Lambert just wants more of the same
Four games, 360 minutes of football – and by the end of it, Norwich City could be a Premier League team for the first time since May, 2005.
Should they fall short, then an extended season, courtesy of the play-offs, is the most likely scenario.
Either way, there are 90 million reasons why the next few weeks are vital to the future of Norwich City Football Club, with untold riches awaiting the victors.
The financial rewards are head-spinning, the prospects of playing some of the world's best players equally mind-boggling for as club that two years ago was dropping like a stone into League One.
If the pressure is on players and management at this late stage of the season, you'd struggle to find it at the Colney training centre.
Paul Lambert, aside from playing his cards close to his chest regarding injuries – 'they all seem okay,' was his verdict – was calmness personified. His players are in similar mood. That's the way it is down there – it's business as usual.
The reason is simple. 'Because a derby game doesn't define your season, it's the 40-odd games before and after.'
- 1 Carriageway of A11 closed after air ambulance called to crash
- 2 Man dies after collapsing during dog walk in Norfolk village
- 3 Drink driving teacher crashed into church wall with baby in car
- 4 Michael Bublé concert bans chairs and blankets from gig
- 5 7 of the prettiest villages in north Norfolk
- 6 A47 reopens after serious crash near Swaffham
- 7 Recycling centre closures planned as part of £15m County Hall cuts
- 8 11 indulgent spa getaways in East Anglia
- 9 Family sue Wetherspoon after man falls to death in city pub
- 10 Fire crews called to vehicle blaze on A47
City go into the game on the back of a 2-1 home win over play-off chasing Nottingham Forest on Friday; they're in fine fettle.
'I think the team is playing really well,' said Lambert. 'We are playing without fear and the confidence is really high. Sometimes teams can get edgy, but my team at the minute seem to be thriving on the position they are in. Whether they are going to do it you have to wait and see, but the way they are playing there is great confidence around them. It is just a matter of ticking them over and hopefully they go and win more games than not.'
Lambert almost makes the job sound easy.
'In the nearly two years I have been here it has always been the same,' he said. 'They have gone out and played the game and played their way and they have been terrific for me.'
Pressure is something football people have to live with. Lambert has had his own: winning the European Cup, playing in the World Cup, turning out for Celtic – none of that is fore the faint of heart. But Lambert lives for today, not yesterday.
'Everybody in the city will handle it differently from everybody else,' he said. 'It's just how I handle it and how the players handle it. On a personal note I have been involved in massive games before and this is every bit as big as every game I have been involved in, but my demeanour is just the same.
'Whoever sits in the manager's chair at Norwich should always have it. You have got to have pressure anyway – if you don't, you don't perform. That is just my view on it, people might view it differently. You have got to have pressure to perform. The lads know the pressure is there but the beauty about them is they are seeing it through. They are not buckling in any way and they are not wilting in any way.'
Whether City can afford to do anything other than win isn't up fore debate.
'We go and try and win,' said Lambert. 'I don't have anything in my head other than go and win it. Every game we have been involved in with Norwich City we have always tried to get on the front foot and win, and more times than not we have managed to do it. I'm not going to change the philosophy.'