Forster is ours for season - Lambert
David Cuffley Manager Paul Lambert has brushed aside the latest transfer talk over goalkeeper Fraser Forster and insists he is a vital part of Norwich City's promotion challenge.
Manager Paul Lambert has brushed aside the latest transfer talk over goalkeeper Fraser Forster and insists he is a vital part of Norwich City's promotion challenge.
Premier League club Stoke City were yesterday reported to be keen to snatch the 21-year-old if attempts to resurrect a January transfer window move for Portsmouth 'keeper David James fall through.
But Forster is bound by his season-long loan to the Canaries from Newcastle United, Lambert reaffirmed last night.
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Forster has made 24 appearances for City in all competitions since arriving in August, keeping 11 clean sheets in his 20 League One games.
“Fraser is here for the season. He's been brilliant and he's played a major part in what we have achieved so far,” said Lambert, pointing to his performance in the 5-0 win at boggy Colchester last Saturday as a prime example of his importance to the side.
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“His handling in really bad conditions was excellent and there was one terrific save down to his left- hand side. There is no doubt he's going to be a top goalkeeper.”
Stoke boss Tony Pulis is reported to have Forster on a short list of targets after a loan deal for England 'keeper James collapsed last week over the player's personal terms - but reports suggest the move for James could be back on.
Forster was linked with North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham just after Christmas after earning rave reviews for his performances for City.
Meanwhile, Lambert is hopeful that full-back Adam Drury will shake off a knock he suffered at Colchester in time to face Brentford in tomorrow's League One match at Carrow Road (3pm).
“Adam's got a knock on his ankle but we're hoping he will be OK,” said the City boss.
The Canaries will be bidding for their 10th successive home win, which would equal the 10 in a row recorded by Ken Brown's Division Two title-winning team in 1985-86.
Defender Michael Spillane has been back in full training this week without experiencing any problems after more than three months on the sidelines with a torn hamstring, but will not figure tomorrow.
Danish centre-back Jens Berthel Askou is still sidelined by the broken metatarsal he suffered in the 3-3 draw at Yeovil six weeks ago.
Lambert confirmed that winger Simon Whaley, out of favour since September, had turned down a further loan move after spells with Rochdale and Bradford City.
“There have been one or two inquiries for Simon to go on loan but he didn't feel it was right for him so he's with us,” he said.