in the championship and pushing for promotion.

  • Comment number 31.

    Lambert for celtic. Sack mowbary (as much as I like him he is not good enough)and get Paul Lambert in ASAP.

  • Comment number 32.

    Thanks for the thoughts on Sunday, always much appreciated.

    I personally think Leeds will hold on. They have a top manager and a quality squad (though I'm sure many Norwich fans would say that of their own side).

    The real cut and dried issue in League One is the fate of Stockport. I feel slightly sorry for the Hatters given that a lot of their problems are inherited and that they have been in administration all season. They currently seem to be losing their best players, don't own their own ground..... It cannot be much fun supporting them at the moment.

  • Comment number 33.

    Kayode Odejayi could play at a higher level? He was rubbish at Barnsley....League Two is more his level

  • Comment number 34.

    #32, football is a business and like other businesses, any that arent financially managed well deserve to go bust. Remind me who gave Stockport their money issues, because Im sure they put it on themselves

  • Comment number 35.

    Really good blog Paul! Good to see the Footie League having a regular supporter! Great stuff!

  • Comment number 36.

    Of course I meant REPORTER. Tsk

  • Comment number 37.

    Anyone else in favour of scrapping the January transfer window and banning managers from switching sides while season is underway?

  • Comment number 38.

    Paul, i am quite disappointed by a couple of things in your blog this week.

    Firstly, is how you are portraying Colchester fans.
    You describe how there was a fan running from the West Stand to the away end in the match.
    We all saw it and you are right, it is incredibly stupid.
    However, no real Colchester fan does this thing. The West Stand is mainly occupied by the older fans who enjoy to watch the game, hence why only adult season tickets are sold there. East Stand is the family stand and the South Stand is where all the singers ago.

    When you look at that, it is clear that this muppet has bought a ticket in the block that happened to be closest to the away fans just so he could do this. There was not even an ounce of blue on that fan, all of the real fans were sat in their seats or singing in the South Stand. We have had problems in the past with pathetic yobs like him who just go to games to cause trouble - it's a shame as it brings the club down.

    Secondly, regarding these fans that stayed around after the game to abuse Lambert, i would like to see evidence of this. I was in the reception until 6 after the game waiting with a friend of mine, no-one was there to give abuse to him, only the few of us there who normally stick around.


    Other than that Paul, an excellent blog once again.

    It shows what sort of game it was to be honest. Norwich took 5 out of 7 shots at goal, we took 0 out of the 15 shots that we had.

    If Norwich weren't so clinical and we were, it could have been the same result but the other way around!
    If Norwich want to go up, they will need to sort out their defence, as if we were clinical enough we would have demolished them in the first half.
    We were missing two key players on Saturday, O'Toole and Reid. We started with Batth at centre back who was at fault for the first 2 goals, and he was replaced by Baldwin who was at fault for another 2 goals. Typical luck. Without those mistakes it would have been a different affair.

    The behaviour of Lambert simply signifies how much of an unprofessional man he really is. When he left the club, everything came out, such as how he banished players to the youth team if he felt they didn't fit in with the squad.
    As soon as another club with more prospect than Norwich and a bit more cash come along - Lambert will be gone, just like he did to us.

  • Comment number 39.

    DB-CUFU (Post 38) - I guess you'll have to take my word on the fans hanging around after the match. They were definitely there - and had their "moment of glory" abusing Lambert when he came out of the tunnel to conduct his post-match interviews.

    The person who looked most annoyed was a man from Anglia TV who was trying to conduct an interview but had to give up in the end because you cannot really use a piece with swear words so clear in the background.

    The stewards quickly moved them on and Lambert spoke to journalists in the tunnel.

    On the whole, I agree that most Colchester fans seemed a very fair-minded bunch who were understandably disappointed by the result.

  • Comment number 40.

    Whatever happens with Lambert in next couple of years I don't think his next career move will be Celtic. Mowbray's under pressure with results, signings etc and if the Celtic board decide to get rid (won't be before this time next year though) then obviously Mowbray has been a failure. To go down the Lambert route at that point would be too much of a gamble for them as he'd still be a lower English league manager unproven managerial at the top level.

