Paul Lambert blasts Aston Villa speculation

Norwich boss Lambert blasts 'unfair' speculation linking him to Villa hotseat



14:49 GMT, 27 April 2012

Norwich manager Paul Lambert has labelled speculation linking him a summer move to Aston Villa as 'extremely unfair'.

The pressure is increasing on Villa boss Alex McLeish as the Midlands club struggle to stay clear of the relegation dogfight, having been beaten 2-1 at home draw by Bolton in midweek.

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Solid start: Lambert has kept Norwich in the Premier League in their first season

The former Celtic midfielder, 42,
accepts transfer rumours about players and even managers is all part and
parcel of the game, but insists reports suggesting he was being lined
up by Villa owner Randy Lerner as a summer replacement for McLeish were

'Speculation about players is
something you can never do anything about. It happens with managers as
well and you can never stop that,' the Norwich manager told a press

'If my players get linked with other teams, there is not a thing I can do about that. It is the same situation about myself.

'However, it is extremely unfair with
me being linked with Aston Villa when they have got a really good
manager up there who is doing everything he can to stay in the league.

'It is an unfair comment for me to say anything on that.'

Liverpool may not be challenging for
the championship, but they have already brought the Carling Cup back to
Anfield and next weekend have another Wembley date as they aim to beat
Champions League finalists Chelsea to win the FA Cup.

Seven defeats in 10 Premier League
games – including a 1-0 home reverse to West Brom last time out – have
left the Reds well off the pace in the race for a top-four finish.

Looking for a change: Alex McLeish has struggled at Villa this season

Looking for a change: Alex McLeish has struggled at Villa this season

Lambert, though, is not expecting
anything other than another stern test of how far his own squad have
come since rising up through succesive promotions from npower League

'It is more highlighted because of the club they are,' said the former Colchester boss.

'I don't need to lift the players because the game itself will lift them.

'We will certainly have to lift it because I think Liverpool are a top side.

'Some of the players they have got
are outstanding. The history and the tradition they have got is such
that we have to step it up.'

Lambert added: 'Liverpool have won
the Carling Cup, they are in the final of the FA Cup. The fan base is
huge, Kenny (Dalglish) is a massive presence and they are still a
fantastic side. I don't think anybody should underestimate that.

'Their performances have been good,
but the results have gone against them, which happens, so I am under no
illusions of how hard it is going to be. 'We will have to play to our

Norwich have struggled for
consistency in recent weeks, winning at Tottenham on Easter Monday only
to then be thumped 6-1 at home by title-chasing Manchester City and
losing 2-0 at relegation battlers Blackburn last time out. Lambert, though, remains positive.

He said: 'The Manchester City match
was perhaps a game too far because we had played Everton and then on the
Monday after we played Tottenham. Maybe the three games took their

'The energy was there against
Blackburn. I just thought we never got up to the standard we had set.
“We have to bounce back and I am sure we will.'