Norwich City boss Lambert out to avoid double trouble
Paul Lambert knows he must outwit a wily operator in West Brom counterpart Roy Hodgson this afternoon to avoid an unwanted blemish on his record.
Hodgson could become the first manager to complete a league double during Lambert's successful Carrow Road reign in today's Premier League test at the Hawthorns following Albion's early season win in Norfolk. Lambert insisted the only number that interests him is grabbing three points to maintain the Canaries' upward curve.
'Listen, stats don't really bother me. We'll go up to try and win a game,' he said. 'Roy has got them really organised. They came and turned us over here so I know how hard it will be. He has got so much experience from managing abroad. I've never done it as a manager, I did it as a player and it was brilliant, loved it – it was probably the greatest thing that happened to me as a footballer. You can't argue with his record. Inter Milan, the Swiss national team, Fulham, you can go through it all. I don't know what went on there (at Liverpool), but you are talking about a club steeped in tradition. He probably never did get enough time to establish it, but that is the modern game.'
Peter Odemwingie's strike in the corresponding fixture at Carrow Road was enough to inflict a first home league defeat of the season on Norwich – but Lambert dismissed any suggestion the Baggies had profited from early naivety.
'It wasn't anything to do with being streetwise. They beat us on that given day,' he said. 'We lost a silly goal right at the beginning of the game and we couldn't break them down. We might have had a penalty with James (Vaughan) that never materialised. It'll be really hard. They are established, they are at home and the onus is on them to make the running but we are playing well. We look as if we can hurt teams. We'll go with a lot of confidence.'
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Hodgson's side are the lowest scorers at home in the league despite the combined attacking threats of Odemwingie and Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long. Back-up frontman Simon Cox plundered a hat-trick in last weekend's FA Cup win over Cardiff tto earn a fourth round tie against the Canaries later this month.
'It doesn't matter if you score one,' said Lambert, 'If you beat the other team then I'm sure Roy will be pretty happy.'
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