New face on the left as Rose is brought in
Chris Lakey Paul Lambert wasted no time in plugging a hole in his defence yesterday when he made his second raid on Stockport within the space of three weeks to sign Michael Rose - and kept the City boat on an even keel just as it was listing on its left side.
Paul Lambert wasted no time in plugging a hole in his defence yesterday when he made his second raid on Stockport within the space of three weeks to sign Michael Rose - and kept the City boat on an even keel just as it was listing on its left side.
Rose arrives on loan until the end of the season and looks set to walk into the side this afternoon in place of left-back Adam Drury, who has been ruled out for a matter of weeks because of a slight tear in his thigh.
With out-of-favour Rhoys Wiggins departing for an emergency one-month loan spell at Bournemouth, Lambert's timing is impeccable, given that the only other alternative to cover Drury's absence was to take the increasingly influential Simon Lappin out of his midfield role - and bringing to an end a run of consecutive league games which began the moment Lambert took over.
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"You can affect the balance of it and I think Simon, the way he has been playing and his levels of energy, he's been terrific for us, and losing Adam - in my view he's been one of the top performers for us.
"It's a blow and sod's law what happened to him, it's a bit of a nightmare for us."
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Rose was on Lambert's radar well before Drury pulled up in the early stages of Tuesday's 2-1 win at Walsall.
"When you look at the squad it's the one position where we never really had much cover," he said. "We had somebody who played a lot of games at left back. Rhoys was here, but Rhoys has had a stop-start season as well due to injury and Rhoys needed games, so it would have been a big ask to throw him right in.
"And the way it's going at the minute we needed somebody who has played a hell of a lot of games in the league and knows what it's about, and Michael Rose I have seen numerous times playing.
"He had a great upbringing at Manchester United and he did great at Stockport. He was a big part of their promotion."
Rose joined in training yesterday after the paperwork was completed and joins striker Oli Johnson, who left the Hatters for City earlier this month.
The 27-year-old was a trainee at Old Trafford, but left in 2001 and played for Chester, Hereford and Yeovil before moving to Edgeley Park in the summer of 2006.
He helped Stockport to promotion from League Two in 2008 - beating Lambert's Wycombe side on the play-off semi-finals - and went on to make 123 appearances for the division's bottom side.
Wiggins, who joined City from Crystal Palace in the summer, has already had one loan spell at Bournemouth, but Lambert insists that he and Owain Tudur Jones, who joined Yeovil of loan this week, still have a future at Carrow Road.
"They need games, and considering where we are in the league at the minute, we need everybody," he said. "It will do the two lads some good to get out and play some games.,
"The position we are in the league at the minute you might need everybody at one given time. But we have to get lads keep playing reserve games. Hopefully the games they play will benefit them and benefit us."
Lambert is working on a tight budget, but his cause might be eased should Jamie Cureton decided to call time on his second spell at Carrow Road.
The 34-year-old couldn't even get a game for the reserves in midweek and is below the likes of Cody McDonald, Oli Johnson and even the untried Danny Kelly in the pecking order.
Gillingham are said to be keen, while a clutch of lower League Two sides have had interest, but finances seem to be the sticking point. If that continues, Cureton can expect to remain in the cold
"There has been one club that I know that has inquired about him," said Lambert. "The decision is in Jamie's hands at the moment. Jamie knows and he's been fine. There's not long to go before the window shuts.
"This is his last year as he knows and he has got to get playing football for his own sake as well and you have got to think long term for the club as well, what direction the club will go in.
"Cody needed games, he's been about the first team, scenario a swell. Danny Kelly was on the bench the other night - he needs games as well, so those lads are ahead of Jamie at the minute and you can't keep everybody happy every single time.
"Jamie has been totally fine, I have not had one bit of a problem or anything with him.
"You can't criticise anybody for what kind of contract they're given, that was before my time. I can't influence anything that happened before me.
"You know the situation with the club's finances. We can only try and do little bits here and there. I hear all these people saying go and get this striker and go and get that striker, but we don't have the resources all the time.
"We can only do what we can do. We can't go out and buy somebody for a lot of money, that just won't happen, but the current group I am more than happy with."