Back to the future for Lambert

David Cuffley Norwich City boss Paul Lambert should be one step ahead of his players in sizing up the opposition as they bid to maintain their promotion push tomorrow.

David Cuffley

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert should be one step ahead of his players in sizing up the opposition as they bid to maintain their promotion push tomorrow.

The Canaries, with nine wins in their last 11 League One matches, face Yeovil at Huish Park (3pm) for the second time this season.

But only five of the City eleven who started the Carling Cup tie on the same ground four months ago today - Bryan Gunn's last match as manager - are likely to be in the starting line-up tomorrow.


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Lambert, however, is preparing to face Yeovil for the fourth time in just over a year after three previous encounters as Colchester boss, all victories, one of which was his final game in charge of the U's.

Colchester doubled Yeovil last season, winning 1-0 at home and 2-0 in the away match on the final day of the campaign.

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Then, on August 15, a 2-1 home win over the Glovers put the U's top of League One - a match followed by the fateful phone call from the Canaries to Colchester that led to Lambert's controversial exit from the Essex club.

"I was Yeovil with at Colchester on the last day of last season," said Lambert. "I know a bit about their players and I know it will be another tough game.

"But we are playing well enough at this moment in time and we will go down there to try to win the game."

City's 4-0 Carling Cup win at Yeovil, which included current skipper Grant Holt's first three goals for the club, was not enough to save Gunn's job, and Lambert does not believe that match will have any bearing on tomorrow's rematch.

Yeovil's home record in the league is fairly sound with four wins and four draws from 10 matches and is largely responsible for their solid mid-table position.

Said Lambert: "No two matches are the same and it's a different competition."

The Canaries, in third place, four points adrift of Charlton, look set to be unchanged barring any late injury problems.

Midfielder Matthew Gill is back training with the first team, six weeks after his last appearance, when he suffered a calf injury at Stockport.

Defender Michael Spillane (hamstring) has started running after 10 weeks on the sidelines, but midfielder Owain Tudur Jones (groin) has yet to train since his latest injury setback.

Full-back George Francomb returned to action for the Academy side against West Ham last weekend after six weeks out with a thigh strain.

Yeovil, without a win in their last four league games, are expected to be unchanged after last week's 2-2 draw at MK Dons.

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