Norwich City chief executive David McNally has pledged to do ‘everything we can’ to hold on to Paul Lambert.

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The Canaries’ boss was last night installed as a short-priced favourite to replace Alex McLeish at Aston Villa with one leading bookmaker after the Scot’s sacking in the wake of the Midlanders’ weekend 2-0 Premier League defeat at Carrow Road.

Lambert was heavily touted recently as a potential Villa Park replacement for his success in guiding Norwich to consecutive promotions and a 12th-placed top flight finish.

The City manager remained non–committal when questioned over his long-term future following the club’s winning weekend finale, but McNally – speaking on Sunday – reiterated the club’s firm stance for any potential suitors.

“We would not welcome any enquiry for our football manager or any of the club’s football players,” he said. “We will do everything we can and fight this as hard as we have ever fought. If I was at another football club and I was looking for another manager he’d be top of my list. In any business you need to look at what might happen – the what ifs, but we are focused on keeping our manager and the footballers he wants to retain at the club and to bring in better footballers to complement the club.

“I want other clubs to covet our manager and I want other clubs to want our players, because if they do that means we’re doing something right. It is almost obvious, isn’t it, that clubs would like to have them at their football club.”

McNally emphasised City’s success has been built on retaining their most valuable assets.

“Our players and our football manager have punched above their weight again this season,” he told BBC Radio Norfolk. “Let’s not forget but in the past three years we have signed 26 or 27 players on permanent deals or long-term loans. We have not sold one player against the club’s will in three years – despite the club going through the worst financial crisis in our history. Not one player has left this club that we didn’t wish to leave this club so we have not been bad at ensuring we manage our squad carefully. Of course we would like Paul to be here for the long term and we will do everything we can to encourage him to be here for the long term.”

Villa’s hierarchy issued a statement yesterday afternoon confirming McLeish’s contract had been terminated with immediate effect following talks with chairman Randy Lerner. “We need to be clear and candid with ourselves and with supporters about what we have lacked in recent years,” said Lerner.

“Compelling play and results that instil a sense of confidence that Villa is on the right track have been plainly absent. The most immediate action that we can take is to look carefully at our options.”

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15 comments

  • Paul Lambert has been a great manager for Norwich. Thanks to him and the players willingness to work their hearts out, they have achieved over and above all expectations. But Mr Lambert will go to a bigger club . He is rightly ambitious ,that is why he left Colchester to join Norwich. His ambition is the driving force behind his success. I just hope that when he does leave , to Villa or wherever, the City fans wish him well. And remember his achievements that will be the foundation for future success.

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    norman hall

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • I don't think Lambert is holding the club or fans to ransom. As usual, we know nothing about what is going on behind the scenes, and what conversations can actually be taking place when Lambert doesn't even know if he is their 1st choice? Swiss, you're spot on about Lambert's attitude to announcements and to be honest I am not reading too much into what he said or left unsaid on Saturday. He knows that no matter what he says or does the press will find an angle to say what they want anyway.

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    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • He needs to give PL a good transfer kitty. He needs to get PL to have a long chat with MON about Randy Lerner and his plans for Villa. He needs to be able to offer PL a decent salary.

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    Soglio Star

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • i wonder why martin o neil walked out when he did?something is not right at villa.

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    bluelight

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • Lambert must now stop holding the Club and its fans to ransom. Or stop allowing the low-life in the media (ie most of them) to give that impression. Nobody is irreplaceable, Paul. Mortality is God`s only gift. Hero worship is ephemeral.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • Whilst we procrastinate on what may, or maynot be, it looks as if Martin Jol is going to nick Jordan Rhodes from under our noses for £3.5M

    Report this comment

    Algarve Canary

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • So Mr McNally dosen't want other clubs doing what he did to Colchester! Interesting.

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    smithrob

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • Richard Bonham has it right. Remember Walker`s fall from Grace when he left for the greener pastures of Everton? It would be good if Lambo just said "I`m staying here". I think he will. The prevarication is an irritant. Good will is an ephemeral commodity, Paul.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • Every Norwich fan will have nothing else on their minds regarding Paul Lambert , will he won't he go until he dispels the strong rumours that he is about to turn his back on yet another club. You would hope that the fact he has assembled his own team and instilled a belief in the squad would be a saving factor but the lure of more money usually wins over common sense. If PL is in two minds he would do well to remember what the Canaries achieved not so long ago with the right manager and players in Europe. We can be excused for doubting his loyalty simply because of his attitude at the press conference.

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    Richard Bonham

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • Football is like anything else smithrob. Don't let a bit of hypocrisy put you off. If you look hard enough @ yourself I bet you'll find some in your own life. I can certainly find plenty in mine LOL!

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • As we all know we've had a fantastic season and we've all made comments about how we've achieved in 3 years what was planned to take seven. Well now's the time for the board and PL to sit down and create a new seven year plan. PL is no different from us supporters, he wants to know he's associated with a club that has real ambition and plans that are more than just pipe dreams. A bigger transfer kitty on its own is not the answer, nor is a bigger salary. What's needed is a new well thought through ambitious plan - that's properly financed - one that PL can see will be perfect for his ambitions, perfect for todays players (and the future ones he wants to bring in) and perfect for us supporters. This is not the time for consolidation, this is the time to plan a new brighter future. ILWT, IMcNWT, IDWT. OTBC

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    aeleven

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • Why leave Norwich for Villa ? ,Paul has not completed his task at Norwich,Why leave with a job only half done,he has done a great job at Norwich BUT needs to consolidate this.

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    Gerald Edgecombe

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • Lambert is the epitomy of caution when it comes to announcements. He makes no secret of his ambition and that is one of the things that drives him and makes us happy. Success is going to bring thses dilemas and I would rather that we were successful. We could not have a tougher advocate than McNally in a situation like this. What we do not have is the budget of many other clubs. The Villa board room seems a little confused, Randy does not seem to be a quick Lerner. PL knows what has not worked as well as how it has reallz worked for him at Norwich. Let's hope that our board can keep a hold of PL. IMcNWT, IDWT.

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    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • We need to give Lambert the funds to do the job and to match his salary to that of any offered to him. It would also be good for McNally to come out and say if an approach has been made by Villa .

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    leslie cater

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • bluelight - MON walked out on the back of wanting to press onwards after 3 x top 6 finishes, but Lerner denied him the funds he required. Yanks seem - apart from the Glazers - to insist that clubs operate within very strict funding parameters (much like City), and it remains to be seen how much Villa actually have available. This is possibly another factor which could sway PL to stay. City finishing 4 places higher earned an extra 3.2 million, and are in process of clearing debts.

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    Soglio Star

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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