Bowkett: Lambert is going nowhere
Chris LakeyNorwich City say they will fight any attempts to lure Paul Lambert away from Carrow Road amid speculation that the Canaries manager is wanted by Premier League side Burnley.Chris Lakey
Norwich City say they will fight any attempts to lure Paul Lambert away from Carrow Road amid speculation that the Canaries manager is wanted by Premier League side Burnley.
Bookmakers yesterday slashed the odds on Lambert moving to Turf Moor after a flurry of bets within the space of a few hours in Lancashire and in Glasgow.
Lambert went from 16-1 to odds-on favourite with some bookmakers, but City chairman Alan Bowkett issued a simple warning: 'He's going nowhere.'
The 40-year-old has been a stunning success since he was appointed in August, leading City into the second automatic promotion place on the back of an unbeaten run which stretches back 11 games.
'He's staying with us and we have every confidence if Paul were approached and offered the position he would wish to stay with us,' said Bowkett.
'I think without Paul none of this would have worked to be honest. I think he has been the magic bullet to solve our problems because in reality, let's not fool ourselves, you can be the best run football club in the world, but if the football's rubbish you've got real problems and Paul has brought a steeliness and a motivation to the football club which was greatly required.
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'The other thing is, people like working with him.
'He's got that skill of a leader that people want to be working with him and even when he's not very happy with you people will listen and take notice because they realise this is a guy who has done it.'
The link comes as City revealed a loss of �5m for last year which has taken their debt to �23m, but Bowkett said Lambert's enthusiasm for the job is stronger than any monetary considerations.
'I would look at it the other way - that Paul is so enthused about working here, and I think he wants to work for the fans,' he said. 'He is just incredibly motivated by their support and their encouragement and I think he would find it extremely difficult to leave.
'Equally he is an ambitious individual who wants to achieve things and to do that he has got to start winning and I would like to think he can win here and get us promotion and get us into a promotion position next year.
'And to be perfectly brutal, it is probable that we will be in the Championship next year and it is probable that Burnley will be in the Championship next year and I think Paul would prefer to work for the Norwich fans than the Burnley fans.'
Chief executive David McNally, who persuaded the board to bring in Lambert back in August to replace the axed Bryan Gunn, said he welcomed the speculation.
'It is interesting it is not just Paul being linked with Burnley today, but the last week or so people have been asking us, 'are we going to keep hold of Grant Holt and Wes Hoolahan'?' he said.
'Please, please, please give me these problems. These are the problems that any successful football club really encourages. We want these questions, we want these issues.
'Paul Lambert is likely to be linked with every vacant managerial position from all over Europe through to the Premier League because he is clearly a very capable manager
'On the Burnley issue, we have had no contact with Burnley, he has had no contact from Burnley.
'We have said that, we have recognised that Paul Lambert will manage in the Premier League one day. We want that to be with us.
'The reason we joined the football club is to see this club progress. We want to get to the Championship as quickly as possible, but as soon as we are there we are looking up.'