Paul Lambert’s Norwich City side are the ones to follow
Paul Lambert will be delighted if the rest of the Football League wants to try and imitate Norwich City's success.
Southampton look well on course to emulate the Canaries' feat in clinching back-to-back promotions after remaining two points clear of Reading over the weekend at the top of the Championship.
Saints' highly-rated midfielder Adam Lallana recently praised the Canaries as the perfect role model with Lambert's side edging ever closer to top flight survival.
'I don't know if we are a role model, but I'm pretty sure people will have looked at Norwich and what we have done right through from League One and how we are doing well this year,' he said. 'It might be possible for people to look at what has been achieved and maybe look to take that on board.
'I'm sure people have their own perceptions of what has happened here. If that is the case and that is what people are saying, then maybe people do look at Norwich and see where we have came from.'
Lallana is in no doubt Norwich are currently setting the benchmark.
'Norwich have proved this season that you don't need to spend millions on players,' he said. 'They've bought Championship and League One players and now have a great chance of staying up. Like them, we've got momentum and we're used to winning games. If you have that hunger in the team, it's a feeling you can't buy.'
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City defender Russell Martin is equally convinced the club's meteoric rise has inspired some of their former rivals.
'I've watched a lot of Championship games this season and I've seen a lot of teams using the formation we played,' he said. 'Southampton particularly have been really impressive. They've done the same as us, they've come up from League One and they've taken on what we did last year. They've pressed teams, they're full of energy and they try to play the right way. It's a compliment to them.
'There are people around the city wouldn't want them to go up back-to-back, like we did, but if they do it, fair play. I've spoken to a few players in that league who have tried to use us as a template. It's a massive compliment to us as a team.'
Norwich's Premier League success so far this campaign has also brought Lambert personal recognition from his fellow managers in a poll conducted only last week by league sponsors Barclays.
'That is because I voted for myself,' he said. 'Seriously, it is nice, especially from your peers because they are the people who matter. If that is the case, then brilliant, but the team have been brilliant. They are the ones who have to do it.'