Paul Lambert backs Norwich City to edge out Ipswich in Championship duel

Former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert is backing his old club to edge past Ipswich. Photo: Bill S

Former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert is backing his old club to edge past Ipswich. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2011

Former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert is backing his old club to seal a Premier League return ahead of Saturday's Championship play-off semi-final, second leg tie against Ipswich at Carrow Road.

Lambert led the Canaries to the top flight following back-to-back promotions that included two thumping derby league wins over their old rivals in 2010/11.

The Scot is looking for a way back into the game after his departure from Aston Villa earlier this season, but speaking on Skysports on Thursday, revealed he still has a soft spot for the club he left in controversial circumstances.

'I think they'll win promotion. Norwich is a great club with a great fan base and they are certainly equipped to get there,' he said. 'Manager Alex Neil has done fantastically well. I don't really know him but he has handled himself really well and kept the players focused.

'The derbies have huge intensity. I never knew what to expect and I was suspended for the first one when I was there, but we went to Portman Road and won 5-1 the next time and it was massive for us.

'I know how important it is for Norwich fans and Alex will know that too. It would be great to see them go up for the people there and some players who have been there for a while.'

Lambert brought the likes of Russell Martin and John Ruddy to the club in a successful rise through the leagues before keeping City up in their first Premier League campaign since 2005.

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'We were promoted from League One and kept most of the players, so we kept that strong dressing room and the momentum to keep going,' he said. 'Then we went up to the Premier League and consolidated there. I had a real good dressing room, with great lads.'