Lambert deserves credit - Delia

Delia Smith paid tribute to her own Braveheart manager as Norwich City put the icing on the promotion cake. A year after an emotional goodbye to the Championship, when she spoke of her "deep sadness" at the team's relegation, City's joint majority shareholder was able to enjoy the celebrations in front of 25,000 ecstatic supporters.

Delia Smith paid tribute to her own Braveheart manager as Norwich City put the icing on the promotion cake.

A year after an emotional goodbye to the Championship, when she spoke of her "deep sadness" at the team's relegation, City's joint majority shareholder was able to enjoy the celebrations in front of 25,000 ecstatic supporters.

And it was manager Paul Lambert, who spent most of the match just a few seats away in the directors' box, whom both Delia and husband Michael Wynn Jones credit for the turnaround in the club's fortunes.

"I remember talking to Bobby Charlton just before we got relegated," she said. "I said, 'what can I say to them?'


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"He said, 'fortune favours the brave' - and he is a really brave manager. We'll be losing and he'll take a defender off and put a striker on - he's brave, and I can't thank him enough. Paul Lambert wants to be in the Premiership and we've got to help him get there - with Norwich. I'm beginning to get really quite confident - if we're a goal down he'll sort it out, he'll do something."

Her comments were echoed by her husband. "He's fantastic," he said. "We put it down to Paul, he would put it down to the players, Paul and the players would put it down to the supporters. But it would not have happened without him.

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"He's got the incentive [to stay] - he's got a champion, winning side, the supporters, the infrastructure, he very much enjoys it here and he has the absolute support of the board."

Life at Carrow Road is very different from the start of the season, when Bryan Gunn lost his job after one league game and Lambert took over.

"We thought we had to make a new beginning, a clean break and go back to square one - thank god it worked," added Wynn Jones.

"This season has taught us the importance of having a club that's not made up of loan players. It's clear that if you own the players they are playing for each other and with each other. Loan players go on holiday two weeks before the end of the season because they're going back to their club.

"To my mind it (promotion) does rank with going up to the Premiership - it's as good an achievement. People underestimate League One, it's the eighth or ninth biggest league in Europe - that's the one we've won."

Plans are already in place for next season - but don't expect the club's owners to make any predictions.

"I would love to do a Leicester, I'd love to get promoted next season," said Wynn Jones. "I think we'd need a few new players, but Paul would be the first person to say that. But I won't predict where we will finish next season."

Delia added: "You never know what is going to happen, that's why you turn up to football. If you knew what was going to happen you wouldn't be here.

"I hate it when people make predictions. You never know, there's no way you can possibly ever know. All we know is we will do everything we possibly can."

But with her media duties done it was time to celebrate.

"We're off to celebrate at the Top of the Terrace, we'll all have several drinks and I think it will be a pretty good night."

"There's going to be rather a knees up with the players and the managers; today we got the cup. Someone will have to help me down the stairs afterwards."

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