Coventry City 1 Norwich City 2: Holt's late winner underscores his value to Norwich's cause

NORWICH manager Paul Lambert heaped praise on Grant Holt after the Canaries' captain inspired his side to this win at Coventry.

Holt scored both goals as Norwich saw off some strong resistance from 10-man Coventry, who had Aron Gunnarsson sent off 10 minutes before half-time for a foul on Henri Lansbury.

Marlon King looked to have earned Aidy Boothroyd's side a point when he cancelled out Holt's opener, but the Norwich captain popped up with a late winner at the Ricoh Arena.

Lambert said: "It's never easy to play against 10 men but I felt the way we kept the ball was excellent.

"That's what I pay Grant Holt to do – score goals – and he has been brilliant for me since day one.

"He's an old-fashioned centre-forward which is a rare commodity in the modern game and we are very pleased to have one.

"I think the sending-off was harsh. The conditions might have played a part and there was no malice in it.

"If I was Aidy, I would probably feel a bit aggrieved because I am not so sure it was a sending-off.

"Since I have been at Norwich, we have not lost back-to-back games and we were pleased to come here and win the way we did.

"Grant is every bit as important as everybody else in that dressing room and if we are going to survive we are going to need everybody.

"I have been in some pretty good dressing rooms but this is as good a dressing room as I have been in.

"Any striker that can score goals is important to any team and that is probably why they are paid the most money."

Boothroyd had no complaints with Gunnarsson's dismissal but felt Coventry should have been awarded a penalty.

He said: "We had the hindsight of seeing it again at half-time and it's an absolute definite penalty. That's what assistant referees are for if the referee didn't see it.

"We can't be blaming referees and assistants because we will go mad.

"I think it was a sending-off. It wasn't helped by the fact Aron Gunnarsson slipped. He went in on Lansbury and he's got both feet off the ground. The letter of the law is that it is a sending-off.

"The player made a meal of it but he's going to do because he wants us to have 10 men. I'm not going to have a go at him.

"Aron wasn't malicious. It is not his way. He's the nicest Viking I have ever met. He's not done anything with intent. He's just trying to get the ball.

"We had to defend for long periods. I thought there was an assurance about us.

"Against teams like Norwich that have good possession some teams will cave in but we didn't. We were resolute and dogged."