Lambert ready to ring changes for FA Cup
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert looks set to ring the changes again for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at home to Burnley – but insists the team he picks will be capable of booking a fourth round place.
The Canaries’ record in the competition has been desperately poor since the mid-1990s, and they have progressed beyond the third round only twice in the past 14 seasons.
Last season, Lambert’s Canaries were beaten 1-0 at Carrow Road by Leyton Orient in the third round, while the previous season brought a 3-1 second round defeat at Carlisle.
Lambert has juggled his squad over the Christmas and New Year programme, making four changes for Saturday’s Premier League game against Fulham, and a further five changes for Monday’s victory at Queens Park Rangers.
Asked if he would give some of his senior players a breather against Championship side Burnley, he admitted: “It may well be because we’ve got a hard programme coming up after that as well, so I might do.”
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City’s impressive start to Premier League life has given them an excellent chance of staying up. Five wins from the final 18 games would take them to 40 points, which ought to be enough to secure their top-flight status for another year.
“The league is the main objective – but I’m not discounting the FA Cup. Whatever team I pick, as I always say, I think will go and win a game,” said Lambert.
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“So I’m not going to disregard the FA Cup. There are too many people coming to watch us. We’ll try to win it, to go through, but I also know the league is vital to us.”
In the wake of Monday’s 2-1 defeat by the Canaries, Rangers boss Neil Warnock said he aimed to field his best available team for the third round visit to League One promotion challengers MK Dons.
Asked if he planned to rest players, he said: “Not many, I don’t think so. I want to try to win it if I can. It’s not like the other cup, is it? I’m sure everybody else will play weakened teams, but I like the FA Cup.
“I wouldn’t want to do what Birmingham did in the other one, but we’ve got a great game to look forward to. They’re a fabulous side in their division and playing good football and we’re taking about four or five thousand fans with us so it’s definitely a game I want to win. It will be my best team.”