Lambert: I’ve never thought of leaving Norwich City
AUDIO: Paul Lambert barely raised a smile, but described the 36 hours leading up to Saturday's FA Cup defeat by Leyton Orient randomly as 'ridiculous', 'out of control' and 'nonsense'.
Burnley's desire to speak to Lambert over their managerial vacancy – and City's point-blank refusal – set the wheels in motion for a day and a half of intense speculation which only settled down when Lambert was forced to issue a statement saying that he was going nowhere.
The events were a distraction leading to the match were the main topic of conversation even in the aftermath with Lambert – who on Friday morning had refused to add to the club statement – having his say about the cause and the effect.
'It's been ridiculous, it really has,' he said. 'It has escalated into something that was just going out of control and when I said on Friday that was it, the media don't help.
'Not every one of you. You just fuel it and put two and two together and come up with about 949, which is wrong because you were telling people that I was leaving and I don't hang about clubs for that long.
'That's lies, that's not right, because I was at Wycombe for two years and I loved it there and I only left because we took it as far as we could go: my choice.
'Colchester I was there for a short time, which I enjoyed, and had a good opportunity to come here, so I was never going to walk out.
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'I love the club. It is an absolute honour to be manager of it. I think when you are a manager of Norwich, however long it may be – what a club it is to manage, it really is.
'It's fantastic, and I have a great rapport with the fans and the lads have been brilliant for me and we have bought up a good thing, so that is why the statement was as simple as what it was. I didn't have to justify myself to anything.
'I think morally it is wrong. You go through stages in your career, whether you are a footballer or not, and the rapport I have got with people here is really a unique thing.
'Last night was just escalating into something which it should never ever have escalated to. They are worried I am going to walk away and I hear so much nonsense that I think this has got to stop. It is a privilege to be manager here.
'I have never ever once thought about leaving. Never. That is the sad thing.
'I can't stop the speculation, I can't stop people saying what they want to say, but I never once have come out and thought to myself, 'I'm going to leave.
'I have never said that to anybody because it has been incredible what has happened.'
Since Lambert came to City in August 2009 there have been an awful lot more highs than lows, but Saturday's defeat at the hands of the League One visitors will go into the latter category – although it's clear where the priorities are.
'We never deserved anything from it and when you set yourself high standards and you don't match them it is disappointing, but the main thing is the league, that's the main thing,' said Lambert.
'We had too much of the ball, which sometimes can be detrimental to you because you run out of ideas. We tried to score the perfect goal, which was too hard for us on this given day.
'Disappointed to lose, everybody is, but I also know what the bigger picture is.
'All credit to them, they deserved to go through and I wish them all the luck in the next round.'