Rival boss praises Lambert and Canaries

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert deserves all the plaudits for masterminding the club's League One title success - according to his closest rival last season.

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert deserves all the plaudits for masterminding the club's League One title success - according to his closest rival last season.

Leeds counterpart Simon Grayson saw his side finish the campaign a distant nine points adrift in the second automatic promotion spot behind the Canaries.Grayson's men held an 11 point lead over City following October's televised home win between the sides but needed a final day comeback victory over Bristol Rovers to join Norwich in the Championship.

The Leeds chief has now hailed Lambert's salvage operation after the Scot succeeded Bryan Gunn in the opening weeks of the campaign - along with the crucial role of Wes Hoolahan.

'Norwich produced some attractive football to win the title and Paul has to take credit for that,' said Grayson. 'There were a number of strong contenders (for player-of-the-season) but I would pick Wes Hoolahan. He gets the nod just ahead of his Norwich City team mate Grant Holt for the quality of his delivery. When Hoolahan was missing - which wasn't very often - Norwich weren't the same team.'

Grayson has also played second fiddle to Lambert during the opening days of the summer transfer window with just confirmed deals for keeper Kasper Schmeichel and Swindon striker Billy Paynter. Leeds have been strongly linked with moves for Bolton defender Andy O'Brien and Hamilton's young midfielder James McArthur - and Whites' chairman Ken Bates insists United are prepared to play the long game.

'We have discussions going on behind the scenes with a number of players,' said Bates, who is at the Football League's annual conference in Malta this week. 'We would hope to do some business in Malta and that obviously means players in and players out. What is delaying things at the moment is that players are on holiday and so are agents.'

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