Tuesday 20 February 2018

Fans vital to Canaries' survival hopes -- Lambert

Paul Lambert maintains Norwich's fans will be vital to the Canaries' hopes of staying in the Premier League.

The Norfolk club confirmed on Wednesday that Lambert had agreed new and improved terms to his rolling 12-month contract, ending speculation over his future after the 41-year-old was linked with West Ham.

Norwich -- who have secured back-to-back promotions under Lambert -- also announced they had capped season ticket sales at a record 21,833 and have almost another 2,000 on a waiting list. With the Canaries expected to be little more than cannon fodder back among the elite for the first time since 2005, Lambert knows just what an important role a capacity Carrow Road will play in helping his team over the line next season.

"The fans are vital to this football club. We will try our best to give them what they want," he said. "If you asked any of them if within two years they would have reached the Premier League, they would have thought you were going mad. We just had to get the fans to believe in the group of players and vice-versa.

"If there was ever a season where Norwich will need their fans, it will be next season. The fan base will always give you a chance, and if you get them on your side, then you have got that chance."

The former Scotland international is on the market for several new additions this summer to bolster the squad for what will be a massive step up in class when the new Premier League campaign kicks off in August.

Leeds duo Robert Snodgrass and Bradley Johnson, Newcastle 'keeper Fraser Foster, Manchester United's Belgian defender Ritchie De Laet and veteran striker Miroslav Klose, out of contract at Bayern Munich, are all said to be on Lambert's radar.

However, the Norwich boss accepts that whatever team he is able to put out on the opening day will face a huge challenge over the following nine months.

"When you look at the managers and the players you are going to come up against, the stadia you will have to go to, it is absolutely phenomenal what has happened," he said.

"Norwich City versus Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal, or Bolton, it does not matter what team because that league is huge.

"Two years ago we were playing Stockport, who are out of the Football League now, so it just shows you the rise which has happened to this football club."

Irish Independent

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