Canaries are ready to spend

Manager Paul Lambert's January spending plans were given public backing by Norwich City's chairman and chief executive as the three men faced an audience of supporters at Carrow Road last night.

Lambert repeated his assertion that he must add new faces to his squad in the transfer window to maintain the momentum generated by the Canaries' bright start to the Premier League season, which has taken them into eighth place after 10 games.

And it was a view that found favour with the club's top brass as they answered questions at a fans' forum.

Chief executive David McNally confirmed: 'We intend to improve the squad in each transfer window and money will be made available, though I will sound a cautionary note about January, which is a really difficult window, even if you have money to spend.

'We need to look at what's available in terms of what type of player Paul wants and try to make these deals happen.'

Lambert said he and his management team had been planning for the next window.

'When you hit January you must make sure you get lads in. After the euphoria of the first four or five months in the Premier League, a bit of a dip can kick in and we don't want that to happen,' he said.

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'I think Blackpool did brilliantly to go to the wire last season but might have just lost a bit in January. We have to try to give the group a hand.'

Chairman Alan Bowkett added: 'We are doing quite well due to the fact we have a fantastic football team and management team.

'We manage to a budget. The board takes the decision about how much we can afford in football transfers and wages. Paul is given that budget, Paul takes the football decision and David executes them in terms of getting the contracts and doing the deal.'

He said money was in place for new signings and everything achieved over budget in the club's trading performance would be added to the fund.

'I won't say I'm comfortable but I'm more comfortable than I have ever been in two and a half years of being responsible for the club's corporate finances,' said Bowkett.

An audience of more than 100 was also told by McNally that discussions had begun about the possibility of putting temporary seating in the stadium, in front of the hotel in the Barclay Stand-Jarrold Stand corner, but it was unlikely to happen until spring.

Bowkett rejected the suggestion of supporter Roger Smith that City should 'strike while the iron is hot' and press ahead now with plans to redevelop the ground up to a proposed 35,000 capacity.

'We have taken the view that the priority for the next few years is to establish ourselves in the Premier League,' he said, adding that they should rebuild only after three consecutive years in the top flight.

'I would resign rather than risk the future of the club,' he said. 'Two and a half years ago you don't know how close we came to not being here. I'm never ever going to do that again.'

Lambert also confirmed that the club's new chief scout had been in place for some weeks, an appointment not previously announced.

Colin Jackson, who worked as a team analyst for City in League One and the Championship, preparing match reports on the opposition, has moved up to the post vacated by Ewan Chester, who moved to Birmingham City at the end of August.