Lambert: City don't scare us


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The Independent Football

Paul Lambert has called on his Norwich players to again show "no fear" when they go to the Premier League leaders, Manchester City, tomorrow.

Few give the Canaries much hope of coming away from the Etihad Stadium with anything other than a sound beating by City, who secured a place in the Carling Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win at Arsenal in midweek.

City may make changes as Roberto Mancini looks to make full use of his multi-million squad ahead of next week's crucial final Champions League Group A match with Bayern Munich.

Lambert, though, maintains that his own men – many of whom have come up with the Norfolk club all the way from League One – must continue to show the same bravery which earned them plaudits for courageous performances at Chelsea, Manchester United and then Liverpool, where Norwich came away with a 1-1 draw in October.

"It is brilliant for us to be playing Manchester City, with the form they are in, but we will go up there and try to win – we cannot go there and just try to bed in, not looking to get turned over," Lambert said. "But we are under no illusions of how hard it is going to be.

"We have to go there with a bit of belief, backed by a big following, and if the lads keep playing the way they have been, with no fear and embracing the stadium, then we will give it everything we have got."

Lambert added: "We are playing against a side at another level to everyone else, the finance dictates that. We went to Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, which is probably the biggest crowd and Anfield which we handled pretty well.

"We have earned the right to play them and will not go up there thinking they are just going to turn us over. If we play the team and not the occasion, then we will be OK."

The on-loan Manchester United defender Ritchie de Laet is doubtful with a back problem. Centre-half Zak Whitbread, fit from a hamstring strain, could return to the first-team squad having played for the reserves, along with Daniel Ayala, who has been out with a knee injury.

Another defender, Elliott Ward, has been able to step up his rehabilitation from a knee ligament problem suffered in pre-season.