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Lambert: We deserved three points

PUBLISHED: 13:27 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:49 30 June 2010

PAUL Lambert felt Norwich City fully deserved their 2-1 win over struggling Southend last night - even though they went about it the hard way.

Scott Vernon's 45th minute effort had given United a shock lead they seemed destined to hold onto, until the introduction 20 minutes from full-time of Oli Johnson, who scored twice to preserve City's three point lead over Leeds at the top of League One.

PAUL Lambert felt Norwich City fully deserved their 2-1 win over struggling Southend last night - even though they went about it the hard way.

Scott Vernon's 45th minute effort had given United a shock lead they seemed destined to hold onto, until the introduction 20 minutes from full-time of Oli Johnson, who scored twice to preserve City's three point lead over Leeds at the top of League One.

"I thought we deserved it; it means a lot to everybody at the football club, coming back and scoring a late goal - it was terrific," said Lambert, who reserved special praise for last night's super sub. Every time Oli has come on for us he has made something happen," said Lambert. "You can hear the crowd have taken to a young lad really, really quickly. He has made a major impact for us.

"He has got a terrific willingness to learn, his work rate is terrific and with his two goals his confidence will be sky high - but you have got to remember he is not long out of non-league football, but he has been terrific.

"You have got to remember the same lads have gone week in, week out for weeks on end and then when you change it you have got to hope you get a reaction from the lads that come in and they did do.

"Oli, being a young lad, has come on and given us that impetus to go again because he is unpredictable. He has got great feet - people don't realise he has got great feet to get away from people - and I thought his header was absolutely top drawer."

Korey Smith was dropped to the bench by Lambert as he ditched his diamond midfield - and was glad to see the midfielder's reaction when he was introduced alongside Johnson midway through the second half.

"He's played 29 games for me and I just thought he needed a little rest," said Lambert.

"He had a wee hamstring tightness yesterday and I thought when he came on he was another that had a major impact on the game.

"When you're looking for a reaction from lads coming off the bench, that was the reaction we were looking for."

Lambert was also delighted with Anthony McNamee, who finally made his first start for City after moving from Swindon at the end of November and walked off with the sponsor's man of the match champagne and an assist for Johnson's injury time winner.

"Everybody knows he puts in terrific balls and we put him on the right to try and get at their full-back, and Macca gives you something different from everybody else because of the way he can cross a ball.

"It's his first start in a long while, he had to be patient and get in, and I was delighted with everybody that played a part."

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