Lambert: Canaries can't compete

Lambert: Canaries can't compete

Published Jan. 13, 2012 1:16 p.m. ET

Lambert has handed a list of targets to the club but so far has drawn a blank in his attempts to persuade anyone to go to Carrow Road.

And that is despite a stirring first half of the season which has seen Norwich in the top half of the table with a healthy 25 points and playing free-flowing football.

Lambert said: "We're not making inroads. It's frustrating. We can't do the wages, that is a problem.

"The lads need a hand but you have to bring them (reinforcements) in to play. It's no good bringing people in here that I think are not going to play or be a squad player or just make up the numbers.


"At the minute we are not making any headway.

"People have the wrong perception of the money Norwich have got to spend. You hear funds are available all the time, but when you look at the prices we can't compete with that. We are nowhere near. It's hard.

"The club two years ago was flat on its face. We have a structure here which might stabilise it, but you still have to get players in you think could help.

"You'd love to be linked with players of £10million and £12million and pay their wages but we're not and that's the reality of it."

Lambert believes Norwich are victims of the speed of their success, which has seen a seven-year plan to take them from League One to the Premier League achieved in two.

The Norwich boss, who predicts there will be few significant deals across the Premier League in January, urges fans to be realistic and insists the club is not set up at present to scour Europe for bargains.

He said: "Because we are in the Premier League people assume we are going to do what QPR do. You can't do it. The money they are talking about, we can't compete with it.

"The quickness of the thing that has transpired (at Norwich) makes it really tough. There was a seven-year plan and all of a sudden it is blown out of the water in two.

"The European route might be one the club goes down (in the future) but at the minute we have to set things in place. You have to walk before you can run.

"I don't think Norwich will feel the benefit of the Premier League until they are two or three years in it because of the finances."

Norwich visit West Brom on Saturday with revenge on their minds, considering Roy Hodgson's side won 1-0 at Carrow Road earlier this season. They can also strike a psychological blow ahead of their FA Cup fourth-round tie against Albion later this month

Lambert said: "We are playing very well. We look as if we can hurt teams and we are going there with a lot of confidence. I've got no problem with the lads who are here, they have been brilliant for me this season."

Goalkeeper John Ruddy, who returns after missing the FA Cup win against Burnley after his partner gave birth to their daughter, will be looking to keep the first clean sheet of the season.

Lambert will make a late decision on defender Marc Tierney after a groin problem while Elliott Ward and James Vaughan are back in training after knee injuries but still a couple of weeks off returning.

Lambert, however, who has also failed in attempts to bring in players on loan, just cannot wait for the transfer window to close.

He said: "It's not great, people panic, you get asked the same things week in and week out, when it closes you don't have that distraction, you just go with what you've got and do everything you can to stay in the league. I'll be glad when it's over."