Lambert sweating on news of keeper
David Cuffley Norwich City boss Paul Lambert was today waiting for news on goalkeeper Ben Alnwick after he was forced to leave the field with a nasty facial injury towards the end of last night's 4-1 Carling Cup home defeat by Sunderland.
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert was today waiting for news on goalkeeper Ben Alnwick after he was forced to leave the field with a nasty facial injury towards the end of last night's 4-1 Carling Cup home defeat by Sunderland.
The on-loan 'keeper came off worse in a collision with striker Fraizer Campbell seven minutes from time, with City defender Michael Spillane sent off by referee Anthony Taylor for the initial shove on Campbell on the edge of the penalty area.
“His face is a bit of a mess at the minute. We just need to see how that settles down, but it's quite a bad gash. It's straight under his eye,” said Lambert.
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Striker Cody McDonald finished the match in goal, wearing substitute keeper Declan Rudd's No 13 shirt, because Lambert had already made three changes.
If 22-year-old Alnwick, on loan from Tottenham, has not recovered in time for Saturday's League One trip to Hartlepool, 18-year-old Rudd - on the bench ahead of summer signing Michael Theoklitos for the two games since Lambert took over - could be in line for his senior debut.
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One man sure to miss out at Victoria Park is Spillane, who now faces a ban but was far from happy with the red card decision. His manager was reserving judgment.
“The game's done, the game is finished, but I have not seen it. I can only say what I have seen and whether Michael has pushed him or not I have to see,” said Lambert.
City's new boss made a further six changes to his starting line-up after Saturday's 5-2 League One victory over Wycombe, but they were undone by three goals in the space of 10 first-half minutes. And although Wes Hoolahan reduced the arrears, an Owain Tudur Jones own goal sealed their fate.
Said Lambert: “I thought we started the game really well. We had a couple of really good chances and Craig Gordon made some decent saves, but when you make individual errors, especially against the calibre of a team like that, you will get punished and that is certainly what happened.
“But there are some positive things to come out of it - the negatives I have already seen.
“The pleasing thing was at 3-0 it was easy to wilt and we never, we stuck at it. We stuck at it, got our goal and gave the crowd a little bit of a lift. There were some really pleasing things - 3-0 down against a Premiership team and we could have buckled, which we never did.
“Saturday was great but tonight we were stepping up two divisions which is tough. But I am delighted we didn't wilt - and there are some young kids coming through, which is pleasing.”
Lambert could shed no light on the future of midfielder Darel Russell, yet to appear for City this season after expressing a wish to move on. One bid from Burnley was rejected by previous manager Bryan Gunn.
“Darel has been training away. It's been unknown to me what's been happening,” said Lambert. “I think he wanted to leave the football club last season. I haven't had a chance to speak to him. I've been here less than a week and need to try to see everybody play before I make an assumption on people.”