Forster back as Rudd misses two matches

PUBLISHED: 11:43 05 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster will return to the scene of his sending-off tomorrow night when Norwich City visit Gillingham in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy (7.

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster will return to the scene of his sending-off tomorrow night when Norwich City visit Gillingham in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy second round (7.30pm).

Forster will face the Gills again, 11 days after being shown the red card in the League One match between the two sides at Priestfield Stadium, because 18-year-old Declan Rudd is on duty with England Under-19s.

Rudd will miss tomorrow's match and Saturday's trip to Carlisle as the under-19s play three European Championship qualifying matches against Finland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

“It's ironic how things come round and you go back to the ground where you got sent off, but Fraser will handle it fine,” said City boss Paul Lambert, philosophical about Rudd's absence after such a promising start to first team football.

“It's disappointing for us but it's great for Declan to go and play for his country,” he said.

Lambert said he had a string of players struggling for fitness with Michael Spillane (hamstring injury) and Grant Holt (shin) definitely out, and Darel Russell suffering from a neck injury.

Jon Otsemobor, Michael Nelson, Matthew Gill and Owain Tudur Jones have all had spells on the sidelines in recent weeks.

“We're struggling - definitely struggling. There are a few of them in there that are not going to make it so maybe we need to look at the youth side of the game. I can't play lads that are injured,” said Lambert.

Spillane's absence could be a lengthy one, said Lambert.

“I'm not so sure how long. It will be a few weeks, I think. He has played centre-half and right-back since we've been here and the last few games at right-back he's been doing really, really well, so it's a blow,” he said.

Players with limited first team action in the past few matches could all feature tomorrow, with Stephen Hughes, Cody McDonald, Tom Adeyemi, Jamie Cureton and Luke Daley all candidates to be involved.

Full-back Rhoys Wiggins was not yet ready for senior action, said Lambert, while striker Goran Maric has a groin injury.

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