Date: 5th March 2013 at 12:12am
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Paul Lambert has refused to blame Ciaran Clark for Man City’s goal, but admitted it was another mistake that had cost us.

Would’ve been nice had he pointed out slip or not, Clark still had his legs pulled from him but when do you expect Mike Dean to give those against the top four eh. Or the penalty for us for example.

However, on balance, they were worthy winners in reality, we didn’t trouble them enough.

Speaking to the Official Site following the 1-0 loss, our gaffer said:

‘I thought we were well in the game, the goal is a mistake. I wouldn’t have minded if someone had put one in the top corner with a bit of skill, but it’s a mistake by us. It’s easy to be critical of Ciaran, the lad has been excellent all season, he will learn from it, he won’t make the same mistake again. I just think he has tried something he maybe shouldn’t have, feeling confident. I had a chat with him at half time.’

Which is fair enough really, during the first half especially we had no issues blindly booting the ball into no man’s land and not looking for the pass that would relieve pressure, and Clark should’ve done exactly that then, but it’s one of those things and he’s learning.

Problem is he’ll be hammered for it far more than other defenders who do the same thing regularly and it doesn’t work out, yet they find themselves in the England team as the best the country can offer – but hey ho.

Lambert does rightly then point out though that he didn’t let it affect him in the second half, and in reality I thought we looked a lot tighter in the second half than we did to begin with, but of course the damage had been done by then and we just weren’t causing them enough problems up front to make up for it.

As for the aforementioned decision that can never be given against a top four side, Lambert said of the penalty shout.

‘We might have had a penalty. I thought it was handball, but that’s football. You pick yourself up and go again.’

Bottom line is if we keep performing like that we will pick up the points we need to survive. Yes the performances aren’t fantastic and there is room for improvement, but they are starting to come together again now and we do look better but we lack the end product, especially against sides like City but take that into Reading and QPR and that could really be six points back on the table for us which would make a world of difference.

We just have to change ‘better’ performances into points before it’s too late for them to count.

Lambert also hopes to have Ron Vlaar back for Saturday’s game.

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