Lambert wouldn’t swap with Eriksson
There is a touch of the haves and have-nots when Paul Lambert takes his team to Leicester tonight – but the Canaries boss says he wouldn't swap places with his opposite number, Sven-Goran Eriksson.
The cosmopolitan Swede's CV includes Sampdoria, Lazio, Manchester City and, infamously at times, England. He is backed by Asian money which has helped him finance the reported �50,000 a week it took to persuade striker Yakubu to leave Everton and the Premier League behind for a spell in the Midlands.
So far, money has helped buy him success of a kind: since he walked through the door he has taken Leicester from third from bottom to the fringe of the play-offs.
At Carrow Road, Lambert has taken his team into the Championship and knocking on the door of an automatic promotion spot – all with a meagre budget and an eye for a bargain.
He acknowledges the differences, but doesn't even bat an eyelid when it is suggested he might be envious of what Eriksson has.
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'No,' is the answer. 'I am one of these people who doesn't look at the outside influence and think 'if only' or 'I wish I could have'.
'We are doing everything we can to give this club something back and if you ask me would I like to be in his position, no, because I am above him in the table at the minute. It might change towards the end but at the minute? No.'
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Lambert describes tonight's task as mammoth.
'They were in the play-offs last year so you are up against a team that just missed out last year and probably strengthened considerably with who they have brought in and what they have done so this is a mammoth, hard, hard game for us,' he said.
Signing Yakubu – a player who has commanded transfer fees totalling almost �19m during his career – from Everton in the January transfer window was a statement of intent; one that is out of Lambert's league.
'We cannot compete with that,' he said. 'There is no way we can compete with that. You can talk to me until you're blue in the face, but you can't, it is an impossibility.'
Leicester, in ninth, are eight points behind City, but the top six will remain where they are, albeit with some slight shuffling, no matter what happens on a full Championship programme tonight.
QPR are eight points clear of Swansea – 10 ahead of Norwich – but while Eriksson believes the Londoners are almost guaranteed promotion, Lambert isn't giving up.
'They are in the driving seat,' he said. 'They don't look like losing too many game, so it is in their own hands. I can't say whether it is feasible to try and do it. Every team up there will do their utmost to try and stop it from happening. We will be no different, we will try until someone tells me mathematically we can't do anything.'