Lambert wants amicable Norwich solution
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert hopes agreement can be reached in his dispute with former club Norwich before it goes to a Premier League tribunal at the end of next month.
Lambert will return to Carrow Road for Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final for the first time since his bitter summer departure to join the midlands club. The Scot and Norwich are both suing each other for breach of contract.
Lambert was also upset when Norwich chairman Alan Bowkett made the matter public at a fans' forum and claimed he had left all of his previous clubs in a similar manner. Lambert said: "Probably the sad thing is people don't really know what's been going on. Is it a source of sorrow it's ended up how it has? Yes, it should never have been the way it is."
The Scot continued: "Would you hope it could get sorted amicably? You'd like to think that way. But I just let the lawyers and the LMA (League Managers' Association), who have been brilliant with it, get on with things. It's unfair to comment because it's in arbitration and you've got to respect that."
Lambert would be unsurprised if the reaction of some Norwich fans is unfavourable to his return, although there was little hostility towards him when the sides met at Villa Park in October. But he believes having played for Celtic, and the reaction that prompted from Rangers fans, will stand him in good stead for any flak.
He said: "It's a hard one to call whether they want to do that (give me stick) or not. You would like to think that the sensible ones would maybe think 'you've done all right'. But I know you might get stick.
"You'll probably hear it. But listen, I was at a club for eight years that half the city (of Glasgow) hated. I still get it to this day when I get home. You can still get the odd shout in the city centre - and I retired from playing about 15 years ago. When you have been involved in that, then you can handle anything.
"I really don't know what to expect but it's not something I'm actually too fazed about."
Meanwhile, Villa defender Ciaran Clark insists striker Darren Bent should not be written off after he returned to action as a substitute during Saturday's goalless draw with Stoke. It was Bent's first active part for six weeks after losing his place to Christian Benteke and not being on the substitute's bench for two games.
Clark said: "Darren is deadly finisher and you know he will score goals. That's what the fans want to see, they want to see people scoring goals. I'm sure if he had half a chance he would have stuck in the net. It was just one of those days where he didn't get a chance. He shouldn't be written off. Definitely. I think a lot of people have been writing him off already."