Lambert linked with U's striker Holroyd

Reports suggest Norwich City and Bournemouth are competing for the signature of 22-year-old Cambridge United striker Chris Holroyd.

Reports suggest Norwich City and Bournemouth are competing for the signature of 22-year-old Cambridge United striker Chris Holroyd.

Holroyd has scored 14 goals for the Conference side so far this season but it would appear defence is the area where Lambert needs to strengthen most having been hit by a string of injuries in the right back position - only a week ago he was forced to switch Adam Drury into a makeshift role for the League One win at Stockport. Michael Spillane is out until Christmas and teenager George Francomb could be out for a month, while it could be a game too early for Jon Otsemobor, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury.

Lambert has promised to send out a strong side against FA Cup minnows Paulton Rovers tomorrow - but with the queue for the treatment room growing longer by the week, it's likely to be another square peg in the round hole on the right side of the defence.

Lambert tried and failed to bring in a loan player a week ago, but was yesterday attempting to complete another deal - although it's unlikely the player would be allowed to play tomorrow.

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“We have tried a hundred and not got any of them, not at the minute,” said Lambert. “We're trying at this minute - we are just waiting for an answer to come back. If we can get him then fine, if we can't we just move forward again. I doubt if his club would let him play in the FA Cup.”

Lambert has few alternatives but to play someone out of position, and at the moment Drury looks favourite to step in again.

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“I have got to play somebody there, whether it's Adam or not,” he said. “He was excellent.”

There are youngsters who might fit the bill, but Lambert is unlikely to go down that route.

There are other concerns, with midfielders Stephen Hughes and Matt Gill and striker Luke Daley likely to be missing.

Gill is the biggest problem, after his first start for more than two months since suffering a knee injury ended early in the second half last weekend when he limped off with a calf injury.

Lambert says Gill will be “out for a while”, Daley is not ready and he may not take a risk on Hughes, although the Scot may start training.

The City boss was playing his cards close to his chest at yesterday's media conference ahead of the first round tie in the West Country, but there will be one known change - on-loan goalkeeper Fraser Forster has to sit this one out, with his parent club, Newcastle, refusing to allow City to cup-tie him. That means a likely recall for Declan Rudd.

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