Crofts and Drury win fitness battle

Michael Bailey Andrew Crofts and Adam Drury should return to Paul Lambert's starting line-up for Norwich City's Championship trip to Nottingham Forest tomorrow (3pm). The pair have recovered from ankle and hamstring knocks respectively, which kept them out of the midweek Carling Cup exit at Blackburn Rovers.

Michael Bailey

Andrew Crofts and Adam Drury should return to Paul Lambert's starting line-up for Norwich City's Championship trip to Nottingham Forest tomorrow (3pm).

The pair have recovered from ankle and hamstring knocks respectively, which kept them out of the midweek Carling Cup exit at Blackburn Rovers.

“They got hurt against Swansea so it would have been a bit of a risk to use them but they are in contention,” said Lambert.


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West Bromwich Albion centre-back Leon Barnett is also in the squad for one of City's trickiest league journeys of the season, having joined on loan yesterday from the Hawthorns until January 4.

With Michael Nelson's ankle injury set to sideline him for “a couple of months”, plus Zak Whitbread (calf) and Steven Smith (ankle) remaining on the sidelines, the City boss admitted he needed extra defensive cover.

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“We needed cover to come in with Michael out,” said Lambert. “He played the other night for West Brom so I don't have any problems throwing him in. He trained yesterday, he played with Elliott (Ward) at Coventry, so I don't have any problems with that.”

Whitbread and Smith are hopeful of a return following next weekend's international break, but Nelson's absence is set to be longer. That gave a rare start to Jens Berthel Askou on Tuesday night, and Lambert has not ruled out the big Dane getting another chance to shine tomorrow, despite Barnett's arrival.

“Jens hasn't played much either, because of Michael and Wardy playing well together, so he did fine the other night - his first game for a while. But I'll decide tomorrow who plays.”

Meanwhile, Lambert also confirmed midfielder Owain Tudur Jones has joined League One Yeovil on a month's loan. The Wales international has barely featured since Lambert joined the Carrow Road club just over a year ago.

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