Lambert: I don't want dressing room dominated by survival hype
Paul Lambert says he is keen to keep the tension-fuelled survival hype out of the dressing room.
Pundits are cranking up the basement battle with column inches in the sports sections of newspapers dominated by the relegation fight, especially since Man Utd guaranteed the title at the other end of the table.
But Lambert wants his players to concentrate on their football and not be consumed by the media furore.
He said: "I try to keep it away. That's important.
"It's important what we do within the football club. It's about the players together with the crowd. They're the two main components which will drive us forward."
The latest encounter in the push to climb the top-flight table is a home clash with Sunderland on Monday.
He may not want any noise in the dressing room but he wants plenty of it when the players emerge on to the pitch at 8pm.
He continued: "It will be an excellent atmosphere on Monday. It will be vibrant as everyone knows.
"We need the supporters on Monday, that's for sure. I'm pretty sure the crowd will be right behind us."
Lambert is relishing the clash with the Black Cats, managed by new boss Paolo Di Canio.
Gaffer Lambert accepts that the "new manager syndrome" has helped Sunderland these past two weeks but he insists there's still a long way to go before Di Canio can be hailed a hero on Wearside.
He added: "I don't get caught up in what happens elsewhere. You can talk about the new manager syndrome but at the end of the day it's the same group of players who were there before. You get that pick up when someone comes in.
"But it's about the 11 that take the field of play. The game is about players.
"I don't know Paolo Di Canio at all. It's hard for me to judge.
"Their team has picked up the last couple of games. It's hard to comment on the difference.
"The derby game - you can be top or bottom of the league - the form doesn't matter, it's that given day, anything can happen in a derby game. You never know.
"I watched the Everton game. It was a tough match but they obviously got their goal.
"Sunderland made the choice to bring in Paolo but I know how good a manager Martin is because I worked under him for five years.
"I don't know if it's worked, you have to wait and see. They are still bang in it. I'm pretty sure Paolo would say that himself. They're not clear of it.
"In terms of the game, we know it's going to be tough. But it's not just about Sunderland coming down here. We have a job to do.
"We're at home and the onus is on us to make the running."
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