Tuesday 19 February 2019

Lambert is relishing Stoke test

Paul Lambert. Pic: PA
Paul Lambert. Pic: PA

Paul Lambert has stressed it did not matter to him if he was "15th or 50th choice" to become Stoke's new manager as he expressed his delight at landing the job.

The Potters on Monday announced Lambert's appointment as successor to the sacked Mark Hughes on a two-and-a-half year contract.

Stoke, currently 18th in the Premier League, had been interested in Gary Rowett before he signed a new contract at Derby, and subsequently targeted Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, both of whom removed themselves from the running.

Those names were mentioned to Lambert at a press conference at the bet365 Stadium yesterday, and the Scot said: "Whether I was 15th or 50th choice, it didn't matter to me one bit, because it is a fantastic football club.

"I've had the top people trust me that I can do it, and I'm looking forward to it.

"I'm absolutely delighted that they chose me and that I'm working under them."

Former Norwich and Aston Villa boss Lambert has not managed in the top flight since being sacked by the latter in 2015, having spells since then in charge of Blackburn and then Wolves in the Championship.

And he admitted: "I never thought I would get the chance again to come back in to this level, unless you took a team from the Championship back up, just the way the game is going.

"I'm honoured and privileged to be here and I can't wait to get started."

Lambert's first game in charge is Saturday's home clash with Huddersfield.

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