Injury worries ahead of Southampton clash

Michael Bailey Paul Lambert has at least two major doubts ahead of Norwich City's Johnstone's Paint Trophy semi-final at Southampton on Tuesday (7.45pm).Striker Grant Holt and Danish centre-back Jens Berthel Askou took knocks in the injury-time comeback draw at Yeovil on Saturday and are likely to miss out on tomorrow night's southern area section semi.

Michael Bailey

Paul Lambert has at least two major doubts ahead of Norwich City's Johnstone's Paint Trophy semi-final at Southampton on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Striker Grant Holt and Danish centre-back Jens Berthel Askou took knocks in the injury-time comeback draw at Yeovil on Saturday and are likely to miss out on tomorrow night's southern area section semi.

But with the Canaries boss having made a habit of overhauling his team selection in the Trophy's previous rounds - two 1-0 wins against Brentford and Gillingham, and the shoot-out victory at Swindon - Lambert is expected to give some of his fringe players the chance to book a place in the two-legged area final next year.


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“There are one or two that are carrying little knocks at the minute, so we'll see how they are,” said Lambert at Colney on Monday morning.

“Our main priority is the league, and I won't make any secret of that. The league is the most important thing and I can't play lads that are not fully recovered from a Saturday, so I just have to see who's fit and who's not.

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“I've got to balance it out and I don't have a big enough squad to go week in, week out. And as I've said before, if there are lads carrying knocks I've got to watch their welfare and have to protect some of them from playing a lot of games.”

Striker Cody McDonald, who scored City's winner in the second round win at Gillingham in October, is pushing for what would be his fifth start of the season, while Michael Nelson is on standby to replace Askou.

Stephen Hughes and Tom Adeyemi are also available - as is summer singing Matt Gill, who could make his comeback from a calf injury at St Mary's.

But Luke Daley, Owain Tudur Jones, Declan Rudd and Michael Spillane are still out, while Anthony McNamee is cup-tied.

Like in previous rounds, the match will go straight to penalties should the scores be level after 90 minutes, with the winners in Hampshire facing either League Two Hereford or MK Dons in the area final; the first leg in mid-January and the second mid-February.

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