Norwich City, Swansea City and QPR can stay up, says Iwan Roberts

By Marc HigginsonBBC Sport
Paul Lambert spent less than £10m in the summer
Paul Lambert spent less than £10m on his Norwich City squad in the summer

Former Norwich City striker Iwan Roberts believes all three promoted teams can survive in the Premier League for the first time in 10 seasons.

Ahead of the final fixtures of 2011, Roberts says the Canaries, Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City can all build on positive starts to the season.

"All three can survive and comfortably too. It will be a breath of fresh air if they do," he told BBC Sport.

In 2001-02, promoted sides Fulham, Bolton and Blackburn all stayed up.

It is the only time since the inception of the Premier League in 1992 that all three promoted sides have survived their first season.

And if last season's promoted trio do replicate the deeds of Fulham, Bolton and Blackburn, it could be a good omen - none of the sides has been relegated since.

Heading into 2012, Norwich appear best placed, sitting seven points above the relegation zone, and former Wales player Roberts is a particular fan of the job done by boss Paul Lambert at Carrow Road in overseeing back-to-back promotions, and making a promising start to top-tier life.

"They have settled in well to life in the Premier League, have scored plenty of goals, but the disappointing thing from their point of view is that they have conceded a few too many," said Roberts.

"They have conceded sloppy goals at times - they haven't kept a clean sheet this season. If they can cut those mistakes out there is no reason they can't finish in the top half.

"At home, they are a real force."

Lambert has spent relatively little money in assembling his young, vibrant team and Roberts believes the manager's transfer policy is one of the key reasons for Norwich's success.

"Everybody that Paul Lambert has brought in has done really well for them," said Roberts, who spent seven years at Carrow Road.

"You have to get the spirit right and get the right personnel into the dressing room to fit into what you have already got, and he did that well in the summer with the likes of Steve Morison, Anthony Pilkington and Elliott Bennett.

"He has bought good, young British talent because he knows what he is going to get. I think he will go down the same route in January.

"Just two and a half years ago, Bennett, Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson were playing in the League Two play-offs for Bury, Shrewsbury and Gillingham.

"I was talking to somebody who went to the final between Shrewsbury and Gillingham. Simeon scored in the last minute of extra time and Holty missed an absolute sitter to win the game in normal time. It goes to show what a funny game it is."

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