Paul Lambert admitted Liverpool’s dominant display was a stark reminder just how difficult it will be to establish the Canaries as a long term Premier League fixture.

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City were sunk by a Uruguayan striker who cost £23m against a club who were also able to omit £35m British transfer record signing Andy Carroll as an injury precaution ahead of this week’s FA Cup final.

Lambert insists Norwich City’s survival – courtesy of QPR’s heavy defeat yesterday at Chelsea – is not only a triumph on the pitch but in their transfer dealings, with the Canaries’ policy of cherry-picking the best lower league talent paying dividends.

The City chief, however, delivered a brutally honest assessment when prompted to forecast the next stage of the club’s development following a comprehensive defeat to the five-time European Cup winners.

“I don’t know how far Norwich can go, I really don’t. I don’t know,” he said. “What I know is in the last few years the club has had a lot of success but you’re competing in a different ball game in this league, that’s for sure, because the finances dictate you have to try to compete with everybody else.

“The top ones, on a given day, you can compete with them but over the course of the season you won’t. That’s the reality of it because we’re always playing catch-up at the minute, that’s the hard thing.”

The City boss also admitted he did not expect his transfer budget to be substantially bigger than last summer, when he signed eight players, two of them on loan deals.

“Finance dictates a lot. We have to watch and see what’s going to happen. Will the budget be substantially bigger? No, not really. We’ll have to work with what we’ve got. Once the season finishes, I’ll know hopefully Norwich will be safe and then we’ll see.”

Lambert insists that sense of perspective is vital to try and put City’s recent downturn in context.

“I’m pretty sure we were tipped to be down there because it was new for us. That is why I never got carried away,” he said. “It is not just this year but the last few years. For a club like this to have success for the last three years shows you have high the rise has been. Every game we have to be bang at it; if you’re not, then things like that can happen. I never like to lose but I never get too down with a defeat just as I don’t get too high with a win. Those lads have put the club where it is today. A lot of them. You pick yourself up, you go again.”

Lambert was loathe to accept the easy excuse that his men’s exertions have taken their toll with the finishing straight in sight after Liverpool bossed this contest for long spells.

“I’m not so sure because we have tried to use as many players as we can,” he said. “It has been a real hard, hard season. We’re sitting in a really good position. The objective was to stay in the league.

“Everybody had us getting relegated and we have surpassed anything that we achieved in the past two years at this football club. We just need to go again and get over the line. It has been a tough season for us. Everybody is new to it, the tempo of the game is a lot quicker. The calibre of player is extremely high and you have to combat that and adapt to it.

“Even the teams at the bottom are very, very good and you need to play well to win games. We have done that more than not.”

41 comments

  • Hopefully it is another dose of expectation-management from the inscrutable scotsman. However, it is not realistic to think that we can compete with the top flight clubs for the long-term on a fraction of their spend on players but the tricky thing now is to manage the transition. The high income from the broadcasting cash is not not a differentiator as all the Premier League clubs get it and most will be getting more than us. It is fantastic if we can get along without a dubious investor bank-rolling the excesses in the hope of winning trophies but it is a very long road from where we are to the top of this division. Reading and Southampton are not going to be push-overs either.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Ethered zweimal, Schweizer. Back to retirement. PD column. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • That 34 was definitely put in as a three quarter !!!!

