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The Canaries boss is not impressed with talk of him replacing under-fire Alex McLeish at Villa Park and is focusing purely on his side's next game against Liverpool

Norwich City manager Paul Lambert has hit out at speculation suggesting that he is in line to replace under-fire Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish.

The two Scots have enjoyed contrasting fortunes this season, with the Canaries surpassing all expectations by achieving mid-table security, whilst McLeish finds his more established team sitting precariously close to the relegation zone.

Several newspapers reported on Friday that Villa owner Randy Lerner is preparing to bring Lambert to the Birmingham club in the summer, something to which the former Celtic midfielder has not taken kindly.

“Speculation about players is something you can never do anything about,” the Nowrich boss told reporters. “That happens. It happens with managers as well and you can’t stop that.

“If my players get linked with other teams there is not a thing I can do about that. It is the same situation about myself.

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“It is extremely unfair with me being linked with Aston Villa when they have got a really good manager up there who is doing everything he can to stay in the league. It is an unfair comment for me to say anything on that.”

The Canaries boss would rather concentrate on Saturday’s game against Liverpool, when his side will look to put a run of two consecutive defeats behind them.

The Reds have been struggling in the league for much of this season, but Lambert is adamant that his side will be in for a tough game at Carrow Road.

“It will be extremely hard,” he continued. “I don’t need to lift them because the game itself will lift them.

“We’ll certainly have to lift it because I think Liverpool are a top side. Some of the players they have got are outstanding.

“The history and the tradition they have got is such that we have to step it up. They have won the [League] Cup, they are in the final of the FA Cup.

“The fanbase is huge, Kenny [Dalglish] is a massive presence and they are still a fantastic side. I don’t think anybody should underestimate that.”

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