An incredible journey that took Norwich City boss Lambert to the top
Paul Lambert has taken time out from Norwich City's promotion celebrations to reflect on the long path from rookie manager in Scotland to Premier League new boy.
The incredible journey has taken the Canaries boss less than six years to accomplish – and he insists he wouldn't have swapped a day in the world of football's ups and downs.
'You get more knocks in football than the front door does,' said Lambert.
'It's how you come back from them. I had it as a player – people knock you and you keep going and you keep going.
'As long as you never get beat by it, I think that's the big thing.
'I don't like to lose or anything like that – the hunger and the desire has always been there.'
Lambert's managerial journey started at Livingston in June, 2005, but lasted just seven months – after a run of poor form Lambert resigned.
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He joined Wycombe Wanderers the following summer and took them to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup before resigning in May, 2008, after the club were beaten by Stockport in the League Two play-offs.
Lambert's next stop was Colchester, where he took the Us from fifth from bottom of League One to a mid-table finish, before leaving for Norwich in August, 2009.
The rest is history – but Lambert admits he owes a debt of gratitude to former employers.
'I wouldn't have changed Livingston for anything,' he said. 'I wouldn't have changed Wycombe for anything. I wouldn't have changed Colchester for anything – and I certainly wouldn't change this.
'It has been a great upbringing, learning in League Two and League One. It was brilliant. The lads at Wycombe were fantastic for me, getting in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup was terrific and just missing out in the play-offs was a sore one to take.
'Colchester was great – they were bottom and we had to try and get them going – and then obviously this happened.'
Lambert's playing careers him rub shoulders with some of the great players and managers and he had a special word for close friend Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager who is chasing a Scottish league and cup double but has had to deal with being the victim of a hate campaign in the deeply divided city.
'I would love him to do it,' said Lambert. 'He is a brilliant friend, a brilliant footballer and I would love him to do it, I really would. He has had so much nonsense going through his brain probably with the stuff that has been going on.
'I know how hard that club is to play for let alone manage, but he is a top lad and for him I would love to see him do it.'
Lambert's attention is already on the Premier League campaign, but he says he hasn't thought about the prospect of sharing the Carrow Road touchline with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson.
'As long as we change the dugouts because I can't see Sir Alex Ferguson sitting on a park bench,' said Lambert, with a smile.
'That'll be the first task we have to get done. It's brilliant for those type of people to come down here after so long.
'It's not just that, it is everything; the type of players that are going to come here, the teams that are going to come here – but you are talking about managers that have seen it, done it, done everything.'