Lack of games concerns City boss
Jonathan Redhead Norwich City boss Paul Lambert admits a lack of game time is causing him slight concerns as he searches for the right mix for the clash with Oldham Athletic this afternoon.
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert admits a lack of game time is causing him slight concerns as he searches for the right mix for the clash with Oldham Athletic this afternoon.
Lambert has recently said he'd like to freshen up his side as they continue to push for promotion and introduced on-loan full back Russell Martin and recalled Stephen Hughes to his starting XI at Southend on Tuesday night.
Substitutes Tom Adeyemi and Luke Daley also featured for the first time in a while at Roots Hall as the Canaries ran out 3-0 winners.
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And Lambert was impressed with all their performances as his side ultimately won at a canter.
But with few reserve games in the offing, Lambert admitted the club must try to arrange more friendlies to keep his players match fit as the season progresses.
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"All we can do is try to arrange friendly games. Lack of game time does give you a little bit of a concern," Lambert said.
"That's all you can do, and that's why we try to keep the intensity of training high so they can adjust to it pretty easily.
"We only really freshened it up with Russell Martin coming in at right back.
"Is that really freshening it up with one player coming in, in a defensive position? We thought about changing it, but we didn't want one defeat to blight what we've done and thankfully it worked.
"Young Tom came in having not played many games at all, and Stephen coming back from injury, not played since the Leeds game and I thought Russell Martin was excellent in his first game.
"Luke Daley was the same. Luke came on and hasn't played since the Northampton reserve game and hasn't done much training, but I just thought for the last little bit with a bit of pace up there he might do something, which he did.
"I think everybody knows the way we play. I think that's important. If you're not playing and you do try to come into a team that's been going well, that you adjust to it really quickly.
"And to be fair to them, they've done great."
The result and the performance mean Lambert is faced with selection headaches this afternoon.
Among them is the fate of Hughes, who replaced the injured Darel Russell, who should be fit to face Oldham, and impressed in a role as a withdrawn midfielder, while teenager Adeyemi also came in for praise from the manager.
"It's a strange role for him (Hughes)," he said.
"I think he's done it a few times. I think he's more offensive than defensive so for somebody to come in who's not played a full game for a long time, he did great.
"Tom's only young, not played many games, but he showed me what he can do when he came on. I wouldn't have him about the place if I never thought he could do it."
Adam Drury could also be fit after the knock which forced him off at half-time at Roots Hall, but Matt Gill will not be ready to face the Latics, despite his return to training after a calf injury suffered at the end of October.
"He's been out since Stockport," Lambert said of Gill. "He's only really joined in with us in the last couple of days so he's not really ready for that. But it's good to have him back training with the group."