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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Lambert wants solution to Norwich dispute

Paul Lambert has said he hopes a solution to his dispute with his former club Norwich can be reached before the matter goes to a Premier League tribunal early in the New Year.

Lambert, now in charge at Aston Villa, and the Canaries are suing each other for breach of contract after the Scot's acrimonious departure to Villa Park in the summer.

He enjoyed three years of huge success at Carrow Road, steering the East Anglians from League One to the top flight via back-to-back promotions before securing a mid-table finish in last season's Premier League.

And as he prepared to return to Norfolk for a Capital One Cup quarter-final on Tuesday, he said: "Probably the sad thing is people don't really know what's been going on.

"Is it a source of sorrow that it's ended up how it has? Yes, it should never have been the way it is. Would you hope it could get sorted amicably? You'd like to think that way.

"But I just let the lawyers and the LMA [League Managers' Association], who have been brilliant with it, get on with things. It's unfair to comment because it's in arbitration, and you've got to respect that.''

Lambert said he thought he might get a hostile reception from some Norwich fans - although there was little from the travelling support in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park earlier this season - but said having played for Celtic had more than prepared him for any crowd reaction.

"It's a hard one to call whether they want to do that [give him a hostile reception] or not," he said. "You would like to think that the sensible ones would maybe think: 'You've done alright.'

"I know you might get stick - but listen, I was at a club for eight years that half the city [Glasgow] hated. When you have been involved in that, then you can handle anything.

"I really don't know what to expect but it's not something I'm actually too fazed about."

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