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Lambert shrugs off doubters

Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert cannot be bothered with the pundits who already have Norwich relegated before they have even kicked off their battle to stay in the Barclays Premier League.

The Canaries headed out to Germany for a training camp and a couple of low-key friendlies on the back of a 7-0 thrashing of local Ridgeons Football League side Gorleston Town at Emerald Park. When they return, games against Crystal Palace, Southend and Coventry await ahead of Carrow Road dates with Spanish side Real Zaragoza and then Italians Parma on August 6.

Norwich are sure to face a severe test of their top-flight credentials once the real action gets under way at Wigan a week later, Lambert will pay no attention to those who already have his squad back down in the npower Championship. He told BBC Radio Norfolk: "I don't really bother. That's me being truthful, as long as the lads, the club, the fans are right, that's all I need on my side."

He added: "I think the players know how big a task it is and how big the league is, and we will do everything we can to stay in it."

Norwich have done plenty of business already, brining in half a dozen new faces, but most like Wales forward Steve Morison, wingers Anthony Pilkington, Elliott Bennett and combative midfielder Bradley Johnson all untested in the Premier League.

Lambert, though, is not concerned by an apparent lack of top-flight experience, relying instead for hunger to drive his young squad to safety.

The Scot's 25-man Premier League squad list is almost complete, but while the Norwich boss would welcome another addition ahead of the August 31 transfer deadline, probably in defence, Lambert stressed: "I won't just buy someone for the sake of bringing them in.

"I am delighted with the squad that's here at the minute, if you can improve you try and do it. I've got six in, which is roughly the number I said we'd need, there might be room for manoeuvre somewhere along the line, but I am delighted with the group."

Lambert - who maintained ties with Germany from his time at Borussia Dortmund, where he won the 1997 Champions League - feels the trip away can help the squad bond.

"We will train as hard as we can, get everybody fit and get everybody gelling together," he said.