City boss is forced to review his right-back options
Chris Lakey Paul Lambert admitted he failed in an attempt to bring in a loan player to resolve a major selection headache this weekend. The Canaries boss is without a right-back for the trip to Stockport today after running out of luck - and players - for the jinxed position.
Paul Lambert admitted he failed in an attempt to bring in a loan player to resolve a major selection headache this weekend.
The Canaries boss is without a right-back for the trip to Stockport today after running out of luck - and players - for the jinxed position.
Jon Otsemobor and Michael Spillane have both been felled by hamstring injuries, while the most recent occupant, teenager George Francomb, has a thigh injury.
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Otsemobor's comeback at Leeds almost a fortnight ago came at a price - he hasn't played since - while Spillane returned to training on Thursday only to pull up.
Lambert is reluctant to again move Korey Smith, who replaced Francomb for the second half against Swindon a week ago, from midfield and although Michael Nelson is making progress after a foot injury, it's clearly too soon - leaving Lambert to explore the last resort of a loan.
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"We tried to do something yesterday but it never materialised," he said.
There are options, but none is particularly appetising.
Lambert hasn't been afraid to promote from the Academy, but Richard Brindley is too inexperienced; Sam Habergham might be closer, but is generally a left-back, although he has played on the right; Dario Dumic has stepped in at right-back in pre-season and for the reserves, but is a centre half, as is David Stephens.
Then there are the more senior players: Jens Berthel Askou was moved to right-back in the final minutes of the win over Swindon last weekend when Nelson came on, but only because Lambert was expecting an aerial onslaught and wanted to add height to his back four; Rhoys Wiggins is a left-back, but might be able to swap, as could Simon Lappin, although it would cause disruption to a midfield until which has been at the hub of City's revival.
And with Stephen Hughes unable to shake off a thigh injury, Lambert's midfield options aren't exactly flexible.
"There's nobody," said Lambert. "We don't have a right-back, everyone's injured so we have to adjust it.
"We're looking at every option we've got at the minute."
Even a change of formation doesn't really solve the problem.
"It doesn't really matter because the same problem is still there whatever formation you want to play - we don't have a recognised right-back," he said. "Any permutation it is a square peg in a round hole, but taking Korey's energy out of the midfield maybe hindered us a little bit."
However, while Lambert tries to sort out the jigsaw, he insists it's no more than an occupational hazard.
"It's something that doesn't frighten me because I know that whoever plays there will do great," he said.
n Former Norwich right-back Elliot Omosuzi has joined Charlton on a short-term deal.
Manager Phil Parkinson brought in Omosuzi, who was on loan at Carrow Road from Fulham last season, after regular right-backs Frazer Richardson and Chris Solly both suffered injuries.
Although Omosuzi is out of contract, Fulham still hold his registration, so he has signed a one-month contract at Charlton with an option for a permanent move in January.