Wilbraham is a winner all the way for Lambert

Paul Lambert has rubbed shoulders with some of the best players in the game – he's faced the might of Brazil on the biggest stage of all, and he's joined arms with the likes of Andreas Moller, Paulo Sousa, Matthias Sammer and Karl-Heinz Riedle.

But swap the Stade de France or the Olympic Stadium in Munich for the Norwich City training centre at Colney, and Lambert is still in his element, perhaps more so.

The man who won the greatest club honour a British footballer can win – the European Cup – doesn't even know where his medal is.

'It's only for the memory – you could ask me where my medals are but I couldn't tell you, because I don't bother with them,' he said.

'It is for my memory and knowing what I have done, and that's on a personal note, it's not for anybody else. If people want to ask me about it I will tell them, but the thing is I won't go out and say, 'I've done x, y and z', because when you go into management it is not about you – never is, never will be. It is about the lads that play the game and the people who come and watch it.


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'That's important to me, not my career as in what I have done European wise and what I have done throughout my own career. I loved my career and played with some brilliant football clubs and when you talk about world class players, yes, I did play with them, totally did, and it was a privilege to play with them.

'But when you have a group of lads like that out there who run through walls for you, it is every bit as satisfying because you have to get the lads going and they have to believe in what you think and the lads at Norwich have been an absolute credit to work with.

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'They are absolutely brilliant, they really are. whether we win, lose or draw there has never been a game I have walked away thinking they have not given me all they have got. That is the biggest compliment I can give them.'

Included in that praise is Aaron Wilbraham, a player who has taken some stick for his lack of goals since arriving from MK Dons last month – it's a reaction Lambert doesn't like.

'I think it's really unfair, it's unjust, because what I see and what he does for the team – the other night he held it up and that's what I have asked him to do, get hold of the ball for us and get us upfield.

'I think he won just about every header going. I think that is testament to him, but he is valuable to me.

'You have to look more into it – it is his general game which at the minute is very, very good, because of the way he plays he takes a lot of the knocks as well. We threw him in against QPR and I thought he was excellent, and he was a handful for Cardiff when he came on.

'He has been a big part of what's happened.

'I think he is a player's player, but as a professional, and his work rate in training he was excellent. I can't speak highly enough of him.'

Grant Holt remains the only striker to have scored since Chris Martin netted at Derby in early December, but while Lambert is still in the emergency loan market, he insists there is no issue with his strike force.

'No – none,' he said. 'I thought Aaron was excellent the other night and his efforts at goal were just too good, just too close to the goalkeeper.

'Sometimes that happens – you try and put them in the net and if they come off at a slight angle on your head or whatever they tend to go in, but his connections with them were too good. I though his general game was excellent.

'Do I have a problem with the strikers? No. Because every time we play we seem to score, whether it's midfielders or strikers. It's not something I lose sleep over because I always think we will score.'

The search for additional playing resources continues, but is proving difficult.

'I am never off the phone talking to different managers all over the place trying to do it, but it's difficult, really, really difficult to bring in ones that you think are going to benefit here because nobody wants to let their better ones out.

'If you are asking me have I got belief in the ones that are here then yes.

'We are only three off it, so it can't be too much of a crisis.'

City could be even closer if they can get a result at Barnsley today.

'It's a really tough game, they had a good result (3-3) at Leeds,' he said.

'We know we are in for a game, but we are playing well enough to go up there and win. We're good enough away from home, as everybody knows, to go and win.

'We never change our philosophy away from home, we have to go and try and win.

'I have never once told the lads to try and bed themselves in and try and let another team come on to you.

'We'll try and impose ourselves on the game.'

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