After a six year absence the Canaries are settling themselves back onto the top perch but Ian Wilson reveals that the fans are following their manager’s lead and not getting carried away.

So eight games in to Norwich City’s season with the ‘big boys’ and it seems it’s not so difficult, this Premier League lark. Eight games into last season, we’d just lost at home to Hull, rewind 12 months before that and we’d scraped a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic, courtesy of a late equaliser from one Grant Holt. After that comeback against Charlton, Paul Lambert’s men were 14th in League One. The tables that I keep checking for fear of a re-count suggest we’re currently managing to hold the position of the 9th best team in England. It hasn’t been this much fun to ‘Follow the boys in yellow’ since Jeremy Goss, Mark Bowen and Rob Newman came away from Bayern Munich’s impregnable Olympic Stadium with three points.

If Manchester United and Chelsea away are excluded (as realistically they should be), then there’s actually only been one defeat. Lambert has created a new team this season for the specific task of staying in this league; that’s four games with an unchanged XI now – an XI that’s picked up nine points in that time; mid-table form at worst. With consistency, improvements in confidence can clearly be seen. Steve Morison looks the real deal, where once he was seen as back up for Holt. Fox and Hoolahan, like something out of Catalonia are the orchestrators in chief, creating at least one goal per game between them. Our right back Russell Martin (who didn’t make the grade at Peterborough) is playing at centre back like Rio Ferdinand once did ten years ago, and it’s surely only a matter of time before the excellent Elliot Bennett sees one of his spectacular strikes nestle sweetly into the top corner.

Lambert has refined a successful team, rather than ruthlessly disposing and starting over.

The team has evolved from the promotion winning side. Lambert has refined a successful team, rather than ruthlessly disposing and starting over. It’s sad to see Grant Holt not having the same impact as he had on the other three tiers of English football, even though there’s time aplenty for that. It’s also a bit of a shame that stars of 2010/11 Andrew Surman and Simeon Jackson can’t buy a game, but there’s no room for sentiment and Lambert is clearly a man who thinks with his head.

Of the 16 who have played since Lambert settled on his best team, only James Vaughan (now injured) and Leon Barnett have any Premier League experience, the sum total of a handful of games when they were kids coming through. Lambert has consistently turned water into wine since his arrival, and the wine seems to be making the transition into champagne with plenty of alacrity.

One Lambertism that sticks in the mind is that he never gets too carried away when we’re winning and never too lugubrious when we’re not. It’s this kind of focussed harmony and equilibrium that will ensure that the good ship ‘Sir Paul’ is a happy one when fortunes are not as sanguine as they are now.

A few weeks ago pundits were tipping Wolverhampton Wanderers for an overdue return to European adventure. Now after 5 defeats on the spin, they look like they’re never going to win another game, ever. Wolves aren’t a bad side; old gold could just as easily be canary yellow. When it’s Lambert’s turn to face the media’s pessimism, there should be enough equity with the fans to overcome any adversity. Let’s hope we never have to find out. In the meantime, we’re off to Anfield this weekend and wouldn’t be surprised to come away with the points.