Speculation does not bother Norwich City boss Paul Lambert
Paul Lambert insisted pleasing the Norwich City fans was all that preoccupied him after signing off in style with a 2-0 Premier League cruise against Aston Villa.
The Scot's post-match press briefing was inevitably overshadowed by the recent speculation touting him as Alex McLeish's potential Villa Park successor this summer.
Lambert was also lauded by the away support at Carrow Road during a one-sided contest, but the City chief made his feelings known after the final whistle when he delivered a personal address to the home hordes who worship him.
'In my three years they have been like that and it is really appreciated for what they do,' he said. 'The fan base is a major part of it because they go home and away in their thousands to watch us. We have given them some great times and some big moments. To win a league, get promoted and do what we have done this year. I thank them for everything they give me.
'Aston Villa is not my team. Norwich is, and to hear them singing was greatly appreciated. I can understand what is happening at Aston Villa, I can see what is happening with the crowd and the manager, which is never nice. I said the same about Steve Kean at Blackburn. To hear your own fans (against you) is tough. That is out of my control. My main concern is Norwich and the fans have been brilliant for me.'
Lambert refused to be drawn on his own longer term future when questioned if he would be at the helm come August.
'That is a hard one to answer. I have a contract here and everybody is doing great in their respective jobs,' he said. 'We'll get this season out of the road and I'll think about what is going on and the achievements we have done and we'll wait and see.
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'I don't really worry about myself to be honest. I worry about the team. I never think about anything like that. Speculation doesn't really kind of bother me. You can never stop people speculating about your team or yourself. We'll have to wait and see.'
Lambert admitted he will need some time to reflect on the magnitude of the club's latest achievement.
'The task was to stay in the league. No matter how you did it,' he said. 'Everybody tipped Norwich to go down and we have surpassed that long ago. I thank the players for their efforts. It has been unbelievable what has happened here.
'We have had it three years on the bounce now. The effort of the players is immense. I had my own targets at the start of the season and we have finished miles and miles beyond that. 'Nobody had played Premier League football, or none that I could recall, some hadn't even played Championship.
'To play the way they had this season speaks absolute volumes about their character. The Easter period virtually made us safe but every game is incredibly tough. If you drop below you standards you get beat and more times than not we have been right on it.'
The City boss acknowledged it was fitting that player-of-the-year winner Grant Holt and runner-up John Ruddy should feature prominently in the club's Premier League finale.
'I think that was a close run thing because there was a few of them in there you could have picked,' said Lambert. 'Grant's goalscoring exploits have been brilliant. Again, when he has been questioned he has come back really strongly and his goalscoring is there for everybody to see. I'm pretty sure John would have run him close and he was brilliant again. He got that clean sheet which he richly deserved but Grant's goalscoring has been phenomenal. I thought we carried on from last week. I thought we were terrific the whole game. It was a fitting way to end an incredible season.'