Norwich City boss Lambert adopts a vow of silence

Paul Lambert has a sure-fire tactic for avoiding any potential January raids on his squad – keep the phone switched off.

The Scot revealed yesterday recent speculation linking captain Grant Holt with a move north of the border to Rangers was news to him. The City chief went on to reiterate the 'not for sale' sign covers all the frontline troops who have helped guide Norwich City into the Premier League's top 10 and today's FA Cup fourth round test at West Brom.

'Listen, I am pretty sure if Rangers were interested then Ally McCoist would phone me first. I would like to think he would anyway,' said Lambert. 'Ally hasn't phoned me. Nothing at all. If someone comes in and says, 'here is �100m for somebody,' then you might have a look at it, but no way on this earth would you let anyone go. It is the same for every other team, they don't want to lose their best players – whether on loan or permanent. I'm the same. Anyway, it's hard to get me when I turn it off. I'm probably the least talkative person ever. I can't stop managers phoning me, but until they do I don't believe anything else I read or hear.'

City officially unveiled new signing Jonny Howson yesterday, but Lambert is not expecting a late furry of activity in the final few days of the transfer window.

'The group is strong as anything. The characters we have I don't have a problem,' he said. 'Wardy (Elliott Ward) and James (Vaughan) played the other night and that is like two new signings. If I think someone is right for the football club then I would look at it. I'm not going to get somebody for the sake of it.'

Lambert did sanction Korey Smith's one-month loan switch to Championship club Barnsley earlier this week to give the young midfielder a chance to re-establish himself after a long-term ankle injury.

'He needed games. He has got to go and play,' he said. 'He started a few games in the Championship last season and it's useful for him to go back into that environment. I'm sure Barnsley will be good for him and vice versa. The only reason I've let him out for a month is to see if he can fit in there. If it doesn't work he'll come back here and I wouldn't have a problem with him. He has been a huge part of what happened here. Some of the goals he scored in League One were vital for us. He would probably have liked to played more games, but that is football.'

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