Lambert weighs up options in Norwich City attack
Manager Paul Lambert must decide whether to stick or twist with his attacking combination as Norwich City’s promotion challenge continues with another trip to Yorkshire.
The fifth-placed Canaries take on Barnsley at Oakwell (3pm) looking to complete their second Championship double of the season.
But while skipper Grant Holt has continued to tuck the goals away, scoring his 13th in the league this season in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Doncaster – and his 15th in all competitions – none of his striking partners has found the net since Chris Martin scored in the 2-1 win at Derby on December 4.
Martin is currently sidelined by a hamstring injury sustained in training last week, Aaron Wilbraham has yet to get off the mark after starting four league matches and making 11 appearances in total, and the last of Simeon Jackson’s four goals came in the 1-0 home win over Middlesbrough four months ago.
Barring a late loan signing in time for tomorrow’s game, Lambert must either keep faith with Wilbraham after two successive starts, recall Jackson or reshuffle his midfield pack and possibly promote one of them to a more advanced role.
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He must also decide whether to bring midfielder Andrew Surman back into the starting line-up after three outings as substitute since recovering from his second knee injury of the season.
Holt suffered a kick on the knee early in the Doncaster match but went on to complete 90 minutes.
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City’s away record is still a formidable one with only the Championship’s top pair, Queens Park Rangers and Swansea, collecting more points on their travels.
They have also done well in the White Rose county in recent weeks with a 2-1 win at Sheffield United and last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Leeds coming either side of the 2-1 defeat across the border at Burnley.
The Canaries have not lost at Oakwell since 2000 and have won eight of their last 10 meetings with Barnsley, home and away, securing goalless draws in the other two.
The Tykes were yesterday linked with a loan move for Blackpool striker Marlon Harewood but manager Mark Robins declined to comment on the link and a new face before the weekend is unlikely.