Lambert is hoping to make swift progress on new faces
PUBLISHED: 07:30 02 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:52 10 September 2010
Paul Lambert says he wants to get his January transfer window dealings sorted as soon as possible. The City boss is already in talks with Peterborough United and Swindon about extending the stays of loan players Russell Martin and Anthony McNamee respectively, with permanent transfers the most likely outcome.
Paul Lambert says he wants to get his January transfer window dealings sorted as soon as possible.
The City boss is already in talks with Peterborough United and Swindon about extending the stays of loan players Russell Martin and Anthony McNamee respectively, with permanent transfers the most likely outcome.
And Lambert has set out the criteria for new recruits as he wades through the avalanche of DVDs sent to him by agents trying to flog their wares before the window closes at the end of the month.
It's strictly hungry and ambitious: old hands hoping to end their career in the comfort zone need not apply.
"I never disregard anything - I look for somebody that's hungry first and foremost, somebody who is hungry to do well," said Lambert.
"There is no point people coming here in a comfort zone, thinking, 'lovely area, lovely training facility', then hang about here for a few months and then go away again.
"I don't want that type of player, I want somebody who's hungry, somebody who has got a desire and an enthusiasm for the game, that's the type of lad I want. I don't want somebody to come here and think, 'it's a nice little place, Norwich, we'll just hover about here for a year or two then go again'.
"I don't want somebody who's 33 or 34 who's going to come down here and think it's a good payday for them, good surroundings - what's the point?"
Lambert has plenty of "options" being put in front of him by agents.
"You get DVDs galore and they look world beaters and, as somebody once said, when you get them over they look like a panel beater," he said. "You get an agent telling you, 'this one's brilliant and this one's brilliant'."
Lambert's priority will be in defence, where the absence of Jens Berthel Askou with a broken metatarsal in his left foot has exposed the shortage, and attack, where he wants back-up for Grant Holt and Chris Martin.
Work has already started, with Lambert eager to strengthen as soon as possible.
"We are trying to do something at the minute," he said. "Whether it happens we have to wait and see.
"If you let it to go to the end of January it's four games away so if you could ideally do something you do your utmost to try and do something now."
Lambert's priority is permanent signings rather than loans, with Russell Martin and McNamee expected to be the first on board.
"I always want my own, that's what I want, because then you have them under your jurisdiction as such," he said. "Loans crippled this place and I don't want that to happen again.
"You might get the odd one - Russell Martin is a different kettle of fish because I knew him from Wycombe and I knew what type of lad he was, I knew how hungry he was to do well, that was never a gamble for me so I knew exactly what I was getting."
While Martin has seemingly made the right-back spot his own, Lambert is unconcerned that McNamee has just two appearances as a sub to his name.
"Anthony is a bit different because it's hard to get into our side at the minute," he said. "Russell has come in and done great, but it's hard - but Anthony has been great in training so I don't have a problem with it.
"I know what I can get from him. To do anything we are going to need a group of lads, not just 12 or 13 people. We need a group to win us games. The squad is as important as the team, that is always the case, and you won't do anything if not everybody pulls the same way. We need everybody to pull the same way and the group of lads have certainly done that.
"I know he (McNamee) played off the front where Wes (Hoolahan) plays against us that day for Swindon. His best form has been out-and-out left side.
"I think you have always got to have a different variation at certain times. It's important we are not always rigid to one particular system, but at the minute the way the team is going, the way the system works is working for us."
As for the outs, players will only leave if there are replacements - although the jewels in the crown like Hoolahan and Grant Holt will be going nowhere.
Some, like Gary Doherty, are out of contract in the summer and therefore free to talk to other clubs - but Lambert has yet to sit down and discuss possible new deals.
"I think at the minute they're more concentrated on what's happening on the football side because I think they can sense we might be able to do something, so I've never had that knock at the door yet and lads saying about their contract," he said. "I think everybody's attention is on trying to get out of this league."
That quest continues today against second-from-bottom side Wycombe, the club where Lambert began his English managerial career in 2006 - and the team against which he opened his City account, with a 5-2 win at Carrow Road in August.
"I had a great time there," he said. "It's always a club I look out for and see how they get on and hopefully they do alright.
"It's sad they are fighting, but they are not detached and it is a dangerous game for us. If we do what we've been doing of late we are a really hard team to play against."