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Lambert recruits backroom team

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has recruited the assistant manager and head of football operations from his former club Norwich.

In a move that had been widely expected, former Canaries player Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa - both of whom had also worked with Lambert at Wycombe and Colchester - have followed their boss to Villa Park.

Lambert, who with Culverhouse and Karsa steered Norwich from League One to 12th place in the Premier League, said: "It's great for them to be here at the club, and I'm delighted they have joined me.

"They have been with me for the past six years, which is a long time, and we've built up an understanding and a trust. I trust them and they have been great for me. We have always bounced well off each other and we're all looking forward to the job at hand here at Villa."

On Wednesday, the new Norwich manager Chris Hughton had revealed that he expected Culverhouse and Karsa to depart, saying: "I am under the impression they are going."

Carrow Road chief executive David McNally told Norwich's official website: "We'd certainly like to place on record our sincere gratitude and appreciation of the work that Ian and Gary did with Paul to help lift us from the foot of League One to the Premier League.

"They've played a full part in a memorable and exciting era for the club, and I'm sure all Norwich fans will join everybody at Carrow Road and Colney in wishing them all the best for the future."

Lambert, meanwhile, said he was looking forward to starting work with the Villa squad as he attempts to restore morale at the club following last season's narrow escape from relegation under Alex McLeish.

"It's the first day for everyone and it's new and fresh," he said. "When a new manager comes in, there is always a bit of trepidation amongst the players about what is going to happen.

"But we are not going to complicate things. Hopefully they will respond and, if they do that, then we'll be fine. I'm not going to ask them to do anything which is alien to them. I'm going to get them to play to their strengths."

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