Chance for fringe players to stake claim

PUBLISHED: 10:09 17 February 2010 | UPDATED: 17:01 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

Norwich City first team coach Ian Crook is challenging the club's senior fringe players to impress Paul Lambert in today's Totesport.com Combination East Division reserve game against Luton at Colney (2pm).

Norwich City first team coach Ian Crook is challenging the club's senior fringe players to impress Paul Lambert in today's Totesport.com Combination East Division reserve game against Luton at Colney (2pm).

Anthony McNamee and Oli Johnson both start after late cameos in City's 2-1 League One weekend win at Brighton which maintained the Canaries' promotion push.

Stephen Hughes also gets an outing, having been restricted to a watching brief in recent weeks since replacing injured left back Adam Drury in the comeback league victory at Walsall.

Danish centre back Jens Berthel Askou and Michael Spillane continue their bid to regain full match fitness after playing an hour each in last week's 1-0 reserve defeat to Ipswich at Carrow Road.

Irish U21 international Spillane also played the final few minutes of Norwich's latest Brighton success in his first senior appearance since suffering a niggling hamstring problem against Bristol Rovers three months ago.

“It's another game for us and it serves a different purpose for each player,” said Crook. “For the likes of McNamee, Hughes and Johnson, they haven't had much game time over the past three or four weeks so will be useful for them to get some minutes under their belts.

“Askou and Spillane take another step on their road to match fitness following lengthy lay-offs and then for the younger boys it moves them forward in their progression from youth team football.”

Crook is looking for a response from the club's strong-looking second string after a below par display in last week's 1-0 Ipswich derby defeat at Carrow Road.

“I'll be looking for a reaction from last week's performance against Ipswich, as that was unacceptable,” he said. “We keep speaking about how it's the performances that count at this level and they simply weren't good enough last week, let themselves down and the result perhaps should have been worse.”

City have switched today's game to the club's Colney training base to protect the Carrow Road playing surface ahead of Saturday's League One game against Southampton and Southend's midweek visit the following Tuesday.

There will be a £2 entry fee per car to watch today's game.

t Norwich City Reserves: Rudd, Spillane, McVeigh, Askou, D Kelly, Hughes, Gill, Adeyemi, McNamee, Johnson, Dawkin. Subs: Steer, Francomb, Lathrope, D Stephens, Clarke.

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