Wednesday 17 January 2018

Lambert looks to land Ayala as Canaries begin journey into 'unknown'

Norwich manager Paul Lambert admits no one knows what the Canaries will do on their return to the Premier League -- even him.

The Norfolk club were struggling in League One just two seasons ago when Lambert took charge.

However, following back-to-back promotions Norwich will run out at Wigan today as members of England's elite for the first time since 2004-05.

Lambert accepts that, with no previous form, it is very much a step into the "unknown".

"It is new for us and the players, but we have earned the right to play them so we will give it a go," the Norwich manager said.

"It is the unknown we are going into, and it is the same for Wigan -- they do not know how we will play.

"We will just have to wait and see, but we have to learn very quickly to adjust.

"There is no turning back now, because we are in it. The prestige is great for everybody connected with the club and we will just have to see how it goes."

Blackpool pulled off a shock on the opening day of last season, when the promotion play-off winners chalked up a 4-0 victory at Wigan.


Lambert, though, is not concerned with any thought of history repeating itself.

"What happened last year is irrelevant," he said. "It is new for us, Wigan are an established side and a good side, so I am under no illusions as to how hard it is going to be.

"We have shown the lads one or two different little things and I am sure they will take it on board and give us everything they have got."

Norwich's recent success has been built on an attacking style, which took them to the League One title and second place in the Championship behind QPR.

However, Lambert knows the Canaries are about to face a whole new ball game, which will test the character of his squad to the limit.

"The lads are as ready as they will ever be. The pace will be different and we have to adjust to it," he said.

"Hopefully we will be a credit to ourselves, to try to go and win games.

"I am going to need everybody throughout the season, I am going to have to get everybody onside, and if we can stick together then hopefully we will be okay."

Lambert brought in some seven summer signings to bolster his squad, and yesterday morning confirmed Norwich are looking to push through a deal to sign young Spanish defender Daniel Ayala from Liverpool.

The 20-year-old centre-back, signed from Sevilla in 2007, is set to leave Anfield in a reported £800,000 deal.

"There are things going on at the minute, but we will have to wait and see if it will transpire," Lambert said.

Irish Independent

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