Lambert prepared to change his style for the Premier League

Norwich boss Paul Lambert is ready to become a Premier League pragmatist to ensure the Canaries punch above their weight in the top flight.

Lambert's attacking philosophy has underpinned consecutive promotions from League One with City again on course to top the divisional goalscoring charts ahead of Saturday's Championship farewell against Coventry.

The Scot concedes playing reinforcements are inevitable over an exciting summer but Lambert and his backroom team will also be flexible enough to revise their winning formula to compete with the big boys.

'Football is about winning and we would want to do that in the Premiership. It wouldn't be enough just to be there,' he said. 'We've been described as a cavalier side and that's fair enough. I might have to change it a bit for certain games. I'd rather play poorly sometimes and nick a point than lose all the time.

'I never played in it but I don't need to be Einstein to sit here and think, 'it's going to be brilliant for us'. It will be great. The lads are going to enjoy it. However, if we are playing Manchester United one weekend then Arsenal on a Tuesday I might give a different answer. But it sounds good.


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'The players wouldn't have done this if they weren't good. We will bring in players to help them but the lads who have got us there deserve the chance to give it a go. You have to stretch footballers and take them to the edge at times but the biggest thing is they have to play with no fear.'

Lambert feels guiding Norwich back into the Premier League and trying to stay there is less daunting a prospect than taking his first tentative steps on the coaching ladder. The City chief returned to Germany to study during the twilight of his Celtic playing career after a successful stint at Borussia Dortmund.

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'It was pretty daunting but it was what I wanted to do and I was determined to see it through – even if the first day reminded me of my first day at school, only at least I spoke the language at my school,' he said. 'There were 26 Germans, a Greek and myself and I wondered if I would fit in. But once I got into it I really enjoyed it. A friend got all the paperwork translated for me so I could go back to the hotel and study at night.

'Then I would fly home on the Thursday night, train with the Celtic boys on a Friday and almost invariably sit on the bench at the weekend. After seven months I sat down in front of two examiners, a bundle of nerves, and by the end of it had a licence that will allow me to coach anywhere in Europe. To get on in life you can't always take the easy option. I like setting myself challenges and seeing them through.'

Former Hoops' boss Martin O'Neill is portrayed as Lambert's managerial mentor but the architect of Norwich's double promotion revealed it was ex-Scotland national chief Berti Vogts who smoothed his transition from the playing ranks.

'Berti is the man I have to thank for helping me get into coaching in my final season at Celtic,' Lambert told the Daily Record. 'He put me in touch with Erich Rutermuller who ran the German FA course and I went to see him.

'He left me under no illusion as to how difficult it would be in terms of time management, because I was still playing for Celtic, and in terms of the language difficulties.

'It didn't put me off, though, and I came home to speak with Martin O'Neill and to see if he would allow me to do it. Celtic's only stipulation was that in an injury emergency they would want me back. That did happen twice but I always managed to catch up on the course.'

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