Norwich rise a team effort, says Lambert
Saturday 23 April 2011
Paul Lambert, the Norwich manager, maintains it will be a real team effort should his side win promotion back to the Premier League, hailing his backroom staff as "my two best signings."
Norwich moved into second place in the Championship following a 5-1 thrashing of rivals Ipswich in the East Anglian derby at Portman Road on Thursday night.
With Cardiff playing leaders QPR today, there is a good chance Norwich could remain in the driving seat for automatic promotion ahead of their final three matches – at home to Derby, away at Portsmouth and then finishing against Coventry at Carrow Road.
Lambert, 41, has transformed the fortunes of the Norfolk club since being appointed in August 2009 just weeks after his Colchester side had thrashed them 7-1 on the opening day of the season. He then guided Norwich to the League One title.
The former Borussia Dortmund and Celtic midfielder, though, is quick to pay tribute to the efforts of everyone involved at Carrow Road, who have helped take the club to the brink of the top flight for the first time since 2005.
"Since I have been at this football club, the lads have given me everything which is in their body, which is testament to themselves. They are an absolute joy," said the Scot.
"You can also see what it meant to the fans, who have been through a lot in the past couple of years. I have always said the fans and the players are the most important people at the club. I am delighted for Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa who I have brought with me.
"They have been every bit as important to me, and have probably been my two best signings."
Lambert believes Norwich have the makings of a good side, regardless of whether they go on to become the first team for a decade to secure successive promotions from the third to top tier of English football.
"The creativity we have got in the side is great. The lads can unlock certain things," the Norwich manager said. "If you can build components into a team and people have got different jobs to do, then you are hoping that all fits in. I think the creativity we have got in the side is excellent.
"Against Ipswich, [Simeon] Jackson and [Grant] Holt worked hard at the top, [Zak] Whitbread and [Elliott] Ward were colossal at the back, in midfield you have Wes [Hoolahan], Foxy [David Fox], Crofty's [Lee Croft] work-rate and [Andrew] Surman's class. I think we have got the makings of a really good side."
As to whether he would now be getting the calculator out and studying the promotion run-in, Lambert maintained: "I have no control over outside influences. My job is to try to win Norwich as many games as we can, we have not done too bad in that department at the minute."
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