Alex Neil is not interested in Paul Lambert comparisons at Norwich City

Norwich City manager Alex Neil is looking forward to his first meeting with Paul Lambert.
Picture b

Norwich City manager Alex Neil is looking forward to his first meeting with Paul Lambert. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil accepts the parallels but the Norwich City boss does not want to be compared to Paul Lambert.

The Scottish duo have both left their mark on the Canaries but Neil sought to downplay the significance of a first competitive meeting.

'I don't actually know Paul but we are from the same neck of the woods in Scotland. Both of us got promotions early in our careers. I think it is fair to say there are similarities. I can see why people might see that,' he said. 'Paul did well, brought the club up in the past, but, equally, I got the club promoted. It is like anything else, players, coaches, managers, sometimes when they go the history gets better the longer they have gone. I know it didn't end particularly well for both parties but that has nothing to do with me.

'People will make up their own minds about me, about Paul. You have respect for any manager because this is a difficult job. He wants his team to win, I want mine. Of course I was aware of the job he was doing at Norwich when I was in Scotland. He had a good time here as manager but like everything else time moves on.'

Lambert has another rebuilding job on his hands at Molineux after replacing Walter Zenga in November.

'You don't get jobs at the clubs he has unless you are a good manager and you know what you are doing,' he said. 'Whenever you go to a new club a lot of the time you don't know what you are dealing with until you walk in the door. I am pretty confident Paul would have dealt with a host of different circumstances at each of his clubs.

'I know in my experience the jobs that I have had have been very different. Sometimes you have a plethora of talent, others times you have to do the best with what you have got. The politics can be quite different at each club. That can have a huge bearing on everything going forward.

Most Read

'They have the boy (Helder) Costa on loan, who is worth millions of pounds, they bought (Ivan) Cavaleiro for £7m, (Jon Dadi) Bodvarsson for a few million.

'This is not a club where he has walked in and they have no quality. They have plenty of attacking options. The boy (Dominic) Iorfa is worth maybe £7m plus and he is sitting on the bench so let's not kid on they are a small team and he is dealing with nothing. They have some good players.'

Neil can detect Lambert's swashbuckling style is already rubbing off on a Wolves' squad who arrive at Carrow Road having lost only once in the last six games.

'They are very aggressive, they commit men forward quickly, they want to get players into the box and they want to score goals,' he said. 'That is something as a spectator you would like to see. The manner in which they play will make for an open game because we will look to get on the front foot as the home team. It could be really open. The clean sheets tells me their attack has had the upper hand.'

Norwich need wins to eat into an eight-point gap to the play-off spots.

'The result is the most important thing. We need to get points on the board and we need to plug that gap as quickly as possible. That must start against Wolves,' said the City chief. 'We have to make it as uncomfortable as we can for the clubs above us. Everybody connected with Norwich wants to win the game. The best way of doing that is for the fans to be vocal and supportive of the players and get behind them. I fully appreciate and understand that we have to give them a performance to shout about. I don't disagree with that at all. Derby, second-half, they were excellent and the players responded.'