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • You`re fooling nobody, Sian. You are making a fortune in the depilatory market. This is pure obfuscation to prevent me getting my fair share. That samphire & slurry I got for you didn`t come cheap, either. Still, I expect you`ll make a fortune in the World of football agents too! From rags to riches, Barry Island to Bonanza.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • Stop panicking here !! We have survived the first season in the PL (without too many scares or worries). That was the BEST RESULT of all of Paul Lambert's 3 seasons at NCFC. Getting up was hard, staying up was harder - there should be much cause for rejoicing and celebrating now. Next season will be tougher for sure - but we have some experienced palyers now, some new ones who will come in and some not so good ones at this level who will go out. Next season for sure we will be stronger and better prepared - it will still be tough and we will have to fight hard to survive - but, I think every City fan would have been delighted to take our current situation 12 months ago. So stop whining and speculating and enjoy the good times that have returned to Carrow Road !! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • That`s the way I see it too, Swiss. We have these "hungry children", all of whom seem to possess genuine potential. Finding the latter-day Martin Peters or Ian Crook et al is not so easy. As you say, it`s the salary expectation etc. Many have said before; in Lambert we must trust. He hasn`t let us down yet. His inscrutability is legend. I think there`s more to come, I really do......BTW, watching David Bernstein introducing Woy Hodgson as England Manager was a tweat! They were twying to "out-W" each other, big time. Hilawious. Sir Twevor Bwooking was a gem. Never have so few badly joined-together but oft-wepeated words been used to say so little. Aka nothing. His sinecure must be close to the Seb Coe standard! Hey-ho. Life at the top goes on much as usual.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • A friend of mine said that he would rather see us shine in the championship, than struggle in the Premiership. I dont agree with that sentiment. Yes we have been humiliated a couple of times, but we have also really shone!! McNally has proved how astute he is. He no more wants relegation next season than we do. I think we will go shopping quite early just as we did last year.....................................................................................................................................Here's a thought...................most of us agree that Morrison is not up to it, in either skill and attitude. Sell morrison back to the championship, bring Martin back as the reserve striker, and buy Rhodes or another predatory striker.

    Report this comment

    Algarve Canary

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • So, who's on the way out then? For me, it'll be Naughton back to Spurs (not returning), Drury (sad but all good things come to an end), L Barnett (not featured much recently), Crofts Lappin Martin Wilbraham (v popular though, so maybe 1 more year) I hope Whitbread gets a new contract. So, that leaves space for 3 defenders a midfielder and a goalscorer.

    Report this comment

    richard1

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Precis. Was proffering the notion that Lambo might find some useful and affordable pickings in the fall-out from the Neil Doncaster-darkened world of Scottish football, like Moyes did with Jelavic. With a few lines about Wabby Burns, Wob Woy & the Bay City Wollers thrown in for fun :-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • I think P.L.is getting ready to leave.WE MUST BUY QUALITY PREM; PLAYERS--OR IT'S GOODBYE PREMIER LEAGUE NEXT YEAR.

    Report this comment

    superfan59

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Thank you very much, Brewer! I know I do feel as if I'm becoming more of a pessimist in each and every post I submit on here, but goodness me this article is one I wish didn't exist. I'm all for being Chris Martin being brought back in next season, I thought he did well in the handful of Premier League games he played in this season. But this poor bloke Morison! I almost don't want to speak about him, just to try and stop him being a talking point. The man had a cracking start of the season but admittedly he has tailed off towards the end, but in my mind, remains if anything a strong backup for Holt, and without a person of similar stature being brought in during the summer, with an ageing Wilbraham, he might be one of the better strike options next season. But if I had it my way, Jay Rodriguez would be his worthy replacement should Lambert decide to move him on. But all in all, Lambert should see out a rapidly growing Norwich team providing the board back him enough financially and hopefully bring in some exciting, fresh and likeable faces during the summer, and keep hold of my Zak Whitbread!

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • I have forgiven Jesus but die Grosskontrolleren are beyond forgiveness!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • OK, we're safe now so lets stop referring to what we've done it the last 3 years, its been mighty impressive but its over! Lets draw a line in the sand now and look forward. We must get rid of the average championship standard players and look to add to the better players in the squad. OTBC

    Report this comment

    kevin

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Given that, as we keep being told, the budget is no more than before, it might be interesting to see a smaller number of more expensive imports rather than a bargain 6-pack of "hungry" children from the lower leagues. That is as long as we can balance the salary expectations of all. Mind you, a Scotsman on a buying trip is hardly going to bragging in public about the size of his wedge is he?

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • Thanks, Swiss. Ref. ethering, anybody would think this old boy was a thorn in their side. Singularly odd, NOT duplicate! OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • And as for the days of Hucks and Rob Green, although I miss those faces, it's nice to see our modern team with nowhere near the reliance we had on those 2 before, and we are using depth this time. But even still, Huckerby running on that flank must've been the most exhilarating experience at Carrow Road, he was magic! But yeah I agree a little more strength a few more signings in the same direction as they seem to be heading could further our push, and as we like to show the billionaires belonging to the Premier Leagues big hitters, money sometimes isn't everything, even in the modern game.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • It was never the results against the top 5 or 6 clubs that was going to decide our season, but how we faired against the rest and overall we've done well with doubles over the teams that came up with us. However, our realistic aim should be to become a top 10 side which with a bit of luck can win a domestic trophy. Our last three performances show that we need to invest in at least another four quality players (striker, midfielder and two at the back) in order to achieve that aim. I have no doubt PL can achieve it if given the backing he deserves. If he doesn't get it, then like O'Neill before him , I think he'll be off. Best not beat Villa 7 - 1! OTBC!