    On the other side of the coin, if he gets Norwich through the leagues into the premiership, leaving at that point may well be step down.

  • Comment number 41.

    Paul, Re: your comments about the abuse after the game. I was still there when the interviews began to take place and watched it unfold from the top tier, box level. Whilst I agree there was a significant level of noise coming from a couple of groups of fans on that level I can heard no swearing as you mention. There was a sustained chorus of 'judas', which was I suspect based around Lambert's perceived actions from the start of the season. If I'm honest after his behaviour during the game (egging on the Norwich fans, theatrical appeals for every foul and challenge and the laughable incident complaining about the ball boy) he bought it on himself.

    You yourself in the blog expressed your thought that he stepped over the line with his actions in the technical area so I can fully understand how the fans must have felt. Based on what I heard and saw it is a shame he reacted as he did.

    Ironically, just before that the whole of that level had been queuing up to chat with and get photos with Delia Smith, sitting just by that area. The good nature she and the NCFC party had in discussing the game, chances for the rest of the season and more than one person ribbing them about a 7-6 aggregate score to the U's were in stark contrast to their managers approach.

  • Comment number 42.

    I know both Colchester and Norwich fans who are top notch. Paul what I would say about your Point 24 is I'm not convinced my team Swindon are goal happy but one Charlie Austin, who was signed from Poole has 8 in 8 and most definately is!

    The chairman Andrew Fitton, Danny Wilson and everyone else at the club are doing a tremendous job, creating a stable (in this world very rare) club with a top team coming together.

    Stockport tomorrow and then 7 days rest before hopefully further denting Leeds' Championship aspirations. We are going to be very dangerous in the play-offs as we are improving.

  • Comment number 43.

    I was at Carrow Road the day of the 7-1 defeat & Lambert celebrated every goal going in then as well, I think that's just the sort of man he is.

    Surely if Colchester fans dislike his behaviour how do you think Norwich fans have taken to some of the stuff Cowling has been saying?

    As a Norwich fan i'm under no illusions that Lambert will probably leave us but if he does I'm certain it will be because he's had success at Norwich & got us promoted. Which is fine by me.

  • Comment number 44.

    It was painful to see 5 goals go in and contribute to 4 of them when Norwich looked quite capable of scoring against us without our assistance.
    Like any Colchester fan I would like to be promoted in one of the automatic positions and if not, the lottery of the play offs will certainly do.
    I would like to mention the small matter of money which seems to be our focus at the moment.
    Norwich have done what any other club would have done and got the manager they think will serve them best. But any manager under contract to another club comes at a cost.

    Norwich should gain automatic promotion and then the situation will change for them.
    Our compensation claim will be minor against the interest payments on there £22 million debt. How can you finance signings for the team which will need to be made. Holt Hoolahan Martin will all stay because things are going well but how will Norwich finance the new goalkeeper and defenders which they will definately need.
    Lambert will preach loyalty but his career will take him away from Norwich and him punching the air in delight on Saturday will be a distant memory when that day comes. I hope we are in the same division when that happens and that you remember these wise words.

    Enjoy the good times but don't rub people up the wrong way because football has a habit of reminding you that you may not be as good as you think you are.

  • Comment number 45.

    @post 38
    'If Norwich want to go up, they will need to sort out their defence, as if we were clinical enough we would have demolished them in the first half.'

    Look at our clean sheets and defensive record. I think you need to take that match with a pinch of salt, poor pitch and one of our key CB's injured. We still kept a clean sheet mind

  • Comment number 46.

    @post 44
    'Our compensation claim will be minor against the interest payments on there £22 million debt'

    A substantial part of this debt is an interest free loan on the new stand which is being paid for by the tickets it sells.

  • Comment number 47.

    @24 and 32 - Think you need to reassess your prediction capabilities Paul - Leeds, even with Beckford were left eating our dust!

  • Comment number 48.

    I agree farmacia

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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