LONDON May 3 – Norwich were promoted to the Premier League on Monday after they defeated Portsmouth 1-0 and join champions Queens Park Rangers among the elite for next season.Their fourth successive win – thanks to Simeon Jackson’s fifth goal in six games – leaves them four points clear of third-placed Cardiff, who lost 3-0 at home to Middlesbrough earlier on Monday, with a match remaining.
It is Norwich’s second successive promotion and sees them return to the Premier League after a six year absence.
Norwich manager Paul Lambert said it equalled the greatest moment of his playing career, which included winning the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund in 1997.
"It’s incredible what the lads have done. They are the ones who do it week in week out," said the Scotsman.
"In the two years we have been here it’s a miracle what has happened.
"And it’s how we’ve done it, from League One and then the Championship. It’s up there with anything I’ve done."
Norwich captain Grant Holt, who has contributed 22 goals, lavished praise on Lambert.
"The manager has been fantastic. He’s a motivator and has been great for us," he told Sky Sports News.
"We’ve got a fantastic bunch of lads here. We’ve worked hard and I think when we’re on it there’s no-one better.
"We’ve a great team spirit and a great desire. It’s a joy being with each other every day."
Cardiff will need to come through the play-offs to gain promotion to the Premier League for the first time.
Middlesbrough – who failed to justify their pre-season favourites tag and lie below mid-table – stunned Cardiff and the 25,000 home crowd with all their goals in the opening 21 minutes through Leroy Lita, Barry Robson – his fourth of the season – and Richard Smallwood.