Lambert’s pledge on Norwich City’s Premier League transfers
The Canaries' plans for their Premier League return will not include potential new recruits eyeing 'little old Norwich', according to manager Paul Lambert.
Norwich City's �42m summer windfall for booking a place at the top table of English football will mean an important close-season transfer plan at Carrow Road, as City look to do a better job than their one-season stop in the Premier League seven seasons ago.
Fairly or not, some fans criticised the club back in 2004-05 for what they felt was an overly cautious approach to the talent and money that washes through the Premier League.
However, Lambert has set out his 2011-12 stall – hungry winners are on the list; the rest need not apply.
'If you can play without fear it's amazing what it can do,' said Lambert. 'I don't want somebody just to come and think it's going to be little old Norwich and a nice place to live. I don't want that.
'I want people that are hungry and I want people that will try and have a desire to go and win football matches. I don't want people that are just going to come here for an easy life.
'We'll need a few, don't get me wrong. We need the lads to come and give the current group a hand, and if we get the right ones in and they bond together, and they have a good work ethic, you just don't know where it could take you.'
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As with a number of his current squad, next season will be Lambert's first competitive taste of the Premier League – and given it is only 12 months since City were competing in League One, the jump in standard will be vast as the Canaries come face to face with some of the best teams in Europe.
However, Lambert believes promotion can never come too soon: 'I look at the Premier League from the outside looking in and it's brilliant. There's no doubt the coverage it gets, everything about it, everything that can happen is geared to the Premier League.
'People have said to me is it too soon? It's never too soon. I'd rather be there than not, take my chance if I'm there and if you get to go then, listen, we're going to give it a go. Whether that is going to be good enough right through, you don't know.
'But as we've said before, Blackpool earned the right to play there, earned the right to do it, and if they stay in the league they've earned the right to so.
'It's incredible, an amazing story what has happened there – and equally so it's been an absolute miracle what has happened here.'
Lambert's days as a player are well documented: a hero at Celtic, Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund.
But the feeling of securing automatic promotion from the Championship at the first time of asking on Monday night at Portsmouth was as good as it gets for the City manager.
Back-to-back promotions has inspired talk of Lambert being given the freedom of Norwich for his side's historic achievement – yet Lambert still doubts his arrival at Carrow Road on August 18, 2009, was particularly well received: a mark of just how high his stock has risen since.
'I'm pretty sure that if you interviewed every Norwich fan they would not have wanted me, because I wasn't a name and I wasn't probably big enough in their eyes to come and take the job on,' said Lambert.
'When you win something, especially when it's a major thing, it doesn't really sink in I think until a few days later.
'It was the same with the Champions League when I won that as a player. You don't realise what you've done until maybe years down the line.
'But the actual feeling of Monday night was every bit as satisfying as that, because you are the manager of the football club and you have got to have lads that are going to run for you and give you everything you've got.'
City are guaranteed second place – although they could yet be handed the silverware if leaders QPR are deducted points before the weekend. The London club are in the middle of a three-day hearing to answer seven FA charges over Alejandro Faurlin's arrival in 2009, with a verdict expected tomorrow, the day before the final round of Championship games.
If found guilty, the punishment could range from a heavy fine to the sort of points deduction that could scupper Rangers' promotion hopes and hand Norwich a second successive title.
'Whether we get the opportunity to win the league we'll wait and see,' Lambert said. 'Would I like to win the league? Absolutely. I don't just want a T-shirt, I'd rather have a trophy.
'We can't do any more other than win our last game against Coventry. We can't influence an FA hearing. What will happen will happen – but the main thing is we are up.'