Canaries boss has window of opportunity

Paddy Davitt Norwich boss Paul Lambert admitted yesterday the Canaries' League One promotion push could hinge on his January transfer window dealings.Lambert has drawn up a list of potential targets with a central defender topping the bill as the Scot prepares for Millwall's Boxing Day visit minus the suspended Gary Doherty and injured partner Jens Berthel Askou.

Paddy Davitt

Norwich boss Paul Lambert admitted yesterday the Canaries' League One promotion push could hinge on his January transfer window dealings.

Lambert has drawn up a list of potential targets with a central defender topping the bill as the Scot prepares for Millwall's Boxing Day visit minus the suspended Gary Doherty and injured partner Jens Berthel Askou.

The City chief is adamant he needs fresh blood to keep pace with title rivals Leeds and Charlton at the League One summit well into the New Year.


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“Everyone else at the top end will strengthen I think, and we've got to try and do the same,” he said. “I think you find yourself panicking (in January) if you're not getting people in, because you think I must do something, and then you think you bring somebody in here that's not right, and you've done it for the sake of bringing somebody in, and it's not right.

“This club is too big for that to happen. I've got to get people who, when they get their chance, are ready to play. Not to wait on them to develop or anything like that because this club needs people to hit the ground running - and that is down to our fan base and expectancy level.

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“If you get a contract that's about 20 years long and they say it doesn't matter what you do in the league, just build us a team, I'll say give me 20 years and I'll do it but you don't get that, you get about two and a half seconds to turn it round. The fear of failure is massive.”

Lambert has ruled out reviving his close season interest in Exeter's young defender Dan Seaborne.

“No, I've not been back in there,” he said. “I know the ones I want, it's whether we can do something, then fine. We have to wait and see if we can get them in.

“Within the squad, there's an abundance of midfielders and like at right-back, we're down to one centre-half at the minute, so we have to look at that area to see if we can give the lads a hand. We have to try and do something.”

The City boss hinted he would resist any major festive trimming to his existing squad although out-of-favour striker Jamie Cureton was again yesterday linked with League Two strugglers Lincoln City. Lambert did, however, confirm Aussie keeper Michael Theoklitos is not in his plans.

Theoklitos was reportedly set for a possible return Down Under to new A-League club Melbourne Heart although Heart officials denied they had made an approach for the 28-year-old.

“I did have a team on the phone,” said Lambert. “But Michael doesn't want to go back to Australia, so that was as far as it went. He doesn't want to go back there. As I said last time, he's got to go and get playing somewhere to get his career up and running. It's all very well sitting here and thinking I'm just going to sit here. He works hard in training, doesn't give me an ounce of a problem. He might not like me because he's not playing, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

“There hasn't been any toys thrown out of the pram but there's only one winner there if that was the case. You can throw whatever you want out of your pram, it won't change my stance. I just pick the best team that I think can win us games.”

Theoklitos now looks set for an initial New Year loan spell away from Carrow Road after failing to force his way back into Lambert's first team plans since a calamitous opening day debut against Colchester.

“He's at an age where he has to play,” said Lambert. “He's an experienced goalkeeper and what happened to him here on the first day and the Gillingham thing, and Fraser Forster has been exceptional for us.

“Michael's agent does his work for him and that's what he's paid to do allegedly, so if he's good at his job he might get him somewhere.”

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