Norwich manager Paul Lambert hailed his "extraordinary" players after Simeon Jackson netted an injury-time winner to boost their hopes of claiming automatic promotion from the Npower Championship by beating Derby 3-2.

Jackson bundled the ball home to claim his hat-trick - and eighth goal in six games - after Russell Martin's shot had been cleared off the line by Alberto Bueno to send the Carrow Road faithful crazy.

The win keeps City second, a point ahead of Cardiff who won 1-0 over Preston at Deepdale, with two games to go. And Lambert said:

"There have been a few finishes like that this season and it's certainly not good for the nerves. But when you get a goal at the end like that, the relief is huge. Once again the players have been extraordinary."

He added: "I just can't praise them enough. They are a proper team, that's for sure, and have been absolutely brilliant for me.


"To be fair, Derby came here and had a go just as they did against QPR recently. They are a good side and made it difficult for us.

"At the end I just felt I had to go for the win - we have got a lot of creative players in the side and when that's the case you have always got a chance.

"Now we know that if we win our last two games we are up - but obviously that is a lot easier said than done. I'm delighted for the players and also for the fans. They have been brilliant for us all season, both at home and away."

Derby manager Nigel Clough felt the late defeat was harsh on his side.

He said: "There was a lot of frustration out there at the end. To lose a goal in the 96th minute, or whenever it was, was very cruel. I am really proud of the players for the effort they put in after playing for half an hour with only 10 men in the heat on Saturday.

"I thought in the first half we did okay without making much of the situations we created and it was a real blow when we conceded late on. But the lads came out in the second half and gave it a real go, just like they did at QPR."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: