Paul Lambert urges Norwich City’s Scottish stars to seize the day

Former Norwich and Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is urging Scotland's current crop to emulate his

Former Norwich and Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is urging Scotland's current crop to emulate his generation. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert is urging Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker to join him in an exclusive club of Scottish legends by reaching the Euro 2016 finals.

The Canaries' duo are in line to feature in Saturday night's crunch qualifying derby against the Republic of Ireland as they bid to close in on a place at next summer's tournament in France.

Lambert was part of the last Scottish squad to reach a showpiece event - the 1998 World Cup held in the same country - and the City Hall of Famer wants the current generation to grab their big chance.

The 45-year-old, who was dismissed by FA Cup finalists Aston Villa towards the end of last season, won the Champions League as a player, but ranks playing Brazil at the Stade de France in the opening game of that World Cup as another career highlight.

'To get to any major tournament is an achievement, especially for a country of our size. We're in a good position, with a massive match against the Republic who are playing well too,' he said, speaking to the Scottish FA official site. 'It'd be great for players like Darren Fletcher and Scott Brown especially. They're two guys who have worked ever so hard to get into themselves and the team into this position.

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'They've been in so many campaigns and they must feel themselves how close they are to qualifying.

'The Champions League is obviously the biggest tournament in European football, and the World Cup is incredible. It's hard to say which was better because above all else they were both big achievements. The World Cup was incredible – if we weren't going to win it, opening the tournament against Brazil was the next best thing.'

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