This is not a distraction - Lambert
Paddy Davitt Norwich City boss Paul Lambert has no intention of resting on his laurels after passing a notable milestone ahead of tonight's Carling Cup second round tie at Blackburn.
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert has no intention of resting on his laurels after passing a notable milestone ahead of tonight's Carling Cup second round tie at Blackburn.
Lambert celebrated a year in charge at the weekend with a hard fought 2-0 Championship win over Swansea. City romped to last season's League One title under the Scot's tenure and have now bounced back from opening night Championship defeat to Watford with consecutive league wins - but Lambert prefers to look forward.
“If somebody had said to me when I got here you are sitting bottom of the league and you are 15 points behind Leeds but you will be champions, you'd think they would've needed a straight jacket,” he said. “To be fair the lads have done it and the crowd have done it - all we did was give them a little bit of belief to go and try and win games.
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“Yes, we have maybe helped in a small part but the lads and the fans did most of the hard work.
“I think the fan base we have, at home and away, gives you the belief things can happen quickly. I just think when you are a club this size you have to hit the ground running, and we did that. I watch that highlights show at 3am in the morning, or whatever time it is on, and when you compare the atmosphere at other grounds with what we have it's phenomenal. A lot of those stadiums are a bit sparse.”
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Lambert insists the Canaries should relish the prospect of a long haul midweek cup tie against Sam Allardyce's top flight outfit.
“No, I don't see it as a distraction,” he said. “It will be a really hard game. They are a Premiership side and it will be really, really tough. Do I want to win it? Of course, it doesn't matter what team I put out I want to win the game and get through. If you are in something you might as well try your best to go and win it.
“I know we'll have fans going up there and we owe it to them to try and get through. I haven't come up against him (Allardyce) but I've met him at a few of the dinners and he has an incredible track record. It's phenomenal what he has done, especially at Bolton, and then he had that little spell at Newcastle and now Blackburn, but he is a top man. I think they might make one or two changes as they have Arsenal at the weekend but I'll be pretty sure they won't want to get beat either. It's the same for them - any football match you play in, you want to win.”
Lambert knows City's fighting spirit will withstand a Premiership examination after staging another late, late show to sink Swansea that bore all the hallmarks of last season's League One triumph.
“Before the Watford game maybe everybody's expectancy levels was that we just had to turn up and win, but it was never going to be as easy as that,” he said. “Since that game we have played really well. Defensively we have been strong and I'm delighted with what we are doing at the minute. The crowd is with us, which is important, and Elliott Ward is getting better with each game and Michael (Nelson) has been great before picking up this injury.
“I thought for 25 minutes we were excellent on Saturday and then Swansea came right back into it and we couldn't get a kick for a spell. That is the nature of the game, when you are under pressure like that the important thing is not to capitulate -which we never did. I was pleased with the way we hung in and I always think we have goals in us, even if it's a counter attack, I think we can score and the lads know at any given time we can score.”