Lambert won't let himself be distracted by hearings

Chris Lakey Paul Lambert says rows with two footballing authorities are not getting in the way of business at Carrow Road. Lambert joined City in August, bringing assistant Ian Culverhouse and football director Gary Karsa with him, but compensation talks have broken down and the Us have reported all three - plus City - to the Football League and want points deducted from the Canaries.

Chris Lakey

Paul Lambert says rows with two footballing authorities are not getting in the way of business at Carrow Road.

Lambert joined City in August, bringing assistant Ian Culverhouse and football director Gary Karsa with him, but compensation talks have broken down and the Us have reported all three - plus City - to the Football League and want points deducted from the Canaries.

Lambert insists everything was above board - and says his evidence to a Football Disciplinary Commission will be crucial.


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"It's in the hands of the lawyers," he said. "Colchester have their own prerogative how they want to deal with it.

"As I said before, it is a massive football club, Norwich, which is great and I know exactly what's happened so I suppose my statement will probably be the most powerful one out of them all."

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City are also in the dock with the FA, who have charged them with failing to control their players following a fracas during the home game against Brighton on November 24, which started with a clash between City's Darel Russell and visiting skipper Andrew Crofts.

Referee Keith Hill included the incident in his match report, but Lambert questioned the need for a hearing.

"Nothing serious happened, it was just a ruck with two sets of lads going in there, whether it's splitting things up or trying to be brave in certain issues," he said. "These things happen in football - maybe they just want to be a bit busy."

Lambert's efforts are all focused on League One matters - and the search for a striker and a defender which top his New Year shopping list and he prepares for the vital winter push for promotion.

Lambert denied an interest in Rochdale hitman Chris Dagnall, but admitted he would be looking to strengthen an attack which has helped make City one of the most potent attacking sides in League One.

"I think we will need a couple - whether we can do it I don't know," said Lambert. "It's well documented that the finances are on-going, and whether I can do it or not I have to wait and see, but we certainly need a bit of help in January."

Chief executive David McNally says some fringe players may leave in January, but the big guns are staying.

"There is no way I could let players go from here, everybody knows how well they are playing so I am not going to sit here and say yes it is going to be easy for them to go anywhere," said Lambert. "My phone hasn't gone regarding any of the lads and from my point of view that's great. It keeps everybody away from me.

"If I get a couple of lads in, in January and I thought one or two fringe ones might benefit from going on loan then I might look at it, but at the minute I wouldn't say there would be a great rush for me to get people out."

Lambert has signed just three players on loan - a goalkeeper, a defender and an attacking midfielder - but having given so many young players the chance to impress, now faces the acid test of their ability to last the course.

Korey Smith has hardly skipped a beat since Lambert spotted him out on the training ground as he surveyed his inheritance back in August.

The 18-year-old is now a fixture in Lambert's diamond formation - and it's the knowledge that there is someone waiting to step in to his place that the manager believes is producing results.

"I think one of the main issues is he has probably got a bit of a fear factor in his game knowing somebody else can take his place, which can happen; the team is winning and he wants to be part of it; and he wants to have success, and I think that's a big part of his make-up," Lambert said.

"You are hoping all these things combined is giving him a fear factor not to come out of the team.

"I saw he could play with the ball a little bit and he could manoeuvre it and we thought, 'with his energy and his legs we'll give him a go'. I never knew him. I just saw him from the young ones and threw him in and he's been terrific."

Lambert saw the same in fellow 18-year-old Tom Adeyemi, but the nine-month age difference between the two youngsters proves how fine the issues are with the physical development of teenagers who are liable to run out of steam.

"He played in a reserve game at Northampton and looked as if he was treading quicksand, and even in training I thought for a few weeks he was off it, and then he's come back, so it has happened with him," said Lambert. "But I thought he did really fine when he came on at Southend, but previous to that he looked as if he was having a growth spurt which would go against him.

"Tom is a year younger and he is still growing, as is Luke (Daley) and Declan (Rudd) and people like that. Tom will get to a stage where his body will get stronger and develop."

Smith is likely to start at Yeovil this afternoon, where there are few reasons for Lambert to change his starting line-up.

The only change would be on the bench where Luke Daley suffered a recurrence of his thigh injury during training and misses out.

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