Lambert ready for action
Norwich manager Paul Lambert is happy to see the back of pre-season friendlies and cannot wait to kick off the Barclays Premier League campaign at Wigan next weekend.
The Canaries concluded their warm-up matches with a confident 3-0 win over Serie A side Parma at Carrow Road on Saturday. It has on the whole been a positive month's work for Lambert's squad, who spent time in Germany which helped the seven summer arrivals gel with a group that had won back-to-back promotions from npower League One.
Now, though, the Scottish manager is focused on when the real action starts at the DW Stadium on August 13. "I am sick of them, if the truth be known. I never liked pre-season games as a player and never liked them as a manager," Lambert said.
"I am glad the pre-season is out of the road, and now the competitive stuff starts. We will be up against a really good Wigan side and it will be tough, but we have earned the right to go and play."
Norwich captain Grant Holt bundled in a first-half opener against the Italians, with winger Andrew Surman netting a well-taken brace in the second half.
Playmaker Wes Hoolahan again impressed in just behind Holt, while Elliott Bennett, signed from Brighton, and former Huddersfield wideman Anthony Pilkington, still recovering full match fitness, offer plenty of width.
Lambert believes he will have plenty of options as he looks to guide the Norfolk club clear of their expected relegation battle.
"It [diamond formation] is something which has stood us in good stead for the past couple of years, but it is not set in stone that is the way we are going to play," said the former Colchester boss, appointed in September 2009.
"We have also got players who can adapt to other systems. We are going to really tough places, and even at home it is going to be hard, but we will try to get a foothold in the league and see what happens.
"The Premier League is new for me and the players, but I have never really been one to sit on the back foot and wait for things to come against us, so we will go and try to win."