Belfast Telegraph

Norwich determined to keep Lambert

Norwich chief executive David McNally insists the club will fight to keep manager Paul Lambert and are focused on building for next season.

The Canaries signed off from what has been an impressive return to the Barclays Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Carrow Road, which secured 12th place. Lambert has masterminded successive promotions since taking over in August 2009 when the Norfolk club were languishing in the lower reaches of League One.

The former Celtic midfielder has been linked with a move away from East Anglia, but McNally insists the highly-rated Scot is going nowhere. "We would not welcome any enquiry for our football manager or any of the club's football players," McNally told BBC Radio Norfolk.

"We will do everything we can and fight this as hard as we have ever fought."

McNally added: "If I was at another football club and I was looking for another manager he'd be top of my list. In any business you need to look at what might happen - the what ifs. But we are focused on keeping our manager and the footballers he wants to retain at the club and to bring in better footballers to complement the club.

"I want other clubs to covet our manager and to want our players, because if they do that means we're doing something right. It is almost obvious, isn't it, that clubs would like to have them at their football club."

Lambert, who agreed a new deal in May 2011, along with his backroom staff, accepts that whatever happens in the future, Norwich's rise up through the league has been way ahead of schedule.

"It has been unbelievable what has happened here in three seasons - it is never easy to get one year of success, let alone three," he said.

"Every year has been a challenge since I have been here - getting out of League One was with how far we were behind the top two, then there was a challenge to stay in the Championship, let alone get out of it because of everything which had gone wrong, the club was at its lowest ebb.

"To do what they have done in three years has been too quick to do it, but we did and have been brilliant."

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