Norwich reassure fans as Paul Lambert zeros in on Aston Villa manager job


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The Independent Football

Norwich maintain they are not about to let the club fall apart after manager Paul Lambert offered his resignation ahead of an anticipated switch to Aston Villa.

The Canaries refused to accept Lambert's resignation, as they continue negotiations for compensation with the Midlands club.

Nevertheless, Lambert is set to leave following three successful seasons at Carrow Road, where he guided the Norfolk club up from npower League One to 12th in the top flight.

In a statement, Norwich insisted the future was positive, with the likes of Cardiff manager Malky Mackay, a former player, and ex-Canaries defender Steve Bruce potential candidates to take charge for next season.

"When Paul joined us in August 2009 we were in 66th position in the English football pyramid and the club was on the brink of financial meltdown," a club statement said.

"Today we are a Barclays Premier League football club, on a financially sound footing and with a stadium full to capacity.

"The club does not need to sell any players and the finances are in place to substantially strengthen the excellent squad which helped us finish in 12th position in the Premier League last season.

"Rest assured that everyone behind the scenes at Carrow Road remains absolutely focused on continuing to help the club progress."

It is understood Villa made an official approach to Norwich yesterday to talk to Lambert.

There had been reports of a fall-out over the denial of that opportunity.

However, in a carefully worded statement, Norwich appeared to play those rumours down.

"The club regrets to confirm that Paul Lambert has offered his resignation from his position as Norwich City manager," read the statement.

"We have fought hard to keep Paul at Norwich and have not accepted his resignation whilst discussions with another club are taking place.

"However, whatever happens, we want to place on record our sincere gratitude for everything Paul has done for the club over the last three fantastic seasons.

"Discussions with Paul throughout the last few days have been professional and amicable.

"Paul has already earned his place in Norwich City Football Club history and, no matter what happens, will always have a friendly welcome at Carrow Road."

Former winger Darren Eadie believes Norwich must take their time in appointing their next boss.

"Norwich are on a stable footing, they don't need to rush," said Eadie, who played for Norwich in the top flight and Europe under Mike Walker in 1993.

"The new manager needs a little bit of experience, but most of all he needs to be keen.

"Those kind of people seem to get the best out of the sort of players we've got at Norwich at the moment. They must be driven and want to succeed."

Eadie, 36, added: "I would go for another up-and-coming manager.

"There are a lot of people who have been around the block a few times and haven't succeeded."