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Lambert relishing top flight challenge for Norwich

Andy Sims,Pa
Tuesday 03 May 2011 15:17 BST
The Norwich board have promised all of the initial £37million of television income will go towards improving the squad
The Norwich board have promised all of the initial £37million of television income will go towards improving the squad (GETTY IMAGES)

Paul Lambert is relishing the chance to test himself at the highest level after leading Norwich back to the Barclays Premier League.

Lambert has made himself one of the hottest properties in management having guided a team of players plucked from the likes of Gillingham, Colchester, Peterborough and Brighton into the top flight.

The 41-year-old has managed in Scotland with Livingston, League Two at Wycombe and has just swept through League One and the Championship in two seasons with Norwich.

And he has backed his side to hold their own amongst the elite next season.

"Everyone knows it's the best league in Europe," he said.

"You see the teams and quality of players in it - I've never been involved in it, I never played in it - but I don't need to be Einstein to sit here and think 'it's going to be brilliant for us'.

"It will be great. The lads are going to enjoy it. However, if we are playing Manchester United one weekend and then Arsenal on a Tuesday I might give a different answer. But it sounds quite good

"The players wouldn't have done this if they weren't good players."

Simeon Jackson's 50th-minute header sealed a 1-0 win at Portsmouth last night and, after Cardiff's meltdown in the earlier kick-off, clinched second spot in the npower Championship.

Crucially, it has also secured a windfall of around £60million for a club who were close to going into administration less than two years ago.

Lambert guided City to the League One title last term and admitted: "The main objective this season was to survive.

"With the state of the finances, hopefully what has happened now has given the club the financial backing.

"It wasn't that long ago the chairman was indicating that there very nearly wasn't going to be a Norwich City."

It could get even better for the Canaries with leaders QPR facing a possible points deduction on Friday as the FA discuss the controversial transfer of Alejandro Faurlin.

And Lambert admits he would not turn down the chance to go up as champions.

"It's never bothered me, I can't influence anything that I don't know the ins and outs of," he said.

"Whether we get the opportunity to win the league we'll wait and see.

"Would I like to win the league? Absolutely. I don't just want a t-shirt, I'd rather have a trophy.

"We can't do any more other than win our last game against Coventry. We can't influence an FA hearing.

"What will happen will happen - but the main thing is we are up."

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