Norwich City boss Lambert knows the pitfalls

Sympathy will be in short supply when Paul Lambert shakes fellow Glaswegian boss Steve Kean by the hand a shade before 3pm today.

Kean is currently the foremost member of his profession firmly in the firing line after a wretched start to the Premier League campaign, briefly alleviated by Carling Cup success against Newcastle.

Lambert knows the pitfalls despite an accelerated period of progress during his own Carrow Road tenure. Failure and what comes with it is what drives him on.

'Listen I know it's around the corner, don't worry about that,' he said. 'It might not be, but you also have to have in the back of your mind that at some point it will come. It's a professional game and I'll be trying to win it for Norwich and I'm pretty sure Steve will do the same for Blackburn. That is the nature of the game. It was the same scenario when Paulo Sousa came here (with Leicester). A few days later he lost his job and he is a good friend of mine, so it's never nice.

'It can be a lonely place when you are standing there. It is not nice to hear and see people with banners and I certainly don't think it helps. It's never easy. It's a tough job. From the outside looking in, I'm pretty sure everybody thinks they can do it but what you tend to find when you are in it, it's a bit harder. I know him a little bit. He is getting unfair criticism and handling it really, really well. I just think its wrong what he is going through, considering he is doing everything he can to get them up the table.'


You may also want to watch:


Lambert acknowledges it comes with the territory. And no-one is immune.

'I saw it the other week with Mick McCarthy and what he has done for Wolves. It's not nice, no matter who you are or how big you are,' he said. 'Nobody likes to be criticised but when you see banners and people turning up for the sake of turning up to give a guy abuse and then they go back to their families and they are a bit of a mouse. They just want to give somebody stick at a football match and then they go back to their wives and they are all quiet again.

Most Read

'People want instant results. Sometimes your face doesn't fit and people are not even prepared to give you a chance. He has only been there for a short time and he did really well last year. Yeah, he probably has had a few results that haven't gone his way, but it indicates people want him out for the sake of wanting him out.'

Lambert is confident the Carrow Road faithful will know what lies in store against a side fighting for Premier League survival.

'It is a really hard game. Probably the hardest we have faced because of the circumstances,' he said. 'For different reasons it is a totally different game from last week. Blackburn is a good side, an established Premier League side - we are not. The onus is on us to make the running but they are a good side.

'The Norwich fans may turn up and think we are going to win, but as I said before, if we don't play as well as we have been we will get turned over. We have to play at our maximum.

'They have got young players but also experienced ones as well, lads who have played in the league for a few years and we have to combat that. I think that is wrong if they (fans) are going to come and think we are going to just roll them over. That is how you get caught.'

Lambert reported no fresh injury concerns yesterday with the same personnel available as last weekend's draw at Anfield. Grant Holt pressed his claims for a start with a decisive goalscoring cameo on his 100th appearance – but Lambert reiterated it will be horses for courses again.

'It's not (Steve) Morison versus Holt or anything. It's what is beneficial for this football club,' he said. 'We have in our heads what we are going to do. I'll pick a side and like I say to them sometimes they find themselves in the side and sometimes they won't.

'His goal on Saturday was fantastic. It was a terrific cross and the header was brilliant. Grant has been brilliant in and around the place for the last two years. He understands. He is 30 years old so he understands the game. He is not a young lad that you are having to explain a lot of things and he has been good about it.

'I said it right from League One days that we need everybody to go the same direction for this club to have some success. It's just the same squad it has been for the last few weeks. They all seem okay. The longer term ones haven't trained with the group at the moment, they are still training with the physios and the fitness people here.'

Lambert is ready to manage growing expectations along with his players on the back of a run that sees his side having picked up ten points from the last 15 available.

'I think they (players) know the situation. We have to be bang at it every single game or else we will get turned over,' he said. 'They know that and hopefully they keep their performance level up and if they do that then we have a chance. The lads have been brilliant, terrific. The crowd have come out in there thousands and the lads have been in great form. For me, the expectation has not changed from the start of the season. I know what I want us to do but there are only nine games gone. It's an absolute marathon to go.'

Which is code for any chatter that reaches Lambert ears suggesting top half Premier League finishes or even better are on the cards.

'If people are talking about Europe then they must be thinking about going on their holidays because it has never crossed my mind that I am going to aim for Europe,' said Lambert.

'I know in my own head what we'll try and do. If the players can be protected from everything outside then great.

'If you are going on about what Blackpool did last season then, yeah, we have to try and be in and around it in January. If we can add to it, then we will, but that is a lot easier said than done because you tend to find prices go sky high in January, but we need a hand.'

Lambert confirmed yesterday the groundwork is already underway to reinforce City's Premier League status ahead of the New Year transfer window. Lambert's close season recruitment drive has so far paid handsome dividends with the likes of Anthony Pilkington, Elliott Bennett and Bradley Johnson all establishing themselves in the starting line up. The City chief believes it is essential Norwich try to make further additions in January for the hard months that lie ahead in 2012.

'It's been spoken about. We might need a hand,' he said. 'Even a fresh face coming in, or one or two to give the other lads a hand. I think last year the break came at the right time for us with Dani (Pacheco) coming in, who was a big help, and we managed to do that and Henri (Lansbury) as well. It can give you a lift.

'I think in the window you can bring people in for the sake of it when you don't want to do it but the pressure is there; as it was for us to try and go up. Then you might sign someone and it doesn't prove to be the right thing. I'm not a big fan of the January window.'

Lambert has successfully integrated youthful talent into the ranks in line with his current purchasing policy of buying from the British marketplace.

'We made a decision at the start that we would bring in lads we roughly knew. Until we got a foothold and then see what happens. I needed lads who I knew and who knew the British game,' he said. 'It helps them getting to know each other. If you have a foreign lad coming into a dressing room, I know from experience, it can take you a little bit to get used to a different culture and a different way.

'There probably isn't that fear in them, when you are young. It's when you get a little older and there is that expectancy level. When that starts to come, it can weigh heavily on their careers then you'll see. That's why the top ones are where they are. They perform week in, week out, away from home or at home. It doesn't matter. They can handle that expectation.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus