Premier League holds no fear for Lambert

Paul Lambert is confident that his Canaries could handle the step up to the Premier League next season.

In a week in which Norwich suffered a rare stutter with a draw at home to injury-ravaged Doncaster, the manager echoed chief executive David McNally's comments at the club's recent annual meeting that City must grasp the opportunity to try and clinch consecutive promotions.

The Canaries' hierarchy have mapped out a longer term route to the top flight – but Lambert believes they are geared up for continued success after building on last season's League One title triumph.

'I'd rather worry about that if we got up, rather than not have that worry,' he said in an an interview with the League Managers' Association. 'We've come a long way, but I'd rather have that worry than not, that's for sure.

'I think we had the foundation to have a decent season with the crowds and the fan base we've got.


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'We had that backbone. Whether we are going to do as well as we are at the minute, we'll have to wait and see. You can never predict what's going to happen. I'm delighted by what has happened at the football club since we've been here. The rise has been pretty quick.

'I think League One is a very hard league to get out of in the first place. It was a very tough thing to do.'

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Talking ahead of tomorrow's now crucial visit to Barnsley, he added: 'The football we're playing at the minute is very, very good. I think the npower Championship is a terrific league, and I think the difference between the Championship and League One is vast.

'I think one of the main things we've got here, as well as our ability, is a great team spirit to try and win football matches. To be fair, the fans have only helped us.'

Lambert has won plenty of plaudits for his role in City's rapid rise after succeeding Bryan Gunn, but the Scot insists he is still learning the managerial ropes.

'You are always learning and looking for things to benefit the team,' he said. 'I have a really good backroom staff with me, which really helps. They are a major part of what has happened here. Ian (Culverhouse) and Gary (Karsa) have been with me since Wycombe, which is the best part of six years now. They know how we work, and that is vital to me. I think you just have to pick the best players and get the best out of them. I think there should only ever be one voice in the place, but you can't go over the line. You put your arm around people and try and make them feel better about themselves. That's what I try and do.

'I think you just try and make people feel good about themselves, get them to run about for you. I think that's when people do well, and you can't ask for any more. If you can get in someone's head and get them to do that for you, go that extra yard for you, then that's great.'

Lambert revealed City's 4-1 derby demolition against Ipswich ranked up there with his best achievements since moving to Carrow Road.

'You're never quite sure until you go to someone else's derby just how big it is for the fans there,' he said. 'I realised how big it was that they hadn't beaten Ipswich by that sort of score for a few years, and that was special for the fans. It's the fans that make the derby, because of the passion that they have got for it.'

• Paul Lambert was speaking to Yahoo! through its partnership with the League Managers' Association (www.yahoo.co.uk/dugout)

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