Norwich City’s Premier League safety could rest in the hands of Paul Lambert
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Paul Lambert insists Norwich City can expect no favours from his side over the Premier League run-in.
Aston Villa's final day trip to relegation favourites Wigan could have major repercussions for the Canaries after inflicting a 2-1 weekend defeat on his former club. Lambert's side host Europa League finalists Chelsea this weekend before a trip to Lancashire and the Scot has warned it is not just Norwich who remain in danger.
He said: 'I think the Wigan game could be significant for a lot of teams, not just Norwich. There are a lot of teams who are not safe. We are playing ever so well at the minute and that's all you can ask for but you are never safe until you have actually done it. But we are three points away from ninth, which is incredible.
'I had three fantastic years here (at Norwich) when no-one could have imagined what would happen to the club. The club were excellent to me and it is always sad when you come back to a place where you had a good relationship and it is probably soured, not by everybody, but these things happen.'
Lambert dragged City from League One but believes keeping a youthful Villa side in the Premier League would rank alongside any of his managerial achievements.
He said: 'I think you've just got to be resolute in what you're doing and have the belief in them that they can do it. There's a lot of pressure at the football club because of the size of it. It's a massive club with a massive fan base and the history tells you that there's a lot of expectation. But that's something you revel in. It's not something I'm going to get over-worked about. I've got a great rapport with the people at the football club and with the supporters, which is vital. They've stuck by us in really hard times and hopefully they're getting a little bit of joy from what's happening now.
'The difference between Aston Villa and Norwich when I went there was that we were in League One. No disrespect to League One, but you could maybe not play so good and win games. In this league, you can't. You have to be bang on it. We've tried to do that plus build the club at the same time. Aston Villa is a huge club and you are trying to get results in probably the most competitive league in European football.'
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Lambert had to endure flak from sections of the home support on his first Carrow Road league return but the Scot had nothing but praise for his travelling fans.
The City Hall of Famer said: 'They have never really been too critical when they could have. The fan base is huge, there is a lot of expectancy level. Any club that has won the European Cup in years gone by will have pressure. We have to try and live up to it.'