Lambert falls foul of officialdom

Paul Lambert could face a touchline ban within his first five games as Norwich City manager, after being charged with improper conduct by the FA. The Scot, who met the City players and staff for the first time yesterday after replacing Bryan Gunn, was dismissed from the dugout during Colchester United's first League One home fixture this season, a 2-1 win over Yeovil on August 16.

Paul Lambert could face a touchline ban within his first five games as Norwich City manager, after being charged with improper conduct by the FA.

The Scot, who met the City players and staff for the first time yesterday after replacing Bryan Gunn, was dismissed from the dugout during Colchester United's first League One home fixture this season, a 2-1 win over Yeovil on August 16.

Lambert was angered by the performance of Nottinghamshire referee Russell Booth, which included awarding the visitors a dubious free-kick from which Ryan Mason reduced Yeovil's arrears and made for a nervous final 10 minutes.

Then-Colchester manager Lambert was so annoyed with the official that after the game he claimed he needed "an abacus" to count all Mason's poor decisions.


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"I'm bewildered why the referee refereed the game, so there you are," said Lambert. "I needed an abacus to count the (bad) decisions that he made and I never had one in the dugout. I'm delighted we won. I'm not giving the officials any credence."

The new City manager has until next Wednesday to respond to the charge and, should he request a personal hearing, would be likely to be summoned before the FA within four weeks under a new "fast-tracked" disciplinary system for dugout misdemeanours.

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If Lambert is found or pleads guilty, depending on his past conduct and the seriousness of the indiscretion, he is likely to receive either a warning over his future conduct, a fine or a touchline ban.

It means the new Norwich manager could be banned from the dugout during September, a month in which City face Walsall, Charlton and Leyton Orient at Carrow Road, sandwiched by trips to MK Dons and Gillingham.

Glenn Roeder was the last City boss to have been in trouble with the FA, receiving a suspended two-match touchline ban for his reaction to the performance of Andy D'Urso in Norwich's Championship defeat at Bristol City in March last year.

His assistant at the time and current manager of Huddersfield Town, Lee Clark, missed City's opening game of the next season following a one-game ban of his own from the same incident.

Roeder was then hit with a second charge of improper conduct after the Canaries' defeat to Derby in October - although the Norwich boss was sacked before his requested personal hearing took place.

While Lambert has not been in regular trouble with the FA, he has been inclined to the odd outburst in the heat of battle - most notably with former Stockport boss Jim Gannon during his time in charge at Wycombe, who visit Carrow Road tomorrow.

Having drawn the first leg of their feisty League Two play-off semi-final in 2008,

Lambert said of his side's impending trip to Edgeley Park: "I used to play for a club that had more fans than Stockport can get in their ground, just watching us training."

Stockport went on to win promotion at Wembley, while Lambert quit Adams Park soon after the season ended.

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