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • I'd add Ward to that list Lionheart. Glad to see you've not included Morison, Some seem on a Crusade to be rid of him, but I think he's a valued member of the squad, Agruably, the best header of the ball in the team.

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Ethered again, lads! That`s why I`ve been absent, yarco!! I`ll just wait & see if my last attempted posting re-emerges as an Archant article again. OTBC. PS. Thankyou for your kind remarks, yarco.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • Apropos of nothing, it is interesting that one of our past Grey Men, Kneel Donkeystar, is embellishing his already stellar CV by making a pig`s ear of Scottish Football, too! No wonder Lambo steered well clear of going back to manage up there. Agree with what you say 100%, Dubai. If, of course, I may say so. OTBC. ILWT.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • MadB. No dig at Billy intended just the world at large who sing praises of Jewell and the like even though they have achieved very little,, though sme would say keeping 1p5wich up was an achievement. I think most of the "bigger" clubs will want to see a bit more of what Lambert can achieve before making a move for him.

    Report this comment

    Pondlife

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • MB, the trouble with the depilatory market is that it's hair today, gone tomorrow.

    Report this comment

    Sian

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • Ethered. Hair-Wig-Goo etc. Precis. All the Grosskontrolleren permit me. Grey people.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • I agree with that Brewer, to paraphrase The Smiths, Doncaster's got a lot to answer for.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • Back to football! Do I get the feeling that Pondy might be thinking that Billy is a closet 1p5wich "fan"? I don`t think so; if I remember correctly, he is a 17 year-old NCFC season ticket holder of several years-and he talks a lot of sense, too! I hope his concerns over PL`s future are wrong. Billy, you`re becoming a pessimist like me, way ahead of your time! My guess is that Lambo and Rottweiler McNally have a shared vision and plan for the Club. The player strength we have is way ahead of last time we were in the Prem when it was Huckerby & Green v the rest, an experience that knocked the stuffing out of Rob Green and the knees out of Hucks. A nucleus is there now. Add a proven goal-scorer and 3 or 4 wise heads in defence & midfield and we can go again. If only we had clones of Peters, Crook and pre-injury Ashton! We must see it for now as "Mission Accomplished" and go again. OTBC. ILWT.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • Bwerer, I twy not to think about Wobert Chase, but I do hope there isn't another Dean Windass type stouch between PL and McNasty in the summer. I would like to think PL will have a bit more to play with, now the debt has been reduced, something in the 15mill + range to strengthen. Agree with Swiss, we need to go for quality not quantity.

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • I am starting a new business as a Footballer's Agent, on account of a down-turn in the depillatory market. My portfolio includes Jordan Rhodes, Nathan Dwyer, Mario Balotelli and Steve Morrison. At the moment we are doing a buy-one-get-one-free with every Balotelli.

    Report this comment

    Sian

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • Swiss - 'It is fantastic if we can get along without a dubious investor bank-rolling the excesses in the hope of winning trophies. Reading and Southampton are not going to be push-overs either.' That sums up what we have achieved since those dark days of our humiliation by Colchester and let's shope we don't acquire the type of 'investor' seen at QPR. I would far rather we languish around mid table than go down that route. We need better quality players to push on next season though and hope that we don't suffer so many injuries as we did this season!!!

    Report this comment

    Mr Ed

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Without a massive injection of cash into the club, wherever we end up at the end of this season will be as good as it will ever get for Norwich!

    Report this comment

    Henry

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • 34 of the way though the season I answered all my friends saying there was no way Lambert would leave. After all, why not see how far he could take Norwich and add value to his stock into the bargain. Now I'm not so sure, if he leaves at the end of the season, he has value and could get a career securing salary to boot. If he stays and City flop next season, what's his worth then. Does he take the money and run or stay and risk his retirement !!!!!! Hmmmmm food for thought.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Yes, I agree, superfan. This is the language of someone who feels he has taken City as far as he can. There isn't much joy or expectation in the words he uses; he doesn't, for example, say look at relatively small clubs like Stoke and Fulham and conclude that smaller clubs can really establish himself. He seems very resigned and not very happy at having to shop around for cheap cast-offs or inexperienced, good young prospects. We are one of the few without a multi-millionaire backer and Lambert knows well that next season, we won't be just one of the favourites for relegation, we will be the favourite full stop. He has worked wonders at this club and all supporters are eternally grateful, but you can tell from the tone of his last few radio interviews and press statements -he even spent most of the second half against Liverpool in the dug-out- that he is on his way and very soon too.

