Norwich boss Lambert consults his band of brothers

Paul Lambert has sought the counsel of the Premier League's Scottish band of brothers to help equip the Canaries for life back in the top flight.

Lambert revealed wise words from the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish have underpinned his summer strategy to deal with the big boys ahead of today's opener at Wigan.

'I had a good chat with Kenny – I've spoken to all the Scottish managers,' he said. 'They've been great. We've got the best one at the helm in Sir Alex, Kenny's done great at Liverpool, David Moyes at Everton, Alex (McLeish) has moved to Aston Villa, Stevie (Kean) at Blackburn and Oweny (Owen Coyle) at Bolton, who has done great. I've spoken to them all. It's great when you can talk your own language.

'I spoke to him (Sir Alex) regarding Ritchie De Laet, I had a chat with him there. He said it's hard. Look how long he has been in the game and he is probably the greatest manager that Britain has ever produced really. I know the pitfalls of it, I know that if you don't win you are in trouble.'

Lambert wants City to aim high, but Premier League safety is the priority. - however many points it takes.


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'After last season in the Premier League when clubs went down with I don't know how many points, you just don't know,' he said. 'We don't know how many points are going to keep teams up this time. It's not written down anywhere.

'I don't know, it's just about getting as many points as we can. Now we are in it, we have to get a foothold to try and stay in it pretty quickly.

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'You have to keep building. This is the best league in the world and we have to try and stay in. I know I'll not be here if we play well and get beat. There is no point playing the game if you don't want to win. I like to see football played in the right way, but I know what will happen if I lose nine in a row. It's great to play fantastic football - but not if we don't get that many points to stay in the league.'

Lambert is well aware 17th or higher come next May is essential for the club's long term growth.

'Just to stay in the league is a terrific achievement. Every Norwich fan knows that and it would surpass anything we have done before because of the magnitude of that achievement,' he said.

'I don't know how big the gap is between the Championship and the Premier League because I've never been in it. I watch it, like everybody else and it's the best league.

'Hopefully Norwich is more stable than it was a few years ago. It has moved on really quickly.

'The board has been great in my time and there are some very nice people on it who have took unfair criticism when the club was relegated. There have been periods that have been difficult, things a lot of clubs go through like relegation, but we have managed to come through that.'

Lambert believes the Canary Nation can look forward to a bright future this season after moulding a group of players he feels can compete in such exalted company.

'How do you know these players can't play in the Premier League until you give them a chance? I don't know if they can do it in the Premier League, they haven't been here before,' he said.

'There is no point being here if we don't think we can compete. I've got no worries with the lads. They will be motivated to try and win, but moving up to the Premier League, they will have to learn to adapt very quickly.

'I am not frightened by the players adapting to it, I think the players will thrive on it. These players have stepped up in the last couple of years.'

Lambert insists only a collective effort will be good enough with every member of his 25-man squad expected to do their duty.

'It's a chance for everybody, every player in the building to go and make a name for themselves,' he said. 'The main thing is as a group that they hang in at times.

'You hope a few players will thrive on it although it may take a while for some others. I am going to need everybody throughout the season.

'I am going to have to get everybody onside, and if we can stick together then hopefully we will be okay.'

Lambert's men earned plenty of plaudits as well as a double promotion for their attacking verve, but the City boss reiterated he is more than ready to adopt a pragmatic approach for the greater good.

'Staying in the Premier League is our main objective,' he said. 'Playing nice football only matters if you're winning. There's no point if you're playing great and getting beat, that's for sure. If we can play the right way, then great. The philosophy will always be there to try to play as well as we can – but fantastic football is not going to keep us in the league.

'You look at a club like Stoke and that is a phenomenal story and Blackpool only just missed out.

'They gave it one hell of a fight. All we can do is everything we can to stay in the league – but you can't compare yourself to any other club.'

Lambert rules out any thoughts of stage fright from him or his squad of players as he prepares for his first-ever Premier League game at the DW Stadium.

'I am just the same. It is not going to change me as a person, that is for sure,' he said. 'I am not nervous at all, I am looking forward to it all, the atmosphere will be great with Norwich taking 4,500 fans up there.

'It is new for us and the players, but we have earned the right to play them so we will give it a go.

'Our fans will make a big difference to the league. They 'll be good for it and hopefully we are a credit to ourselves. The prestige is great for everybody connected with the club and we will just have to see how it goes. There is no turning back now, because the game is upon us. The last two years have been great, but they are in the past.'

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