Lambert: No pain, no gain
David Cuffley Manager Paul Lambert believes it will be a case of no pain, no gain for his Norwich City players as they step up their preparations for the new Championship campaign with a week's training camp in Germany.
Manager Paul Lambert believes it will be a case of no pain, no gain for his Norwich City players as they step up their preparations for the new Championship campaign with a week's training camp in Germany.
The Canaries, back in training for the past week, play their first pre-season friendly at Dereham Town on Saturday before heading abroad for more hard work.
And Lambert insists the private camp near Bonn is essential to bring his squad up to the speed for the new campaign, just four weeks away, and to integrate his six summer signings into his squad.
“I know it's hard but you've got to do it. It's hard work but you've got to put it in - but you'll feel the benefit when the games start,” said the City boss.
“The players that have come in have been great, allied to the ones that are already here. The training's been really high tempo and they've worked really hard.
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“It's vital. You've got to get them together and get them to bond and get the spirit there, playing the way we want them to play and I hope that's what Germany will do for us.”
City will be based at Hennef Sportschule and are scheduled play at least one match, against SV Bergisch Gladbach 09 of the North Rhine-Westphalia League.
Lambert has not given up hope of making one more signing before the squad departs, and has wasted no time this summer by bringing in a goalkeeper, two defenders and three midfielders.
“I didn't want to be scrambling all over the place come the end of the summer. When we go away on Sunday we'll have everybody together and try to bond them together and create that spirit that's held us in good stead so far,” he said, glad to have made an early start to his close season business.
“Before you know it that final whistle's gone on the last day and it's gone and you have to try to prepare for the next season,” he said.
“I'm a great believer that football doesn't wait for anybody and we have to try to hit the ground running.”
Lambert believes the excitement generated by City's League One title success has lasted through the summer break - and can't wait for the Championship season to kick off.
He said: “You can sense it. I think you can sense it when you're in the city as well. Everybody just wants the first game to come and I hope we can carry on and try to do as well as we did last year. It's going to be really tough, but we've earned the right to play in that league.
“I think this club, no matter who stands here, will always have the expectancy level because of the amount of people who come and watch.
“That will always be my opinion of it, so whoever sits in this manager's chair will always have the expectancy level at this club, trying to win games.
“Last year we were a big, big club in League One along with Leeds and Charlton and Southampton with big fan bases. This year we're one of many. It's not as if we're going up there as one of two or three, you're up there with many and it's your first year in it, but one thing's for sure, we've earned the right to play in it and we'll give it a right good go.”
Most of the senior players are expected to be involved at some stage against Dereham at Aldiss Park (3pm).
“The squad is big and we can't play everybody but we'll take most of the lads there and see how it goes,” said Lambert.