    Report this comment

    robm447

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • It sounds, and believe me this is not what I want, as if Lambert is saying he can't see us achieving much higher, therefore has ambitions may be elsewhere, which is dreadful, but it's how it comes across. I know you all think he wont leave for a club like Villa but lets be fair here, Villa are an established premier league side that not only have more money both in players and ready to invest in players, but also more money to give Lambert as wages, and as a family man, more money for himself as well as a bigger team (they are, let's be fair) seems too good to turn down. I really, really don't want this to happen, but I think it just might. And judging by our recent history of managerial appointments, I'm desperately worried that we could lose what we currently have. Your thoughts?

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Yes Paul Jewell has done a wonderful job keeping 1p5wich up this season. Though I suspect they will lose him to West Brom or Wolves or Villa or Blackburn now as he is such a class act

    Report this comment

    Pondlife

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Agree withn you pondlife we would have all settled for 17th spot at the start of the season. Lets not run before we can walk people. Just be happy that we are staying up and. The other positive is Ipswich are still in the chumpionship. OTBC

    Report this comment

    The Bloater

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Mr Lambert has a right to sound fed up. Some of our players have had lesson one and still not learnt. One mistake and it's a goal. Top or bottom of the Premiership. I am afraid the one consistency we have at Norwich, is defensive mistakes that have riddled our heroic performances. Teams are not beating us…we are beating ourselves. De Laet made four in the first four games and is gone. Barnett was caught out too many times and hasn’t found his way back. I think it could only be a matter of time before Ward joins them. A good footballer, but, perhaps not good enough for the Premiership. The crossfield pass has undone on numerous occasions. Concentration on others [why did Hoolahan track Giggs all the way into the penalty area and then stop on the six yard line]. Johnson and Fox in particular think they have all the time in the World. Bang…possession lost and it’s in our net. Mr Lambert has continually stood by his team, but he would not be human if his own frustrations came to the surface at times.

    Report this comment

    Erpingham Tractor

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • According to the master plan, this year was scheduled to be consolidation in the championship. Instead we have consolidated our place in the Premiership. The same again for the next two years would suit me whilst we restructure and rebuild. Ayala, Bennett Bennett Howson, Vaughn and Naughton if we can get him, are good starting points for that rebuild

    Report this comment

    Pondlife

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Mad Brewer I have missed your wise comments for a few days very pleased that your back on line.Cant wait for JONATHON WOSS having ENGLAND MANAGER WOY H on his show .OTBC . ILWT.

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • Hi, Pondy. Perhaps interference by the moderators changed the order of submissions? I know you & Billy are both genuine NCFC fans :-). I think Lambo is here for a year or two yet. 1p5wich have achieved little if Evanescent Evans has really been pumping £5m pa into that "club". Businessmen are not known for philanthropy. Think Robert Chase.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • Just for the record, Oh Manchester, so much to answer for comes from "Suffer Little Children" on "The Smiths". I see nothing changes in the ether.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • PL is just being honest and realistic. Of course he doesnt know how far the club can go, nobody does. The Premier League is unforgiving , every point won is a victory. He isnt saying that he is going, he isnt saying that he will stay long term, he is just pointing out that money talks and we are now competing with much richer clubs. He will undoubtedly be linked with any managerial vacancies in the premier league, but how many clubs could offer him more than he gets at City. Everton are potentially a big club, but struggle financially. Villa also bigger but with an owner who doesnt seem to be as committed as before and with O Neill falling out with them, it would probably put PL off the club. WBA, no bigger than us. Spurs, No vacany.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • Just thinking of that MBA muppet makes me...well, everyone knows I`m miserable now. I`m not familiar with that Smith`s track, Swiss. Is it on an album? A colleague once told me that should I collaborate with Steven Morrissey it would be a song-writing partnership made in Hell. Nice.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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