Norwich manager Paul Lambert unhappy with Aston Villa speculation

 

Norwich manager Paul Lambert has labelled speculation linking him a summer move to Aston Villa as "extremely unfair".

The pressure is increasing on Villa boss Alex McLeish as the Midlands club struggle to stay clear of the relegation dogfight, having been beaten 2-1 at home draw by Bolton in midweek.

By contrast, Lambert has steered the Canaries up into 13th place, with their top-flight status all but secured for another season, some 10 points clear of danger heading into tomorrow's visit of Liverpool.

The former Celtic midfielder, 42, accepts transfer rumours about players and even managers is all part and parcel of the game, but insists reports suggesting he was being lined up by Villa owner Randy Lerner as a summer replacement for McLeish were unwelcome.

"Speculation about players is something you can never do anything about. It happens with managers as well and you can never stop that," the Norwich manager told a press conference.

"If my players get linked with other teams, there is not a thing I can do about that. It is the same situation about myself.

"However, it is extremely unfair with me being linked with Aston Villa when they have got a really good manager up there who is doing everything he can to stay in the league.

"It is an unfair comment for me to say anything on that."

Liverpool may not be challenging for the championship, but they have already brought the Carling Cup back to Anfield and next weekend have another Wembley date as they aim to beat Champions League finalists Chelsea to win the FA Cup.

Seven defeats in 10 Premier League games - including a 1-0 home reverse to West Brom last time out - have left the Reds well off the pace in the race for a top-four finish.

Lambert, though, is not expecting anything other than another stern test of how far his own squad have come since rising up through succesive promotions from npower League One.

"It is more highlighted because of the club they are," said the former Colchester boss.

"I don't need to lift the players because the game itself will lift them.

"We will certainly have to lift it because I think Liverpool are a top side.

"Some of the players they have got are outstanding. The history and the tradition they have got is such that we have to step it up."

Lambert added: "Liverpool have won the Carling Cup, they are in the final of the FA Cup. The fan base is huge, Kenny (Dalglish) is a massive presence and they are still a fantastic side. I don't think anybody should underestimate that.

"Their performances have been good, but the results have gone against them, which happens, so I am under no illusions of how hard it is going to be.

"We will have to play to our max."

Norwich have struggled for consistency in recent weeks, winning at Tottenham on Easter Monday only to then be thumped 6-1 at home by title-chasing Manchester City and losing 2-0 at relegation battlers Blackburn last time out.

Lambert, though, remains positive.

He said: "The Manchester City match was perhaps a game too far because we had played Everton and then on the Monday after we played Tottenham. Maybe the three games took their toll.

"The energy was there against Blackburn. I just thought we never got up to the standard we had set.

"We have to bounce back and I am sure we will."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before