Lambert will be careful not to add pressure, says Stringer

Former Norwich City manager Dave Stringer today backed the Canaries for a promotion push – though he says supporters should not expect current boss Paul Lambert to come out and say the same.

Stringer, who guided the club to two FA Cup semi-finals and a fourth place in the old Division One, believes that while automatic promotion is too much to expect from the club this term, they have “all the right ingredients” to at least reach the play-offs.

However, the 66-year-old still a regular at Carrow Road, says that fans should not expect the present manager to raise hopes of possible promotion to the Premier League, for fear of raising supporter expectations and putting increased pressure on the players.

His comments were made to Evening News columnist David Powles, who this week looks at the reasons why so many managers play down their club’s chances of success. Despite Norwich’s positive start to the season, Lambert has repeatedly refused to talk-up his team’s promotion chances. Stringer, who managed the club between 1987 and 1992, believes that behind the scene, the message may be very different.

He said: “I think the theory is that when you start to talk it (promotion) up you start putting pressure on the players.

“But he might be saying to the players they should aim for the highest position possible. That would help keep them positive and give them something to aspire to.

“You have to think that you are going to win it behind the scenes, so they are probably getting the positive message in private.”

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Following Tuesday night’s draw at Millwall the Canaries currently sit in fifth position. On the club’s fortunes for the remainder of the season, Stringer said: “Having won promotion last year, the positivity that came with that has come into this season and we want this to continue.

“If we are still in this position come April the players will really start to believe and the manager will believe. At the moment they are showing all the ingredients (to get promoted). I am not sure they have what it takes to win the league, but the play-offs? Maybe.”