THE incessant rain in the Ribble Valley may have come as a shock to new Blackburn Rovers boss Paul Lambert but the quality he has inherited has come as a more pleasant surprise.

Lambert has been delighted by the way the Rovers players have responded since he oversaw his first training session on Monday.


And the Glaswegian is confident, should they take the initial lessons they have learned out on to the Deepdale turf tomorrow, that they will mark his first match with a derby win over Preston North End.

But Lambert has told his charges that he expects more of the same throughout the season and that it will take time to adjust to his demands.

“It’s been wet – and I thought Glasgow was bad,” quipped the former Scotland international when asked how his first week in the Ewood Park hotseat had been.

“No, it’s been great, really good. The lads have responded, which you’d expect because any new manager coming in would have brought a lift, but the way they’ve trained and applied themselves has been excellent.

“The first four days I’ve been here has been really enjoyable and they’ve worked really hard.

“There are good players at this club. We just have to get a little bit more out of them and try and get them winning games.

“But this week has been good for us.”

Asked if anyone in particular had caught his eye, Lambert said: “I wouldn’t say as an individual but as a group they have. They’ve all stepped up to the plate.

“As I said before, that can be an accumulation of new manager syndrome or wanting to impress.

“But it’s doing it over 40-odd games, not one or two weeks. Every single week you’ve got to perform and train the way they’re training now.

“We need to keep that standard of training and take it into games.”

The Rovers players have spoken of the intensity of the sessions Lambert, who is determined to adopt a high-tempo attacking style of football, has put on since taking over from Gary Bowyer.

And he said: “It will take time. I’m not so sure they’re used to the intensity and that’s no slight on Gary at all.

“Everybody’s got a way of training and playing and my way is obviously going to be different from Gary’s – and Gary’s is going to be different from Sam Allardyce’s, and Sam’s is going to be different from Kenny Dalglish’s.

“There’s no right way or a wrong way, but the way I want to play, to do it, it’s probably just a little bit different.”

Only time will tell which players will adapt to methods which saw Norwich City romp to back-to-back promotions to the Premier League.

But for now Lambert believes that uncertainty has its advantages.

“That’s what a new manager creates; you don’t know if you’re going to play or be left out,” he said.

“Am I going to be sold or am I going to stay? It’s not a bad thing to have because it keeps you on your toes. Does he like me or does he not?

“The secret of that is play well and you stay in the side.”