Lambert’s statement is music to Norwich City fans’ ears
Paul Lambert told every Norwich City fan what they wanted to hear on Friday night by insisting 'I'm going nowhere'.
The Canaries boss ended a day of frenzied speculation over his future by declaring that he wanted to put the speculation linking him with the managerial vacancy at Championship rivals Burnley 'to bed'.
Lambert's name had been linked with the Lancashire side after they sacked manager Brian Laws at the end of last month, but it came to a head on Thursday night when Burnley confirmed publicly that they had made an official approach to City to speak to the manager.
That approach was quickly rebuffed by City, who issued a statement saying that they would fight tooth and nail to keep the man who has led them from the depths of League One when he was appointed in August, 2009, to third place in the Championship and with genuine hopes of winning promotion to the top flight.
Lambert had left fans with more questions than answers yesterday morning when he steadfastly refused to comment on the situation when he met the media at is usual pre-match press conference at City's Colney training centre.
The speculation snowballed into a frenzy, calmed only by Lambert's statement on the club's official web site last night in which he said the link with Burnley was wide of the mark.
'I said last week there was nothing in the Burnley speculation,' said Lambert.
- 1 'Once in a lifetime catch' - man lands monster fish in Norfolk
- 2 Norfolk village named among poshest places to live in the UK
- 3 Doctors baffled by teenager's horrific long Covid symptoms
- 4 Drunk student crashed into hotel wall after drinking tequilas
- 5 Couple explores Norfolk homes in Escape to the Country
- 6 Norfolk man amongst UK's 12 most wanted
- 7 'Fantastic, loving, cheeky' 19-year-old killed in motorbike crash
- 8 MAPPED: Where thousands of homes could be built in north Norfolk
- 9 Pub near Dereham has its first winners of steak-eating challenge
- 10 Tucked-away house in same family for over 100 years up for sale
'Today I said I was happy with the club's statement and I meant it. I can't stop speculation linking me with other clubs, but I've said on numerous occasions before that I am happy here and that is still the case.
'The players and the fans have been tremendous for us since we joined here and what they have achieved over the last 16 months or so is absolutely phenomenal, as I keep saying. We've got a job to do here, starting with an important FA Cup match against Leyton Orient and that's what I want everyone to be focusing on.
'I want to put the speculation to bed – I've never had any intention of going elsewhere and nothing has changed.
'All the speculation is wide of the mark and hopefully now the rumour mill about the Burnley job can focus elsewhere and we can all move on.'
The words will be music to the ears of City fans, many of whom spent yesterday trying to separate fact from fiction as the rumour mill hit top gear – and more.
One national radio station claimed during the day that Lambert had resigned, a spoof Delia Smith Twitter account was making its own comments and a camera crew 'doorstepped' Lambert as he left Carrow Road in his car later in the afternoon.
The truth was that the situation, in essence, had not changed during a day which began with his press conference.
The assembled media were told he would answer questions only regarding the match – with player interviews to be conducted only on the proviso that questions were match-related.
Attempts to bring up the subject of Burnley's approach were quickly dealt with.
Q: You are definitely not going to say anything?
'No, you've seen the statement so ...'
Q: You are happy with that?
'Yes – we have got the game tomorrow so I am looking forward to that and trying to get through the round. I will say it once, just ask me about the game, that's what I am here for is to win a game.
'Don't push me on anything because the statement is there as we have already told you.
'I am concentrating on the Leyton Orient game.'
Even Roy Keane's dismissal from Ipswich Town elicited more comment than his own position.
'It's really sad,' Lambert said. 'I get on well with Roy, an absolute top bloke, a brilliant footballer. You never like to see anybody lose their job, but I am sure he will bounce back.'
But after what must have seemed like almost 24 hours of frustration and nervousness, City fans are likely to ensure Lambert receives a raucous reception this afternoon.