Norwich City aim to enter top six
David Cuffley Norwich City will be bidding to underline their top six credentials at the expense of one of League One's surprise packages at Carrow Road tomorrow. A favourable sequence of results could even take the Canaries into the play-off places for the first time this season - but first they have to beat third-placed Bristol Rovers (3pm).
Norwich City will be bidding to underline their top six credentials at the expense of one of League One's surprise packages at Carrow Road tomorrow.
A favourable sequence of results could even take the Canaries into the play-off places for the first time this season - but first they have to beat third-placed Bristol Rovers (3pm).
If Paul Lambert's men record their second home victory in the space of five days, they have an outside chance of sixth place tomorrow night, but it would also require Huddersfield to lose at Colchester, and both Oldham and Swindon to fail to win their matches.
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City go into the game in ninth place after their 4-0 demolition of Leyton Orient on Tuesday, and Lambert will have to rely on the same squad, plus goalkeeper Fraser Forster, hoping for a recall after serving a one-match ban.
Injured quartet Jon Otsemobor (hamstring), Michael Nelson (ankle), Matthew Gill (knee) and Owain Tudur Jones (calf) are still sidelined.
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“Jon's not going to be fit so it will be the same squad of lads that were involved on Tuesday night,” said Lambert, looking forward to taking on a Rovers team making their best start to a season for 25 years, including four wins in their five away league games.
“We've had Bristol Rovers watched and it promises to be a tough game. They have a good away record but we are at home and we have the crowd behind us and I always feel the home team should make the running,” he said.
The 21-year-old Forster must wait to see if he wins a recall against the team for whom he played four matches on loan in August.
Lambert must decide whether to bring back the Newcastle loan 'keeper or give 18-year-old Declan Rudd his third senior outing in eight days.
Rovers manager Paul Trollope said: “Fraser had a brief spell with us and did very well, showing what a good 'keeper he is. It will be good to see him again, but hopefully we can stick a few past him.
“For one reason or another his loan spell with us wasn't extended and he has continued his football education at Norwich. We wish him all the best - but after Saturday's game.”
Forster's replacement for Rovers has been 20-year-old Danish 'keeper Mikkel Andersen, who has made a big impression.
Said Trollope: “We were fortunate that Reading then changed their minds about letting us have Mikkel, who has made some very good saves that have won us points - and made them look easy as well, which is the sign of a good goalkeeper.
“We believe Mikkel had a little bit of food poisoning on Tuesday because he was ill in the morning, sick in the corridor at Southampton just before the game - and sick again on the way out.
“To perform like he did shows he's very professional and a very strong character.
“His taking of crosses and corners is exceptional and one thing I like is that his distribution is quick and very good. It means we are able to build from the back, which is the way we want to play.”