Lambert is named new Norwich boss

NORWICH City have appointed Colchester boss Paul Lambert as their new manager.

NORWICH City have appointed Colchester boss Paul Lambert as their new manager.

The Canaries have moved swiftly after sacking Bryan Gunn on Friday and the new man will be at Griffin Park tonight to watch the League One encounter at Brentford.

Lambert has been brought in by new chief executive David McNally just 10 days after masterminding Colchester's 7-1 defeat of City at Carrow Road - the result that ultimately cost Gunn his job.

It is understood he will be placed on a year's rolling contract and Norwich and Colchester are now in discussions over compensation.

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Lambert will also decide soon on his backroom staff. Assisting him at Colchester were former Canaries Ian Culverhouse and player-coach Gary Holt.

Meanwhile, current coaching duo Ian Butterworth and Ian Crook will be in charge of the side at Brentford.

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Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling released a statement which said: “I can confirm that First Team Manager Paul Lambert, Assistant Manager Ian Culverhouse and Football Operations Manager Gary Karsa have all left the U's to take up positions at Norwich City.

“I received a call from Norwich's Chairman, Alan Bowkett on Saturday, about 30 minutes after our win against Yeovil.

“Alan asked me for permission to appoint Paul Lambert as their manager. I was in our boardroom entertaining the Yeovil directors at the time so I told Alan that I would call him back later.

“I was a bit taken aback because it was a strange request at a strange time. We had just finished our game, I was just enjoying our status as league leaders and clubs normally ask permission to interview managers first.

“All over the weekend and for most of yesterday I have had many conversations with Paul Lambert regarding the Norwich request.

“Although I was extremely disappointed that he wanted my permission to accept their offer I could also understand his desire to progress to what most would perceive as a bigger club.

“For that reason I agreed to talk with Norwich to see if we could agree reasonable compensation for a manager of Paul's ability.

“I had a number of conversations with Norwich CEO Dave McNally which resulted in me turning down Norwich's request for permission to appoint Paul Lambert as their manager.

“The Norwich offer was strange because they insisted that they had decided to offer Paul the position without conducting an interview.

“On Monday morning, Paul was understandably frustrated by the failure of the clubs to reach an agreement and he informed me that he was finding it difficult to focus on his role at Colchester United.

“For that reason I agreed that Norwich could interview Paul but could not offer him employment or in any other way directly or indirectly induce him to breach his contract with Colchester United until they had agreed compensation with us.

“I met again with Paul last night and he handed me his resignation. This morning both Ian and Gary have also provided the club with written notice.

“I have enjoyed working with Paul, Ian and Gary. I have supported them 100% and have been willing to do so because they are a very talented team who have produced excellent results.

“On an upbeat note I am confident that with the help of my fellow directors and staff I will shortly be appointing a new manager who is equally if not more talented than Paul Lambert.

“In the meantime, Joe Dunne will take over as caretaker manager for tonight's game against Gillingham. I would like to urge all players, staff and fans to give Joe their full support.”

Lambert, who played for Celtic and Borussia Dortmund, has also managed Livingston and Wycombe Wanderers after a successful playing career which saw him pick up a Uefa Champions League winners medal with Dortmund in 1997.

Lambert took the reins at the Colchester Community Stadium in October 2008, leading the U's to a mid-table finish in League One. He has started this season with two wins from two in the league.

Previously, he was in charge of Wycombe Wanderers for two years, leading them to a historic semi-final League Cup appearance in January 2007.

Wycombe beat Premiership sides Fulham and Charlton Athletic en route to becoming the first fourth tier side since Chester City in 1974-75 to reaching the semis. It also marked the first time in the club's history they had progressed beyond the second round of the competition.

His first managerial appointment was north of the border with Scottish Premier League side Livingston in June 2005, however he resigned after just eight months in charge.

The 40-year-old former midfielder began his playing career with St Mirren and won his first winners medal with the Saints in 1987 as a 17-year-old, when they beat Dundee United at Hampden Park in extra-time in the Scottish Cup Final.

Lambert moved to Motherwell in 1993, before moving abroad to join Borussia Dortmund three years later.

The Scottish international midfielder made history with the German side when they defeated Italian giants Juventus 3-1 in the Uefa Champions League Final in Munich, in 1997.

After one season in Germany, the Paisley-born Lambert returned to Scotland with Celtic, where he went on to win four Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish Cups and two CIS Insurance Cups, as well as captaining the side to the 2003 Uefa Cup final - which ended in a 3-2 defeat to Portuguese side Porto after extra-time. Lambert spent eight years as a key figure at Celtic Park before moving into management with Livingston.

Lambert won 40 international caps with Scotland, scoring once, including playing in the 1998 World Cup in France, and made more than 650 appearances at club level.

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