Lambert’s praise for Drury

Paul Lambert has hailed the festive impact of Norwich City’s evergreen defender Adam Drury.

The long-serving left-back is likely to feature in Lambert’s plans for this weekend’s FA Cup third round home tie against Burnley, with the Scot already pledging to shuffle his pack again for the Clarets’ visit.

Drury returned to the club’s Premier League ranks for the recent games against Tottenham and QPR after playing a waiting game for the majority of this season behind first choice Marc Tierney.

The 33-year-old has had to accept a revised role since his last involvement in the top flight with the Canaries – but Drury remains an invaluable part of Lambert’s squad.

“Ever since Marc has come in it has probably been hard for him, even in the Championship last year, to get in the side,” said the City chief.

“Marc played most of the games but Adam has never, ever let me or the club down.

“It was the same with (Michael) Nelson and (Matty) Gill. They were big players around the dressing room and Adam is the same.

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“Your football career only lasts so long and I probably came here at the wrong time to see the best out of him, but in the two and a half years I have been here he has been excellent.”

Drury has served the Canaries with distinction for more than a decade since arriving for a bargain �500,000 from Peterborough in 2001.

“He is probably the wrong side of 30 now, but that is the nature of the game,” said Lambert. “He has had an absolutely brilliant career at the football club. I have nothing but admiration for Adam Drury as a lad and a professional.

“He is a top pro and as a lad he is a top lad.

“I probably came to the club at the wrong time to get everything out of him, because I’d like to have seen him in his prime when he was 25, 26 and seen what he was like.

“He is one of the best one-on-one defenders that I have seen in a long while.”

Drury’s consistency mantle in the Norwich back four has now passed to Russell Martin. The Scotland international has also been a revelation since making the same switch from London Road.

Martin’s successful move into central defence earlier this campaign solved a prolonged injury crisis at the heart of the Canaries’ backline prior to the returns of Zak Whitbread and Dani Ayala.

“Russell Martin has been terrific,” said Lambert. “I thought when we brought him in, maybe the fans thought at the time, ‘Who is he?’. He had failed a little bit at Peterborough, but I had him at Wycombe where he was great. He is in the same mould as Adam, he is a brilliant pro. I never had any qualms about what I was bringing here.

“I knew he was reliable and his performances have been excellent and that has been underlined by getting picked for the national side.”