Lambert begins search for ‘11 sober players’

It's party time at Carrow Road this afternoon – and Canaries manager Paul Lambert won't prevent any of his players from joining in the promotion celebrations.

What sort of state they are in is a matter of conjecture: Lambert knows they have partied hard this week, but is determined that they enjoy their day.

'I am going to try and get 11 sober lads out there I think,' joked Lambert, who was reunited with his squad yesterday, having not seen them since the historic win at Portsmouth on Monday night.

'I need to breathalyze them this morning to see if they will be alright. Ian Culverhouse might get a game.

'It could be 46-0 to Coventry, I am not going to let it blight it. They have been partying for god knows how long and I would do the same if I could still play the game. They deserve the biggest party and I am pretty sure that crowd will get right behind them, no matter what, just get right behind them.

'I am pretty sure the game will be absolutely brilliant for them, I think it will be a great occasion. Whatever happens they have been brilliant.'

Lambert is expecting any minor bumps and bruises to be forgotten, with players desperate to run out for the final game of an incredible season.

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'I know roughly the team who will play,' he said. 'I don't think they will want to show it (a knock). It's normal for a celebration and I am pretty sure all the lads will be wanting to play. It's the last game for the loan lads as well and you have to thank them for what they have done. They have bought right into it. You wouldn't think they are loans, those lads. You would just think they're your own. They have come into the football club and I want to say a big thanks to those lads as well.

'It's the first time I can probably sit back in a game and think, 'we have done brilliant and I don't need to have any pressure on my shoulders'. I still want to win the game – probably what I am saying to you will change when I speak to the players.'

The match will be played out against an uncertain background – if QPR are found guilty of breaking player registration rules and deducted points, City could end the season as champions.

'I don't care,' he said. 'We can't influence what happens at QPR. We have done what we wanted to do and, yes, it would be great to win another league – it might still happen, it might not.'