Norwich City boss Lambert happy to put end to speculation
AUDIO: Norwich City boss Paul Lambert blamed the media for a day of uncertainty over his Carrow Road future and insisted: 'I've never ever once thought about leaving.'
Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup third round defeat at the hands of Leyton Orient completed a less than memorable 48 hours for City and especially their supporters, who spent much of the previous day wondering whether their manager was staying or going.
On Thursday night, the Canaries' refusal to give Burnley permission to approach Lambert over their managerial vacancy seemed to have brought a swift end to reports of a possible move to Turf Moor.
But when Lambert refused to add any comment to the club's statement at his Friday morning Press conference it sparked a day of hectic claim and counter-claim on TV, radio and the internet, over his intentions – prompting him to issue his own statement on Friday night, committing his future to the club.
Lambert told the handful of reporters left in the Press room at Carrow Road 45 minutes after Saturday's game that he felt he had done enough on Friday morning by endorsing the club statement.
'It's been ridiculous, it really has. It's escalated into something that was going out of control,' he said. 'When I said what I said on Friday, that was it.
'The media don't help, not every one of you, but some of you just fuel it – add two and two and come up with about 949, which is wrong. You were telling people that I was leaving and I don't hang about clubs for that long. That's lies, that's not right. I was at Wycombe for two years and I loved it there. I only left because we took them as far as we could go – my choice. Colchester, I was there for a short time, which I enjoyed, then I got the opportunity to come here.
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'So I was never going to walk out with the rapport I've got with the fans here. I love the club, it's an absolute honour to be manager of it. When you're manager of Norwich, however long it may be, what a club it is to manage – it's fantastic.
'And I have a great rapport with the fans, I really do. The lads have been brilliant for me and we've built up a good thing so that's why the statement was as simple as it was. I don't have to justify myself to anyone.
'I've never ever once thought about leaving – never. That's the sad thing. I can't stop the speculation, I can't stop people saying whatever they want to say. I never once have come out and thought to myself 'I'm going to leave'.'
He said his rapport with City fans was 'a unique thing'.
'I never imagined it would go as well as it did when Ian (Culverhouse) and Gary (Karsa) and myself came in and they've been pivotal to the whole thing. When you start to get a momentum, the crowd start to like you,' he said.
'I can't please everybody all the time but the majority, when they sing my name, it's great and the way they react with me.
'Friday night was just escalating into something that should never have escalated. They're worried I'm going to walk away and I hear so much nonsense, I think 'This has got to stop'. Honestly, it's a privilege to be manager here.
'It's been incredible what's happened, If you sit down and take stock, you think, dear oh dear, it's been incredible. Because there is only one team in this city, everybody feels it. Everybody feels a defeat and everybody feels the jubilation when you win.'
Lambert dismissed the idea that Friday's events had affected the players and contributed to their FA Cup exit as City failed to get beyond the third round for the 13th time in 16 years.