Lambert: It's been an unbelievable turnaround
David Cuffley Norwich City boss Paul Lambert had a special word of praise for the club's joint majority shareholders amid the promotion celebrations at Charlton. He said Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones had taken their share of criticism as City's fortunes plummeted - but deserved their day in the sun, on the same ground where relegation was confirmed 11 months ago.
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert had a special word of praise for the club's joint majority shareholders amid the promotion celebrations at Charlton.
He said Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones had taken their share of criticism as City's fortunes plummeted - but deserved their day in the sun, on the same ground where relegation was confirmed 11 months ago.
"I bet this was some press conference a year ago when Norwich just got relegated, so it's absolutely brilliant for everybody," said Lambert.
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"For myself, it's fine but I'm more delighted for the players and fans and the football club. And for Delia and the two Michaels and people who have taken a lot of criticism over recent years, I am absolutely delighted for them.
"She's a terrific lady. There's no doubt. Michael, her husband, and Michael Foulger are three people who have had maybe the most stick out of everybody.
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"The club had relegation, lost its manager, people ran on to the pitch, they lost 7-1 - everything was going wrong. Leeds and Charlton had won so many games ahead of us, in the cold light of day it's been an unbelievable turnaround - unbelievable."
Delia and Michael Wynn Jones faced the media at The Valley immediately after City were relegated last May, but were not making any public comment yesterday about promotion.
Lambert, meanwhile, said it had been vital to return to the Championship at the first attempt.
"You've got to try because you can languish in it, if not, if you stay two, three, four years," he said. "But you've got to earn the right to get out of it. So it was absolutely vital just for that fan base, which is extraordinary.
"Thousands of them go home and away, and they are the ones that actually dictate it, because when you're struggling and you need them, they back you to the hilt."
Lambert said he would need to strengthen his squad for Championship football next season.
"It needs help - that's what we'll try to do, try to give the current group a hand, but that's the nature of the game," he said.
"It's been difficult, but I said when I first came in if we can get the fans and players on each other's side they'll drive it on and all we had to do was try to manage them through it. But the players, they're the ones that play the game. I don't actually play the game."