Lambert - Survival won’t be sacrificed

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert has got his priorities straight.

If offered the glory of a Carling Cup win in return for relinquishing the place in the Premier League City have worked so hard to earn over the last two years, then it's a no-contest for the Scot.

Ahead of City's Carling Cup second round match against MK Dons this evening at Carrow Road, Lambert acknowledged the competition presents a chance for clubs outside of the Big Four to win some silverware.

However, Lambert is not focused on a big one-off day out at Wembley – he wants sustained success and that means dining at English football's top table.

That's not to say City won't be going all out for victory this evening, Norwich don't know any other way nowadays, but a repeat of City's 1985 Milk Cup win followed by relegation, is not a prospect Lambert is keen on repeating.


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'Yes (I would want to win it) but I wouldn't want to get relegated,' he said. 'If you're in something then you go and try and win it – it was a terrific achievement for Birmingham, but I'm pretty sure if you asked people there if they would sacrifice it for staying in the league then they would.'

Lambert is ready to shuffle his pack this evening for the visit of Karl Robinson's Dons, who currently sit top of League One after taking 10 points from their opening four games.

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None of the side that came so agonisingly close to taking all three points against Stoke City on Sunday is likely to be called upon, with Lambert set to take the opportunity to use squad members that have not had a taste of Premier League action yet.'There will be changes – there's no doubt that, we can't turn it around that quick,' he said after revealing the club will not be appealing Leon Barnett's red card against Stoke. 'The lads that played yesterday had a hard, hard game so the squad is big enough to change it around and that's what I'll do.

'Whatever team I go with will be strong. If we're in it then we have go to go and try and win the game – we're duty-bound with a big crowd coming. We will do everything we can to win the game – that's the way we've always viewed things.'

Several of the squad's fringe members may feel that they have a point to prove to the manager, but Lambert is adamant that every single member of his 25-man squad will be needed over the course of the season. He knows what attributes each member can bring to the party – but that won't stop players wanting to take his eye with the prospect of a starting place at Chelsea on Saturday at stake.

'No, they don't have a point to prove – I know what they can do,' he said. 'I changed a lot of them from the Wigan game – they know what it's like so it's not as if I'm resting people for the sake of resting them. It's just a case of picking a team which I think can go and win the game.'

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